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El Dorado, 1851


I've just been down ter Thompson's, boys,

'N feelin' kind o' blue, I thought I'd look in at “The Ranch,"

Ter find out what wuz new; When I seed this sign a-hanging

On a shanty by the lake: "Here's whar yer get your doughnuts

Like yer mother used ter make.


I've seen a grizzly show his teeth,

I've seen Kentucky Pete Draw out his shooter, 'n advise

A“ tenderfoot” ter treat; But nuthin' ever tuk me down,

'N made my benders shake, Like that sign about the doughnuts

That my mother used ter make.

A sort o' mist shut out the ranch,

'N standin' thar instead,
I seen an old, white farm-house,

With its doors all painted red.
A whiff came through the open door

Wuz I sleepin' or awake?
The smell wuz that of doughnuts
Like my mother used ter make.

The bees wuz hummin' round the porch

Whar honeysuckles grew; A yellow dish of apple-sass

Wuz settin' thar in view. 'N on the table, by the stove,

An old-time" Johnny-cake," 'N a platter full of doughnuts

Like my mother used ter make.

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A patient form I seemed ter see,

In tidy dress of black,
I almost thought I heard the words,

“When will my boy come back?'N then — the old sign creaked:

But now it was the boss who spake: "Here's whar yer gets yer doughnuts

Like yer mother used ter make.”

Well, boys, that kind o’ broke me up,

'N ez I've “struck pay gravel,” I ruther think I'll pack my kit,

Vamoose the ranch, 'n travel. I'll make the old folks jubilant,

'N if I don't mistake, I'll try some o' them doughnuts

Like my mother used ter make.



“ Man wants but little here below,

Nor wants that little long." 'T is not with me exactly so;

But 't is so in the song.
My wants are many and, if told,

Would muster many a score;
And were each wish a mint of gold,

I still should long for more.

What first I want is daily bread

And canvas-backs and wine-
And all the realms of nature spread

Before me, when I dine.
Four courses scarcely can provide

My appetite to quell;
With four choice cooks from France beside,

To dress my dinner well.

What next I want, at princely cost,

Is elegant attire:
Black sable furs for winter's frost,

And silks for summer's fire,
And Cashmere shawls, and Brussels lace

My bosom's front to deck,
And diamond rings my hands to grace,
And rubies for my neck.

I want (who does not want?) a wife,

Affectionate and fair;
To solace all the woes of life,

And all its joys to share.
Of temper sweet, of yielding will,

Of firm, yet placid mind,
With all my faults to love me still

With sentiment refined.

And as Time's car incessant runs,

And Fortune fills my store,
I want of daughters and of sons

From eight to half a score.
I want (alas! can mortal dare

Such bliss on earth to crave?)
That all the girls be chaste and fair,

The boys all wise and brave.

I want a warm and faithful friend,

To cheer the adverse hour; Who ne'er to flatter will descend,

Nor bend the knee to power, A friend to chide me when I'm wrong,

My inmost soul to see; And that my friendship prove as strong

For him as his for me.

I want the seals of power and place,

The ensigns of command; Charged by the People's unbought grace To rule my native land.

Nor crown nor sceptre would I ask

But from my country's will,
By day, by night, to ply the task

Her cup of bliss to fill.

I want the voice of honest praise

To follow me behind,
And to be thought in future days

The friend of human kind,
That after ages, as they rise,

Exulting may proclaim
In choral union to the skies

Their blessings on my name.

These are the Wants of mortal Man,

I cannot want them long,
For life itself is but a span,

And earthly bliss a song.
My last great Want absorbing all

Is, when beneath the sod,
And summoned to my final call,

The Mercy of my God.

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Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight,
Make me a child again just for to-night!
Mother, come back from the echoless shore,
Take me again to your heart as of yore;

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