There's a mine that can't be floated, up along at Anyplace,
Though ther's certin indications of its richness on the face.
She'd go three ounces sure at depth if she was opened out,
But it ain't a minin' distric', which inclines the folks to doubt.
But we know it's worth a forchune, fer we've worked it nigh a year,
An' hardly took out tucker stuff - it hasn't run to beer,
But there ain't no valid reason fer to doubt the show is right,
For the leaders they are bonzers, an' ther's tons of ore in sight.
We've panned out fifteen 'weight from stuff a foot below the ground;
An' a mug could get a color fer a half a mile around.
Ther's kaolin an' mundie an' a sort o' chalky clay,
An' ev'ry indication that at depth she's bound to pay.
It was found by Billy Thompson (or, maybe, it was Jack Smith);
An', from the jump, the folks around they christened it "The Myth."
It's the joke about the distric', an' they jeer us in the town.
The advice we get is mainly - "Chuck it up; it got yer down."
But our faith is underminished, an' our hope's as good as new;
Fer the stuff is there - we know it - an' we've had it assayed too!
It ain't no poor man's diggin's; it's the capital we need.
But the ignorance of moneyed men 'ud cause yer heart to bleed.
Ther' was once we thought we had our lips right close to forchune's cup:
A syndikit in town they took an' sent a hexpert up -
A bloomin' bandbox hexpert, with a boxer on 'is head.
He took a look around the show an' "Huh!" was all he said.
He went back and reported to his syndikit below.
I dunno wot he said, but they declined to touch the show.
Them an' the'r precious hexpert, with his theories an' sich!
It don't take no book learnin' fer to see that she is rich.
Ther's the wife - she gets to frettin', an' she ses we're wastin' time;
She ses she's tired o' waitin'; an' Gawd knows, her life ain't prime.
But I'm toilin' fer her hard enough. An' ain't we got the claim?
Wot do women know o' minin' an' the chances of the game?
I sits by her o' nights an' tries to picter wot'll be
When people comes to reckernise our splendid property.
With our carridges an' horses - an' the folks that sneer an' scoff
'Ull be proud enough to get a nod, when once we float 'er off.
We've drawed up plans an' figgers - calkerlated to a bob
The cost of machinery an' plant to do the job.
An', when you come to think on it, it's curious, somehow,
Ther' ain't no moneyed men around is game to risk a thou.
It seems like a conspiracy was formed to keep us down -
Amongst the minin' hexperts an' the capit'lists in town.
But we ain't took to despairin'. Ther' will come a time some day,
When folks'll quit the'r chuckin' off, an' then, we'll have a say.
There's a mine that can't be floated, up along at Anywhere;
There are two old, worn prospectors fighting hard against despair -
Patient and pathetic figures, honest and sincere enough,
Toiling on a proven duffer, hardly earning tucker stuff.
And they know 'twould pay for working if someone would foot the bill,
But, somehow, it can't be floated, and it's odds it never will.
First published in The Bulletin, 3 December 1908