Tombstone Silver

Prospector's Loliloquy

Not everthing printed in the Epitaph was bad news. Here is a bit of fun poked firmly at prospectors.


To sink or not to sink; that is the question;
Whether it is better in the prospector to sell
The highly melliferous cropping for a song
Or, using muscle, dig her down;
And thus by perseverance strike it-to sink to work
No more--and by that sinking, strike a lead
Of gold or silver, or the finest copper glance
That luck is heir to. 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To sink, to blast,
To blast, perchance to "bust;" there's the rub;
For at the depth of ten feet what base may come?
When we have shoveled off the uncertain top,
Must give us pause. There's the respect
Which makes calamity of a prospect hole,
For who can tell what "pinch" may come below
The argentiferous stuff? Component parts of lead,
The metalliferous, decomposed, conglomerate
Corruption of nature, all broken up perchance.
The insolence of luckier blokes and then the chance
That the miner takes by shafting,
When he, himself, might be much better off
By simply waiting. What would we not do
But that the dread of something yet unseen--
The undiscovered pay streak (perhaps not there).
The argentiferous conundrum puzzles the will
And makes us rather raise the monument we have,
Than open up the ground we know not of.
Thus prospecting doth make cowards of us all,
And thus the prospects of a big bonanza
Is sickerized with some dark and cussed doubt,
And speculator in a surface prize
With this regard their interest turn aside
And lose, perchance, a million.