He paid a Swede twelve bits an hour
Just to invent a fancy style
To spread the celebration paint
So it would show at least a mile.

Some things they did I will not tell.
They’re not quite proper for a rhyme.
But I will say Yim Yonson Swede
Did sure invent a sunflower time.

One thing they did that I can tell
And not offend the ladies here:-
They took a goat to Simp’s Saloon
And made it take a bath in beer.

That ENTERprise took MANagement.
They broke a wash-tub in the fray.
But mister goat was bathed all right
And bar-keep Simp was, too, they say.

They wore girls’ pink straw hats to church
And clucked like hens. They surely did.
They bought two HOtel frying pans
And in them down the mountain slid.

They went to Denver in good clothes,
And kept Burt’s grill-room wide awake,
And cut about like jumping-jacks,
And ordered seven-dollar steak.

They had the waiters whirling round
Just sweeping up the smear and smash.
They tried to buy the State-house flag.
They showed the Janitor the cash.

And old Dan Tucker on a toot,
Or John Paul Jones before the breeze,
Or Indians eating fat fried dog,
Were not as happy babes as these.

One morn, in hills near Cripple-creek
With cheerful swears the two awoke.
The Swede had twenty cents, all right.
But Gassy Thompson was clean broke.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Vachel Lindsay's poem When Gassy Thompson Struck It Rich

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