He heard the wondrous tale and went
To Klondyke's golden shore;
A year of trial and toil he spent,
And found not gold galore.
And starved and frozen he returned,
Singing a sad refrain;
For nuggets he no longer yearned –
He never tried again.

The air rang loud with war's alarms,
And a soldier he became;
But Romance soon lost all her charms,
And life in camp was tame.
The drill was stiff, the grub was bad;
He slept out in the rain;
His captain was a beastly cad –
He never tried again.

He met a pretty Summer Girl,
Who stole his heart away;
She was a precious little pearl
And could not say him nay.
But when he asked her for her heart,
She searched and searched in vain;
For sad to say she had no heart –
He never tried again.

Three times he'd tried, three times he'd failed;
It could not last alway;
On Harlem Bridge he wept and wailed,
And leaped into the bay.
The water cold, he called for aid,
And struggled might and main;
He could not swim, so there he stayed –
He never tried again.

Jack London (1897)