Try reading the poem as sentences. Does it change your view? Obviously it “softens” the natural literary “stops” we use when we read it as a poem.
In my opinion it loosens up the clues a little bit and, instead of checking off the clues akin to a grocery list, they’re more of a narrative or guideline. Apply your current solve to this method, is it still legitimate? I’m not sure if Forrest designed this to apply but, in theory, your solve should fit nicely into this format as well.
As I have gone alone in there and with my treasures bold, I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.
Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyon down, not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.
From there it’s no place for the meek, the end is ever drawing nigh; there’ll be no paddle up your creek, just heavy loads and water high.
If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, look quickly down, your quest to cease,
but tarry scant with marvel gaze, just take the chest and go in peace.
So why is it that I must go and leave my trove for all to seek?
The answers I already know, I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.
So hear me all and listen good, your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood I give you title to the gold.
Be careful. Happy hunting.