Leevee (colin_chaotic) wrote,


Back in sixth grade, I had to do a report on the Yukon for social studies, during our Canada unit. My mother brought out our Robert Service poetry books, and there were three poems that I loved the moment I read them: "The Shooting of Dan McGrew", "The Cremation of Sam McGee", and "L'Envoi". "L'Envoi" the most.


You who have lived in the land,
    You who have trusted the trail,
You who are strong to withstand,
    You who are swift to assail:
        Songs have I sung to beguile,
            Vintage of desperate years,
        Hard as a harlot's smile,
            Bitter as unshed tears.

Little of joy or mirth,
    Little of ease I sing;
Sagas of men of earth
    Humanly suffering,
        Such as you all have done;
            Savagely faring forth,
        Sons of the midnight sun,
            Argonauts of the North.

Far in the land God forgot
    Glimmers the lure of your trail;
Still in your lust are you taught
    Even to win is to fail.
        Still you must follow and fight
            Under the vampire wing;
        There in the long, long night
            Hoping and vanquishing.

Husbandman of the Wild,
    Reaping a barren gain;
Scourged by desire, reconciled
    Unto disaster and pain;
        These, my songs, are for you,
            You who are seared with the brand.
        God knows I have tried to be true;
            Please God you will understand.</i>

- Robert Service

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