The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses

Robert W. Service


     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.

©1907 Robert W. Service

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