• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 Dedication
 The land got forgot
 Table of Contents
 Main
 Back Matter
 Back Cover














Group Title: spell of the Yukon,
Title: The Spell of the Yukon,
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00098567/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Spell of the Yukon, and other verses
Physical Description: 2 p. l., 9-126 p. : front. (port.) ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Service, Robert W. ( Robert William ), 1874-1958
Publisher: Barse & Hopkins
Place of Publication: New York
Newark, New Jersey
Publication Date: c1907
 Subjects
Subject: Poetry -- Yukon River Valley (Yukon and Alaska)   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Robert W. Service.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00098567
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01101781
lccn - 24021712

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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Title Page
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Dedication
        Page 7
    The land got forgot
        Page 8
    Table of Contents
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Main
        Page 15
        Page 16
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        Page 120
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        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
    Back Matter
        Page 127
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    Back Cover
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Full Text












r 'E-, LIB3!S
1J NIVEFSSITY of ~FLOIDA























Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2010 with funding from
University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries

















http://www.archive.org/details/spellofyukonothe00serv






The Spell of the Yukon

and Other Verses



BY
ROBERT W. SERVICE


PUBLISHERS
BARSE & HOPKINS
NEW YORK, N. Y. NEWARK. N. J.











5qql








COPYRIGHT, 1907, BY
BARSE & HOPKINS


Printed in U. S. A.



















TO
C. M.











THE LAND GOD FORGOT


The lonely sunsets flare forlorn
Down valleys dreadly desolate;
The lordly mountains soar in scorn
As still as death, as stern as fate.

The lonely sunsets flame and die;
The giant valleys gulp the night;
The monster mountains scrape the sky,
Where eager stars are diamond-bright.

So gaunt against the gibbous moon,
Piercing the silence lveh ct-piled,
A lone wolf howls his ancient rune -
The fell arch-spirit of the l'ild.

0 outcast land! 0 leper land!
Let the lone wolf-cry all express
The hate insensaic of thly hand,
Thy heart's abysmal loneliness.













CONTENTS


fHE LAND GOD FORGOT .
The lonclY unr.eri flare forlorn,

THE SPELL OF THE YUKON 15
I 'a nred the gold, and I sought ii,

THE HEART OF THE SOURDOUGH 19
There where the mighryr mruniains bare tt.eir fangs
unto the moon,

THE THREE VOICES 22
The waves hate a Mory to tell me,

THE LAW OF THE YUKON 24
This ;i the law of the Yukor., and e'er she makes
it plain,

THE PARSON'S SON . J3
This is the song cf the parson's son, as he squats
in his sha:k alone,

THE CALL OF THE WILD 36
Have you gazed on raked grandeur where there's
nothing else to gaze un,
0






CONTENTS

THE LONE TRAIL 40
Ye who know the Lone Trail fain would follow it,

THE PINES . 43
We sleep in the sleep of age', the bljak, barbarian
pines,

THE LURE OF LITTLE VOICES 46
There's a cry from out the loneliness-oh, listen,
Honey, listen!

THE SONG OF THE WAGE-SLAVE 49
When the long, long day is over, and the Big Boss
gives me my pay,

GRIN 53
If you're up against a bruiser and you're getting
knocked about,

THE SHOOTING OF DAN McGREW. 55
A bunch of the b:..,is ere t~lih:,ppir.g it lup in the
Malamute saloon,

THE CREMATION OF SAM McGEE 6
There are strange ihing- done in the midnight sun,

MY MADONNA 65
I haled me a woman from the street,

UNFORGOTTEN 69
I know a garden ,here the lilies gleam,
10






CONTENTS

THE RECKONING . 70
It's ine to have a blow-out in a fancy restauranr,

QUATRAINS . 72
One said: Thy, life is thine to make or mar,

THE MEN THAT DON'T FIT IN 75
There's a race of men ihil don't rit in,

MUSIC IN THE BUSH . . 77
O'er the dark pines she sees the silver moon,

THE RHYME OF THE REMITTANCE
MAN . . 81
There's a four-pronged buLk a-swiunging in the
shadow of my cabin,

THE LO\W-DO\VN WHITE . 85
This is the pay-day up at the mine-, when the
bearded brutes come do~on,

THE LITTLE OLD LOG CABIN 88
When a man gets on his uppers in a hard-pan sort
of town,

THE YOUNGER SON . 9
If you lea j the gloom of London ar.d you meek a
glo.wing land,

THE MARCH OF TIE DFAD . .95
The cruel war was over -oh, the triumph was so
sftet,






CONTENTS

'FIGHTING MAC" g.
A p;'tol I-hot rings round and round the world,

THE WOMAN AND THE ANGEL 104
An angel was tired of heaven, as he lounged in
the golden street,

THE RHYME OF THE RESTLESS ONES 107
We couldn't .it and ?.tud? for the law,

NEW YEAR'S EVE . In
It's cruel cold on the water-front, silent and dark
and drear,

COMFORT 115
Say! You're struck a heap of trouble,

THE HARPY .. 117
There was a woman, and she was wiie; woefully
,sise was she,

PREMONITION 122
'Twas a year ago, and the moon was bright,

THE TRAMPS 123
Can .ou recall, dear comrade, when we tramped
God's land together,

L'ENVOI .. ... 125
You who have lived in the land,











THE SPELL OF THE YUKON

I wanted the gold, and I sought it;
I scrabbled and mucked like a slave.
Was it famine or scurvy I fought it;
I hurled my youth into a grave.
I wanted the gold, and I got it -
Came out with a fortune last fall,-
Yet somehow life's not what I thought it,
And somehow the gold isn't all.




No! There's the land. (Have you seen it?)
It's the cussedest land that I know,
From the big, dizzy mountains that screen it
To the deep, deathlike valleys below.
Some say God was tired when He made it;
Some say it's a fine land to shun;
Maybe: but there's some as would trade it
For no land on earth and I'm one.
15






THE SPELL OF THE YUKON


You come to get rich (damned good reason);
You feel like an exile at first;
You hate it like hell for a season,
And then you are worse than the worst.
It grips you like some kinds of sinning;
It twists you from foe to a friend;
It seems it's been since the beginning;
It seems it will be to the end.



I've stood in some mighty-mouthed hollow
That's plumb-full of hush to the brim;
I've watched the big, husky sun wallow
In crimson and gold, and grow dim,
Till the moon set the pearly peaks gleaming,
And the stars tumbled out, neck and crop;
And I've thought that I surely was dreaming,
With the peace o' the world piled on top.



The summer-no sweeter was ever;
The sunshiny woods all athrill;
The grayling aleap in the river,
The bighorn asleep on the bill.
16






THE SPELL OF THE YUKON


The strong life that never know s harness;
The wilds where the caribou call;
The freshness, the freedom, the farness -
0 God! how I'm stuck on it all.


The winter! the brightness that blinds you,
The white land locked tight as a drum,
The cold fear that follows and finds \ou,
The silence that bludgeons you dumb.
The snows that are older than history,
The woods \%here the weird shadoJvs slant:
The stillness, the moonlight, the mystery,
I've bade 'em good-bh but 1 can't.


There's a land \where the mountains are name.
less,
And the rivers all run God knows where:
There are lives that are erring and aimless,
And deaths that just hang by a hair;
There are hardships that nobody reckons;
There are \alleys unpeopled and still;
There's a land oh, it beckons and beckons,
And I want to go back and I will.
'7






THE SPELL OF TI-E YUKON


They're making my money diminish;
I'm sick of the taste of champagne.
Thank God! when I'm skinned to a finish
I'll pike to the Yukon again.
I'll fight- and you bet it's no sham-fight;
It's hell!-but I've been there before;
And it's better than this by a damsite -
So me for the Yukon once more.


There's gold, and it's haunting and haunting;
It's luring me on as of old;
Yet it isn't the gold that I'm wanting
So much as just finding the g:ld.
It's the great, big, broad land 'nay up yonder,
It's the forests where silence has lease:
It's the beauty that thrills me with wonder,
It's the stillness that fills me with peace.












THE
HEART OF THE SOURDOUGH


There where the mighty mountains bare their
fangs unto the moon.
There here the sullen sun-dogs glare in the
snow-bright, bitter noon,
And the glacier-glutted streams sweep down at
the clarion call of June.






There where the livid tundras keep their tryst
with the tranquil snows;
There where the silences are spawned, and the
light of hell-tire flows
Into the bowl of the midnight sky, violet, amber
and rose.






THE HEART OF THE SOURDOUGH

There where the rapids churn and roar, and the
ice-floes bellowing run:
Where the tortured, twisted rivers of blood
rush to the setting sun -
I've packed my kit and I'm going, boys, ere
another day is done.

*



I knew it would call, or soon or late, as it calls
the whirring wings;
It's the olden lure, it's the golden lure, it's the
lure of the timeless things,
And to-night, oh, God of the trails untrod, how
it whines in my heart-strings!



I'm sick to death of your well-groomed gods,
your make-believe and your show;
I long for a whiff of bacon and beans, a snug
shakedown in the snow;
A trail to break, and a life at stake, and an-
other bout with the foe.
20





THE HEART OF THE SOURDOUGH

With the raw-ribbed Wild that abhors all life,
the Wild that would crush and rend,
I have clinched and closed with the naked
North, I have learned to defy and defend;
Shoulder to shoulder we have fought it out -
yet the Wild must win in the end.



I have flouted the Wild. I have followed its
lure, fearless, familiar, alone;
By all that the battle means and makes I claim
that land for mine Down;
Yet the Wild must win, and a day will come
when I shall be overthrown.



Then when as wolf-dogs fight we've fought, the
lean wolf-land and I;
Fought and bled till the snows are red under
the reeling sky:
Even as lean wolf-dog goes down will I go
down and die.











THE THREE VOICES


The waves have a story to tell me,
As I lie on the lonely beach;
Chanting aloft in the pine-tops,
The wind has a lesson to teach;
But the stars sing an anthem of glory
I cannot put into speech.



The waves tell of ocean spaces,
Of hearts that are wild and brave,
Of populous city places,
Of desolate shores they lave,
Of men who sally in quest of gold
To sink in an ocean grave.



The wind is a mighty roamer;
He bids me keep me free,
22






THE THREE VOICES


Clean from the taint of the gold-lust,
Hardy and pure as he;
Cling \vith my love to nature,
As a child to the mother-knee.


But the stars throng out in their glory,
And they sing of the God in man;
They sing of the Mighty Master,
Of the loom his fingers span,
Where a star or a soul is a part of the whole,
And weft in the wondrous plan.


Here by the camp-fire's flicker,
Deep in my blanket curled,
I long for the peace of the pine-gloom,
When the scroll of the Lord is unfurled,
And the wind and the wave are silent,
And world is singing to world.












THE LAW OF THE YUKON

This is the law of the Yukon, and ever she
makes it plain:
"Send not your foolish and feeble; send me
your strong and your sane -
Strong for the red rage of battle; sane, for I
harry them sore;
Send me men girt for the combat, men ivho are
grit to the core;
Swift as the panther in triumph, fierce as the
bear in defeat,
Sired of a bulldog parent, steeled in the furnace
heat.
Send me the best of your breeding, lend me your
chosen ones;
Them will I take to my bosom, them will I call
my sons;
Them will I gild with my treasure, them will I
glut with my meat;






THE LAW OF THE YUKON


But the others the mistits, the failures I
trample under my feet.
Dissolute, damned and despairful, crippled and
palsied and slain,
Ye would send me the spaw\n of your gutters -
Go! take back your spawn again.




" Wild and wide are my borders, stern as death
is my sway;
From my ruthless throne I have ruled alone for
a million years and a da\
Hugging my mighty treasure, waiting for man
to come,
Till he swept like a turbid torrent, and after
him swept the scum.
The pallid pimp of the dead-line, the enervate
of the pen,
One by one I weeded them out, for all that I
sought was Men.
One by one I dismayed them, fighting them
sore with my glooms;
One by one I betrayed them unto my manifold
dooms.





THE LAW OF THE YUKON


Drowned them like rats in my rivers, starved
them like curs on my plains,
Rotted the flesh that was left them, poisoned
the blood in their veins:
Burrt with my winter upon them, searing for-
ever their sight,
Lashed them with fungus-w white faces, whimper-
ing wild in the night;



Staggering blind through the storm-whirl,
stumbling mad through the snow,
Frozen stiff in the ice-pack, brittle and bent like
a bow;
Featureless, formless, forsaken, scented by
wolves in their flight,
Left for the wind to make music through ribs
that are glittering white;
Gnawing the black crust of failure, searching
the pit of despair,
Crooking the toe in the trigger, trying to patter
a prayer;
Going outside with an escort, raving with lips
all afoam,





THE LAW OF THE YUKON


Writing a cheque for a million, driveling feebly
of home;
Lost like a louse in the burning . or else
in the tented to\vn
Seeking a drunkard's solace, sinking and sink-
ing down:
Steeped in the slime at the bottom, dead to a
decent world,
Lost 'mid the human fotsam, far on the fron-
tier hurled;
In the camp at the bend of the river, with its
dozen saloons glare,
Its gambling dens ariot, its gramophones all
ablare:
Crimped 'ith the crimes of a city, sin-ridden
and bridled with lies,
In the hush of my mountained vastness, in the
flush of my midnight skies.
Plague-spots, yet tools of my purpose, so nathe-
less I suffer them thrive,
Crushing my Weak in their clutches, that only
my Strong may survive.

" But the others, the men of my mettle, the men
who would establishh my fame
27






THE LAW OF THE YUKON


Unto its ultimate issue, winning me honor, not
shame;
Searching my uttermost valleys, lighting each
step as they go,
Shooting the wrath of my rapids, scaling my
ramparts of snow;
Ripping the guts of my mountains, looting the
beds of my creeks,
Them will I take to my bosom, and speak as a
mother speaks.
I am the land that listens, I am the land that
broods;
Steeped in eternal beauty, crystalline waters and
woods.
Long have I waited lonely, shunned as a thing
accurst,
Monstrous, moody, pathetic, the last of the
lands and the first;
Visioning camp-fires at tw flight, sad with a long-
ing forlorn,
Feeling my womb o'er-pregnant with the seed
of cities unborn.
.Wild and wide are my borders, stern as death
is my sway,






THE LAW OF THE YUKON


And I wait for the men who will win me and
I will nor be won in a day;
And I will not be won by weaklings, subtle,
suave and mild,
But by men with the hearts of vikings, and the
simple faith of a child;
Desperate, strong and resistless, unthrottled by
fear or defeat,
Them will I gild with my treasure, them will I
glut with my meat.

" Lofty I stand from each sister land, patient
and %wearilv wise,
With the weight of a world of sadness in my
quiet, passionless eyes:
Dreaming alone of a people, dreaming alone
of a day,
When men shall not rape my riches, and curse
me and go away:
Making a bawd of my bounty, fouling the hand
that gave -
Till I rise in my wrath and I sweep on their
path and I stamp them into a grave.
Dreaming of men who will bless me, of women
esteeming me good,
29





THE LAW OF THE YUKON

Of children born in my borders of radiant
motherhood,
Of cities leaping to stature, of fame like a flag
unfurled,
As I pour the tide of my riches in the eager lap
of the world."

This is the Law of the Yukon, that only the
Strong shall thrive;
That surely the Weak shall perish, and only the
Fit survive.
Dissolute, damned and despairful, crippled and
palsied and slain,
This is the Will of the Yukon,- Lo, how she
makes it plain I











THE PARSON'S SON


This is ute ongi of Ihe parson's son, as he squats
in his shack alone,
On the ild, 'cird nights, .hien the N northern
Li/hts shoot up fromin te frozen zone,
nd i/t's S.I v' blc'/(;, and c iched ii n the sow
the hungry huskies mnuan:


"I'm one of the Arctic brotherhood, I'm an
old-time pioneer.
I came with the first 0 God! how I've
cursed this Yukon but still I'm here.
I've sweated athirst in its summer hear, I've
frozen and starved in its cold;
I've followed my dreams by its thousand
streams, I've toiled and moiled for its gold.

"Look at my eyes been snow-blind twice;
look where my foot's half gone;





THE PARSON'S SON


And that gruesome scar on my left cheek, where
the frost-fiend bit to the bone.
Each one a brand of this devil's land, where
I've played and I've lost the game,
A broken wreck with a craze for hooch,' and
never a cent to my name.


" This mining is only a gamble: the worst is as
good as the best;
I was in with the bunch and I might have come
out right on top with the rest;
With Cormack, Ladue and Macdonald- 0
God! but it's hell to think
Of the thousands and thousands I've squan-
dered on cards and women and drink.


" In the early days we were just a few, and we
hunted and fished around,
Nor dreamt by our lonely camp-tires of the
wealth that lay under the ground.
We traded in skins and whiskey, and I've often
slept under the shade
Of that lone birch tree on Bonanza, here the
first big find was made.
32






THE PARSON'S SON


" We were just like a great big family, and
every man had his squaw,
And we lived such a wild, free, fearless life
beyond the pale of the law;
Till sudden there came a whisper, and it mad-
dened us every man,
And I got in on Bonanza before the big rush
began.



" Oh, those Dawson days, and the sin and the
blaze, and the town all open nide!
(If God made me in His likeness, sure He let
the devil inside.)
But we all were mad, both the good and the
bad, and as for the women, well -
No spot on the map in so short a space ha!
hustled more souls to hell.



" Money was just like dirt there, easy te, get
and to spend.
I was all caked in on a dance-hall jade, Ls.t she
shook me in the end.
33






THE PARSON'S SON


It put me queer, and for near a year I never
drew sober breath,
Till I found myself in the bughouse ward with
a claim staked out on death.



" Twenty years in the Yukon, struggling along
its creeks;
Roaming its giant valleys, scaling its god-like
peaks;
Bathed in its tiery sunsets, fighting its fiendish
cold -
Twenty years in the Yukon . twenty years
and I'm old.



" Old and weak, but no matter, there's hooch '
in the bottle still.
I'll hitch up the dogs to-morrow, and mush
down the trail to Bill.
It's so long dark, and I'm lonesome I'll just
lay down on the bed;
To-morrow I'll go .. to-morrow . I
guess I'll play on the red.






THE PARSON'S SON


" . Come, Kit, your pony is saddled. I'm
waiting, dear, in the court . .
S. innie, you deril, I'll kill you if you skip
with that flossy sport . .
S. How much does it go to the pan, Bill?...
play up, School, and play the game . .
S. Our Father, which art in heaven, hal-
lowed be Thy name . ."


This .'as the song of the parson's son, as he
lay in his bunk alone,
Ere the fire went out and the cold crept in, and
his blue lips ceased to moan,
And the hunger-maddened malaniiiies had torn
him flesh from bone.












THE CALL OF THE WILD


Have you gazed on naked grandeur where
there's nothing else to gaze on,
Set pieces and drop-curtain scenes galore,
Big mountains heaved to heaven, % which the
blinding sunsets blazon,
Black canyons where the rapids rip and roar?
Have you swept the visioned valley with the
green stream streaking through it,
Searched the Vastness for a something you
have lost?
Have you strung your soul to silence? Then
for God's sake go and do it;
Hear the challenge, learn the lesson, pa. the
cost.

Have you wandered in the wilderness, the sage-
brush desolation,
The bunch-grass levels where the cattle
graze?






THE CALL OF THE WILD


Have )ou whistled bits of rag-time at the end
of all creation,
And learned to know the desert's little
\ways?
Have )ou camped upon the foothills, have you
galloped o'er the ranges,
Have you roamed the arid sun-lands through
and through ?
Have you chummed up with the mesa? Do
you know its moods and changes?
Then listen to the Wild it's calling you.


Have you known the Great White Silence, not
a snow-gemmed twig aqui\er?
(Eternal truths that shame our soothing
lies.)
Have you broken trail- on snowshoes? mushed
your huskies up the river,
Dared the unknown, led the way, and
clutched the prize?
Have you marked the map's void spaces,
mingled with the mongrel races,
Felt the savage strength of brute in every
thew ?





THE CALL OF THE \VILD


And though grim as hell the worst is, can you
round it off with curses?
Then hearken to the Wild it's wanting
you.

Have you suffered, starved and triumphed,
groveled down, yet grasped at glory,
Grown bigger in the bigness of the \ hole?
" Done things just for the doing, letting bab-
blers tell the story,
Seeing through the nice veneer the naked
soul?
Have you seen God in Hi; splendors, heard the
text that nature renders?
(You'll never hear it in the family pe\v.)
The simple things, the true things, the silent
men who do things -
Then listen to the Wild it's calling you.

They have cradled you in custom, they have
primed you with their preaching,
They have soaked you in convention through
and through;
They have put you in a showcase: you're a
credit to their teaching -
38






THE CALL OF THE WILD


But can't you hear the Wild? -it's calling
yotu.
Let us probe the silent places, let us seek what
luck betide us:
Let us journey to a lonely land I know.
There's a whisper on the night-wind, there's
a star aglearn to guide us,
And the Wild is calling, calling . let us
go.











THE LONE TRAIL


Ye who know the Lone Trail fain -cwuld follow
it,
Though it lead to glory or the Jarkneis of the
pit.
Ye who take the Lone Trail, bid your love
good-by;
The Lone Trail, the Lone Trail follow t/ll you
die.

The trails of the world be countless, and most
of the trails be tried;
You tread on the heels of the many, till you
come where the ways divide;
And one lies safe in the sunlight, and the other
is dreary and wan,
Yet you look aslant at the Lone Trail, and the
Lone Trail lures you on.
And somehow you're sick of the highway, with
its noise and its easy needs,
And you seek the risk of the by-way, and you
reck not where ir 'eads.
'0





THE LONE TRAIL


And sometimes it leads to the desert, and the
tongue swells out of the mouth,
And you stagger blind to the mirage, to die in
the mocking drouth.
And sometimes it leads to the mountain, to the
light of the lone camp-fire,
And you gnaw your belt in the anguish of
hunger-goaded desire.
And sometimes it leads to the Southland, to the
swamp where the orchid glows,
And you rave to your grave with the fever, and
they rob the corpse for its clothes.
And sometimes it leads to the Northland, and
the scurvy soften; your bones,
And your flesh dints in like puttL, and you spit
out your teeth like stones.
And sometimes it leads to a coral reef in the
wash of a weedy sea,
And you sit and stare at the empty glare where
the gulls wait greedily.
And sometimes it leads to an Arctic trail,
and the snows where your torn feet
freeze,
And you whittle away the useless clay, and
crawl on your hands and knees.





THE LONE TRAIL

Often it leads to the dead-pit; always it leads
to pain;
By the bones of your brothers ye know it, but
oh, to follow you're fain.
By your bones they will follow behind you, till
the ways of the world are made plain.


Bid good-by to sweetheart, bid good-by to
friend;
The Lone Trail, the Lone Trail follow to the
end.
Tarry not, and fear not, chosen of the true;
Lover of the Lone Trail, the Lone Trail wails
for you.












THE PINES


We sleep in the sleep of ages, the bleak, bar-
barian pines;
The gray moss drapes us like sages, and closer
we lock our lines,
And deeper we clutch through the gelid gloom
where never a sunbeam shines.


On the flanks of the storm-gored ridges are our
black battalions massed;
We surge in a host to the sullen coast, and we
sing in the ocean blast;
From empire of sea to empire of snow we grip
our empire fast.


To the niggard lands were we driven, twixtt
desert and floes are we penned;
To us was the Northland given, ours to strong-
hold and defend;
43





THE PINES


Ours till the world be riven in the crash of the
utter end;


Ours from the bleak beginning, through the
eons of death-like sleep;
Ours from the shock when the naked rock was
hurled from the hissing deep;
Ours through the twilight ages of weary glacier
creep.


Wind of the East, Wind of the West, wander-
ing to and fro,
Chant your songs in our topmost boughs, that
the sons of men may know
The peerless pine \was the first to come, and the
pine will be last to go I


We pillar the halls of perfumed gloom; we
plume where the eagles soar;
The North-wind swoops from the brooding
Pole, and our ancients crash and roar;
But where one falls from the crumbling walls
shoots up a hardy score.
44






THE PINES


We spring from the gloom of the canyon's
womb; in the valley's lap we lie;
From the white foam-fringe, where the break-
ers cringe to the peaks that tusk the sky,
We climb, and we peer in the crag-locked mere
that gleams like a golden eye.


Gain to the verge of the hog-back ridge where
the vision ranges free:
Pines and pines and the shadow of pines as far
as the eye can see;
A steadfast legion of stalwart knights in domi-
nant empery.


Sun, moon and stars give answer; shall we not
staunchly stand,
Even as now, forever, wards of the wilder
strand,
Sentinels of the stillness, lords of the last, lone
land?











THE LURE OF LITTLE VOICES

There's a cry from out the loneliness--oh,
listen, Honey, listen!
Do you hear it, do you fear it, you're a-hold-
ing of me so?
You're a-sobbing in your sleep, dear, and your
lashes, how they glisten -
Do you hear the Little Voices all a-begging
me to go?




All a-begging me to leave you. Day and night
they're pleading, praIing,
On the North-wind, on the West-wind, from
the peak and from the plain;
Night and day they never leave me do you
know what they are saNing?
"He was ours before you got him, and we
want him once again."
46






THE LURE OF LITTLE VOICES

Yes, thcN're wantingg me, they're haunting me,
the anvful lonely places;
They're w\hining and they're whimpering as
if each had a soul:
They're calling from the \\ilderness, the vast
and God-like spaces,
The stark and sullen solitudes that sentinel
the Pole.



They miss my little camp-fires, ever brightly,
bravely gleaming
In the ~ omb of desolation, where was never
man before;
As comradeless I sought them, lion-hearted,
loving, dreaming,
And they hailed me as a comrade, and they
loved me evermore.



And now they're all a-crying, and it's no use me
denying:
The spell of them is on me and I'm helpless
as a child;






THE LURE OF LITTLE VOICES

My heart is aching, aching, but I hear them,
sleeping, waking;
It's the Lure of Little Voices, it's the man-
date of the Wild.


I'm afraid to tell you, Honey, I can take no
bitter leaving;
But softly in the sleep-time from your love
I'll steal away.
Oh, it's cruel, dearie, cruel, and it's God knows
how I'm grieving;
But His loneliness is calling, and He knows
I must obey.












THE SONG OF THE \WAGE-SLAVE

When the long, long day is over, and the Big
Boss gives me my pay,
I hope that it won't be hell-fire, as some of the
parsons say.
And I hope that it won't be heaven, with some
of the parsons I've met -
All I want is just quiet, just to rest and forget.
Look at my face, toil-furrowed: look at my
calloused hands;
masterr, I've done Thy bidding, wrought in Thy
many lands -
Wrought for the little masters, big-bellied they
be, and rich;
I've done their desire for a daily hire, and I die
like a dog in a ditch.
I have used the strength Thou hast given, Thou
knowest I did not shirk:
Threescore years of labor Thine be the long
day's work.






THE SONG OF THE \'AGE-SLAVE

And now, Big Master, I'm broken and bent and
twisted and scarred,
But I've held my job, and Thou knowest, and
Thou will not judge me hard.
Thou knowest my sins are many, and often I've
played the fool -
Whiskey and cards and vomen, they made me
the devil's tool.
I was just like a child with money: I flung it
away with a curse,
Feasting a fawning parasite, or glutting a har-
lot's purse;
Then back to the woods repentant, back to the
mill or the mine,
I, the worker of workers, everything in my line.
Everything hard but headwork (l'd no more
brains than a kid),
A brute with brute strength to labor, doing as
I was bid;
Living in camps with men-folk, a lonely and
loveless life;
Never knew kiss of sweetheart, never caress of
wife.
A brute with brute strength to labor, and they
were so far above -
50






THE SONG OF THE WAGE-SLAVE

Yet I'd gladly have gone to the gallows s for one
little look of Love.
I, with the strength of two men, savage and shy
and w ild -
Yet how I'd ha' treasured a woman, and the
sweet, warm kiss of a child!
Well, 'tis Thy world, and Thou knowest. I
blaspheme and my ways be rude;
But I've lived my life as I found it, and I've
done my best to be good;
I, the primitive toiler, half naked and grimed
to the eyes,
Swearing it deep in their ditches, shining it
stark in their styes;
Hurling down forests before me, spanning tu-
multuous streams;
Down in the ditch building o'er me palaces
fairer than dreams;
Boring the rock to the ore-bed, driving the road
through the fen,
Resolute, dumb, uncomplaining, a man in a
world of men.
Master, I've filled my contract, wrought in Thy
many lands;






THE SONG OF THE WAGE-SLAVE

'Not by my sins wilt Thou judge me, but by the
work of my hands.
AMaster, I've done Thy bidding, and the light is
low in the west,
And the long, long shift is over . aster,
I've earned it Rest.












GRIN


If you're up against a bruiser and you're get-
ting knocked about -
Grin.
If you're feeling pretty groggy, and you're
licked beyond a doubt -
Grin.
Don't let him see you're funking, let him know
with every clout,
Though sour face is battered to a pulp, your
blooming heart is stout;
Just stand upon your pins until the beggar
knocks you ou -
And grin.
This life's a bally battle, and the same advice
holds true
Of grin.
If you're up against it badly, then it's only one
on you,
So grin.






GRIN


If the future's black as thunder, don't let people
see you're blue;
Just cultivate a cast-iron smile of joy the whole
day through;
If they call you Little Sunshin-," wish that
they'd no troubles, too -
You may grin.
Rise up in the morning with the will that,
smooth or rough,
You'll grin.
Sink to sleep at midnight, and although you're
feeling tough,
Ylt grin.
There's nothing gained by whining, and you're
not that kind of stuff;
You're a fighter from axvay back, and you w-on't
take a rebuff;
Your trouble is that you don't know when you
have had enough -
Don't give in.
If Fate should down you, just get up and take
another cuff:
You may bank on it that there is no philosophy
like bluff,
And grin.












THE SHOOTING OF DAN MlcGREW

A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the
Malamute saloon;
The kid that handles the music-box nas hitting
a jag-time tune:
Back of the bar, in a solo game, sat Dangerous
Dan McGrew,
And watching his luck was his light-o'-love, the
lady that's known as Lou.




When out of the night, which was rifty below,
and into the din and the glare,
There stumbled a miner fresh from the creeks,
dog-dirty, and loaded for bear.
He looked like a man with a foot in the grave
and scarcely the strength of a louse,
Yet he tilted a poke of dust on the bar, and he
called for drinks for the house.
55






THE SHOOTING OF DAN McGREW

There was none could place the stranger's face,
though we searched ourselves for a clue;
.But we drank his health, and the last to drink
was Dangerous Dan M.cGrew.



There's men that somehow just grip your eyes,
and hold them hard like a spell;
And such was he, and he looked to me like a
man who had lived in hell;
-With a face most hair, and the dreary stare of
a dog \hose day is done,
As he watered the green stufi in his glass, and
the drops fell one by one.
Then I got to figgering who he was, and won-
dering \\hat he'd do,
And I turned my head and there watching
him was the lady that's known as Lou.



His eyes went rubbering round the room, and
he seemed in a kind of daze,
'Till at last that old piano fell in the way of his
wandering gaze.





THE SHOOTING OF DAN IMcGREW

The rag-time kid was having a drink; there
was no one else on the stool,
So the stranger stumbles across the room, and
flops down there like a fool.
In a buckskin shirt that was glazed with dirt
he sat, and I saw him sway;
Then he clutched the keys with his talon hands
-my God! but that man could play.


Were you ever out in the Great Alone, when the
moon was awful clear,
And the icy mountains hemmed you in with a
silence \ou most could hear;
With only the howl of a timber nolf, and you
camped there in the cold,
A half-dead thing in a stark, dead world, clean
mad for the muck called gold;
while e high overhead, green, yellow and red,
the North Lights swept in bars? -
Then you've a haunch what the music meant.
. hunger and night and the stars.


And hunger not of the belly kind, that's ban-
ished with bacon and beans,
57






THE SHOOTING OF DAN MIcGREW

But the gnawing hunger of lonely men for a
home and all that it means:
For a fireside far from the cares that are, four
valls and a roof above;
But oh! so cramful of cosy joy, and crowned
with a woman's love -
A woman dearer than all the world, and true
as Heaven is true-
(God! how ghastly she looks through her
rouge,- mne lady that's known as Lou.)




Then on a sudden the music changed, so soft
that you scarce could hear;
But you felt that sour life had been looted clean
of all that it once held dear;
That someone had stolen the woman )ou loved;
that her love was a devil's lie;
That your guts were gone, and the best for you
was to crawl away and die.
'Twas the crowning cry of a heart's despair,
and it thrilled you through and through -
"I guess I'll make it a spread misere," said
Dangerous Dan McGrew.
58





THE SHOOTING OF DAN MIcGREW

The music almost died awa . then it burst
like a pent-up blood;
And it seemed to say, Repa., repay," and my
eyes were blind with blood.
The thought came back of an ancient wrong,
and it stung like a frozen lash,
And the last awoke to kill, to kill . then
the music stopped with a crash,
And the stranger turned, and his eyes they
burned in a most peculiar way;
In a buckskin shirt that was glazed with dirt
he sat, and I saw him sway;
Then his lips went in in a kind of grin, and he
spoke, and his voice was calm,
And Boys," says he, you don't know me,
and none of you care a damn;
But I want to state, and my words are straight,
and I'll bet my poke the 're true,
That one of you is a hound of hell . and
that one is Dan McGrew."




Then I ducked my head, and the lights went
out, and two guns blazed in the dark,
59






THE SHOOTING OF DAN I\cGREW

And a woman screamed, and the lights went up,
and two men lay stiff and stark.
Pitched on his head, and pumped full of lead,
was Dangerous Dan NIGrew,
While the man from the creeks lay clutched to
the breast of the lady that's knnon as Lou.


These are the simple facts of the case, and I
guess I ought to know.
They say that the stranger was crazed with
hooch," and I'm not denying it's so.
I'm not so w~ise as the lawyer guys, but strictly
between us two -
The woman that kissed him and-pinched his
poke was the lady that's known as Lou.












THE CREMATION OF SAM McGEE

There are .~trianCe things done in lc inidnight

By the itirn wi ho moil for gold;
The .reiie trails ha'e th ir ecret t alcs
Thai :c mild make your blood rtun cold;
The Norihern LigIhti ha.', s een queer igihts,
But the iqucresi they ever did see
II'as that nii;ht on the marge of Lake Lebaiye
I cremnatdl Saim McGee.


Now Sam NIcGee was from Tennessee, where
the cotton blooms and blows.
Why he left his home in the South to roam
'round the Pole, God only knows.
He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed
to hold him like a spell;
Though he'd often say in his homely way that
he'd sooner live in hell."
61






THE CREMATION OF SAM MIcGEE

On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way
over the Dawson trail.
Talk of your cold! through the parka's fold it
stabbed like a driven nail.
If our eyes we'd close, then the lashes froze till
sometimes e c couldn't see;
It wasn't much fun, but the only one to whimper
was Sam McGee.



And that very night, as we lay packed tight in
our robes beneath the snow,
And the dogs were fed, and the stars o'erhead
were dancing heel and toe,
He turned to me, and Cap," says he, I'll cash
in this trip, I guess;
And if I do, I'm asking that )ou won't refuse my
last request."



Well, he seemed so low that I couldn't say no;
then he says with a sort of moan :
" It's the cursed cold, and it's got right hold till
I'm chilled clean through to the bone.






THE CREMATION OF SAM McGEE

Yet 'tain't being dead it's my a\ ful dread of
the icy grave that pains;
So I want \ou to snear that, foul or fair, you'll
cremate my last remains."



A pal's last need is a thing to heed, so I swore
I would not fail:
And %\e starred on at the streak of dawn; but
God! he looked ghastly pale.
He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day
of his home in Tennessee:
And before nightfall a corpse was all that was
left of Sam McGee.



There wasn't a breath in that land of death, and
I hurried, horror-driven,
With a corpse half hid that I couldn't get rid,
because of a promise given;
It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say:
You may tax your brawn and brains,
But you promised true, and it's up to you to
cremate those last remains."
63






THE CREMATION OF SAM McGEE

Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the
trail has its own stern code.
In the days to come, though my lips were dumb,
in mi heart how I cursed that load.
In the long, long night, by the lone firelight,
w while the huskies, round in a ring,
Howled out their woes to the homeless snows
O God! how I loathed the thing.



And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy
and heavier grow ;
And on I went, though the dogs were spent and
the grub was getting lo ;
The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, but I
swore I would not give in;
And I'd often sing to the hateful thing, and it
hearkened with a grin.



Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and
a derelict there lay;
It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it
was called the Alice May."
64






THE CREMATION OF SAM McGEE

And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I
looked at my frozen chum;
Then Here," said I, 1 ith a sudden cry, is
my cre-ma-tor-eum."



Some planks I tore from the cabin floor, and I
lit the boiler tire;
Some coal I found that was Iking around, and I
heaped the f.el higher;
The flames just soared, and the furnace roared
such a blaze you seldom see:
And I burrowed a hole in the gloh ing coal, and
I studed in Sam MlcGee.



Then I made a hike, for I didn't like to hear him
sizzle so;
And the heavens sco\"led, and the huskies
ho led, and the wind began to blow.
It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled do\mn my
cheeks, and I don't know wvhy;
And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went
streaking do,%n the sky.
6s






THE CREMATION OF SAM McGEE

I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled
with grisly lear;
But the stars came out and they danced about
.re again I ventured near;
I was sick with dread, but I bravely said: I'll
just take a peep inside.
I guess he's cooked, and it's time I looked ";...
then the door I opened wide.



And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the
heart of the furnace roar:
And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and
he said: Please close that door.
It's fine in here, but I greatly fear you'll let in
the cold and storm -
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it's
the first time I've been warm."



There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men wlEho modl for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;






THE CREMATION OF SAIM McGEE

The Northlern L.ihts have .cen queer .iiglhts,
But the queerest they ever did see
If'as that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam AMcGee.











MY MADONNA


I haled me a woman from the street,
Shameless, but, oh, so fair!
I bade her sit in the model's seat
And I painted her sitting there.

I hid all trace of her heart unclean;
I painted a babe at her breast;
I painted her as she might have been
If the Worst had been the Best.

She laughed at my picture and went away.
Then came, with a knowing nod,
A connoisseur, and I heard him say;
"'Tis Mary, the Mother of God."

So I painted a halo round her hair,
And I sold her and took my fee,
And she hangs in the church of Saint Hillaire,
Where you and all may see.
68












UNFORGOTTEN


I know a garden where the lilies gleam,
And one who lingers in the sunshine there;
She is than white-stoled lily far more fair,
And oh, her eyes are heaven-lit with dream


I know a garret, cold and dark and drear,
And one who toils and toils with tireless pen,
Until his brave, sad eyes grow weary -then
He seeks the stars, pale, silent as a seer.


And ah, it's strange; for, desolate and dim,
Between these two there rolls an ocean wide;
Yet he is in the garden by her side
And she is in the garret there with him.













THE RECKONING


It's fine to have a blow-out in a fancy restau.
rant,
With terrapin and canvas-back and all the wine
you want;
To enjoy the flowers and music, watch the
pretty women pass,
Smoke a choice cigar, and sip the wealthy
water in your glass.
It's bully in a high-toned joint to eat and drink
your fill,
But it's quite another matter when you
Pay the bill.




it's great to go out every night on fun or
pleasure bent;
To wear your glad rags always and to never
save a cent;






THE RECKONING


To drift along regardless, have a good time
every trip;
To hit the high spots sometimes, and to let sour
chances slip;
To know you're acting foolish, yet to go on
fooling still,
Till Nature calls a show-down, and you
Pay the bill.


Time has got a little bill get wise while yet
you may,
For the debit side's increasing in a most alarm-
ing way;
The things .ou had no right to do, the things
you should have done,
They're all put down; it's up to you to pay for
every one.
So eat, drink and be merry, have a good time
if you will,
But God help you when the time comes, and you
Foot the bill.











QUATRAINS


One said: Thy life is thine to make or mar,
To flicker feebly, or to soar, a star;
It lies with thee the choice is thine, is thine,
To hit the ties or drive thy auto-car.



I answered Her: The choice is mine ah, no!
We all were made or marred long, long ago.
The parts are written; hear the super wail:
"Who is stage-managing this cosmic show?"



Blind fools of fate and slaves of circumstance,
Life is a fiddler, and ve all must dance.
From gloom where mocks that will-o'-wisp,
Free-will
I heard a voice cry: "' Say, give us a chance."
72






QUATRAINS


Chance! Oh, there is no chance The scene
is set.
Up with the curtain! Mlan, the marionette,
Resumes his part. The gods will work the
wires.
They've got it all down fine, you bet, you berl


It's all decreed the mighty earthquake crash,
The countless constellations' heel and Hash;
The rise and fall of empires, war's red tide;
The composition of your dinner hash.


There's no haphazard in this world of ours.
Cause and effect are grim, relentless powers.
They rule the world. (A king was shot last
night;
Last night I held the joker and both bowers.)


From out the mesh of face our heads we thrust.
We can't do what we would, but what we must.
Heredity has got us in a cinch -
(Consoling thought when you've been on a
bust.")






QUATRAINS

Hark to the song where spheral voices blend:
" There's no beginning, never will be end."
It makes us nutty; hang the astral chimes!
The tables spread; come, let us dine, my friend.












THE MEN THAT DON'T FIT IN,

There's a race of men that don't fit in,
A race that can't stay still:
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.
They range the ficld and they rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain's crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don't know how to rest.




If they just went straight they might go far;
They are strong and brave and true;
But they're always tired of the things that are,
And they want the strange and new.
They say: Could I ind my proper groove,
\\hat a deep mark I -would make! "
So they chop and change, and each fresh move
Is only a fresh mistake.
75






THE MEN THAT DON'T FIT IN

And each forgets, as he strips and runs
With a brilliant, fitful pace,
It's the steady, quiet, plodding ones
Who win in the lifelong race.
And each forgets that his youth has fled,
Forgets that his prime is past,
Till he stands one day, with a hope that's dead,
In the glare of the truth at last.


He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his
chance;
He has just done things by half.
Life's been a jolly good joke on him,
And now is the time to laugh.
Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
He was never meant to \ in;
He's a rolling stone, and it's bred in the bone;
He's a man who won't fir in.











MUSIC IN THE BUSH


O'er the dark pines she sees the silver moon,
And in the west, all tremulous, a star;
And soothing sweet she hears the mellow tune
Of cow-bells jangled in the fields afar.




Quite listless, for her daily stent is done,
She stands, sad exile, at her rose-wreathed
door,
And sends her love eternal with the sun
That goes to gild the land she'll see no more.



The grave, gaunt pines imprison her sad gaze,
All still the sky and darkling drearily:
She feels the chilly breath of dear, dead days
Come sifting through the alders eerily.
77






MUSIC IN THE BUSH


Oh, how the roses riot in their bloom!
The curtains stir as with an ancient pain;
Her old piano gleams from out the gloom
And waits and waits her tender touch in vain.



But now her hands like moonlight brush the keys
With velvet grace melodious delight;
And now a sad refrain from over seas
Goes sobbing on the bosom of the night;



And now she sings. (0! singer in the gloom,
Voicing a sorrow we can ne'er express,
Here in the Farness where w\e few have room
Unshamed to show our love and tenderness,



Our hearts will echo, till they beat no more,
That song of sadness and of motherland:
And, stretched in deathless love to England's
shore,
Some day she'll hearken and she'll under-
stand.)






SIUSIC IN THE BUSH


A prima-donna in the shining past,
But now a mother growing old and gray,
She thinks of how she held a people fast
In thrall, and gleaned the triumphs of a day.



She sees a sea of faces like a dream;
She sees herself a queen of song once more;
She sees lips part in rapture, eyes agleam;
She sings as never once she sang before.



She sings a wild, swect song that throbs with
pain,
The added pain of life that transcends art -
A song of home, a deep, celestial strain,
The glorious swan-song of a dying heart.



A lame tramp comes along the railway track,
A grizzled dog whosc day is nearly done;
He passes, pauses, then comes slolvy back
And listens there an audience of one.






MUSIC IN THE BUSH

She sings her golden voice is passion-fraught,
As when she charmed a thousand eager ears;
He listens trembling, and she knows it not,
And down his hollow cheeks roll bitter tears.



She ceases and is still, as if to pray;
There is no sound, the stars are all alight-
Only a wretch who stumbles on his way,
Only a vagrant sobbing in the night.












THE RHYME OF THE REMIT-
TANCE MAN


There's a four-pronged buck a-svinging in the
shadow of my cabin,
And it roamed the velvet valley till to-day;
But I tracked it by the river, and I trailed it in
the cover,
And I killed it on the mountain miles away.
Now I've had my lazy supper, and the level
sun is gleaming
On the water where the silver salmon play;
And I light my little corn-cob, and I linger,
softly dreaming,
In the twilight, of a land that's far away.



Far away, so faint and far, is flaming London,
fevered Paris,
That I fancy I have gained another star;
81






RHYME OF THE REMITTANCE MlAN

Far away the din and hurry, far away the sin
and wor-y,
Far away -God knows they cannot be too
far.
Gilded galley-slaves of Mammon how my
purse-proud brothers taunt me!
I might have been as well-to-do as they
Had I clutched like them my chances,
learned their wisdom, crushed my
fancies,
Starved my soul and gone to business every
day.


Well, the cherry bends with blossom and the
vivid grass is springing,
And the star-like lily nestles in the
green;
And the frogs their joys are singing, and my
heart in tune is ringing,
And it doesn't matter what I might have
been.
While above the scented pine-gloom, piling
heights of golden glory,
The sun-god paints his canvas in the west,






RHYME OF THE REMITTANCE MAN

I can couch me deep in clover, I can listen to
the story
Of the lazy, lapping water -it is best.


While the trout leaps in the river, and the blue
grouse thrills the cover,
And the frozen snow betrays the panther's
track,
And the robin greets the dayspring with the
rapture of a lover,
I am happy, and I'll nevermore go back.
For I know I'd just be longing for the little old
log cabin,
With the morning-glorN clinging to the door,
Till I loathed the city places, cursed the care
on all the faces,
Turned my back on lazar London evermore.


So send me far from Lombard Street, and write
me down a failure;
Put a little in my purse and leave e me free.
Say: "He turned from Fortune's olHering to
follow up a pale lure,
He is one of us no longer -let him be."






RHYME OF THE REMITTANCE MAN

I am one of you no longer; by the trails my feet
have broken,
The dizzy peaks I've scaled, the camp-tire's
glow;
By the lonely seas I've sailed in yea, the final
word is spoken,
I am signed and sealed to nature. Be it so.












THE LOW-DOWN WHITE


This is the pay-day up at the mines, when the
bearded brutes come down;
There's money to burn in the streets to-night,
so I've sent my klooch to town,
With a haggard face and a ribband of red en-
twined in her hair of brown.





And I know at the dawn she'll come reeling
home with the bottles, one, two, three -
One for herself, to drown her shame, and two
big bottles for me,
To make me forget the thing I am and the ma&
I used to be.






THE LO\W-DOWN WHITE


To make me forget the brand of the dog, as I
crouch in this hideous place;
To make me forget once I kindled the light of
love in a lady's face,
Where even the squalid Siwvash now holds me
a black disgrace.




Oh, I have guarded my secret well! And nho
would dream as I speak
In a tribal tongue like a rogue unhung, 'mid the
ranch-house filth and reek,
I could roll to bed with a Latin phrase and rise
with a verse of Greek?




Yet I was a senior prizeman once, and the pride
of a college eight;
Called to the bar my friends were true! but
they could not keep me straight;
Then came the divorce, and I went abroad and
died on the River Plate.
86






THE LOW-DO\VN \\'HIIE


But I'm not dead \et; though with half a lung
there isn't time to spare,
And I hope that the year will see me out, and,
thank God, no one will care-
Save maybe the little slim Si\~ash girl with the
rose of shame in her hair.


She will come with the dawn, and the dawn is
near: I can see its evil glow,
Like a corpse-light seen through a frosty pane
in a night of want and woe:
And yonder she comes by the bleak bull-pines,
swift staggering through the snow.











THE LITTLE OLD LOG CABIN


When a man gits on his uppers in a hard-pan
sort of town,
An' he ain't got nothing' coming' an' he can't
afford ter ear,
An' he's in a Lfx for lodgin' an' he wanders up
an' down,
An' you'd fancy he'd been boozin', he's so
locoed 'bout the feet;
When he's feeling' sneakin' sorry an' his belt is
hangin' slack,
An' his face is peaked an' gray-like an' his
heart gits down an' whines,
Then he's apt ter git a-thinkin' an' a-wishin' he
was back
In the little ol' log cabin in the shadder of
the pines.






THE LITTLE OLD LOG CABIN

When he's on the blazin' desert an' his canteen's
sprung a leak,
An' he's all alone an' crazy an' he's crawling'
like a snail,
An' his tongue's so black an' swollen that it
hurts him fer to speak,
An' lie gouges down fer water an' the raven's
on his trail;
\'hen he's done with care and cursin' an' he
feels more like to cry,
An' he sees ol' Death a-grinnin' an' he thinks
upon his crimes,
Then he's like ter hev' a vision, as he settles
down ter die,
Of the little ol' log cabin an' the roses an'
the vines.




Oh, the little ol' log cabin, it's a solemn shinin'
mark,
When a feller gits ter sinnin' an' a-goin' ter
the wall,
An' folks don't understand him an' he's gropin'
in the dark,






THE LITTLE OLD LOG CABIN

An' he's sick of bein' cursed at an' he's
longin' fer his call!
When the sun of life's a-sinkin' you can see it
'way above,
On the hill from out the shadder in a glory
'gin the sky,
An' your mother's voice is calling an' her arms
are stretched in love,
An' somehow you're glad you're goin', an'
you ain't a-scared to die;
When you'll be like a kid again an' nestle to
her breast,
An' never leave its shelter, an' forget, an' love,
an' rest.












THE YOUNGER SON


If you leave the gloom of London and you seek
a glowing land,
Where all except the flag is strange and new,
There's a bronzed and stalwart fellow who will
grip you by the hand,
And greet you with a welcome warm and
true;
For he's your younger brother, the one you
sent away
Because there wasn't room for him at home;
And now he's quite contented, and he's glad he
didn't stay,
And he's building Britain's greatness o'er the
foam.



When the giant herd is moving at the rising of
the sun,
And the prairie is lit with rose and gold,
91






THE YOUNGER SON


And the camp is all abustle, and the busy day's
begun,
He leaps into the saddle sure and bold.
Through the round of heat and hurry, through
the racket and the rout,
He rattles at a pace that nothing mars;
And when the night-wvinds whisper r and camp-
fires flicker out,
He is sleeping like a child beneath the stars.


When the wattle-blooms are drooping in the
sombre shed-oak glade,
And the breathless land is lying in a swoon,
He leaves his work a moment, leaning lightly
on his spade,
And he hears the bell-bird chime the Austral
noon.
The parrakeets are silent in the gum-tree by the
creek;
The ferny grove is sunshine-steeped and
still;
But the dew will gem the myrtle in the twilight
ere he seek
H is little lonely cabin on the hill.
92






THE YOUNGER SON


Around the purple, vine-clad slope the argent
river dreams;
The roses almost hide the house from view;
A snow-peak of the Winterberg in crimson
splendor gleams;
The shadow deepens down on the karroo.
He seeks the lily-scented dusk beneath the
orange tree;
His pipe in silence glows and fades and
glows;
And then two little maids come out and climb
upon his knee,
And one is like the lily, one the rose.


He sees his white sheep dapple o'er the green
New Zealand plain,
And where Vancouver's shaggy ramparts
frowin,
When the sunlight threads the pine-gloom he is
fighting might and main
To clinch the rivets of an Empire down.
You will ind him roiling, toiling, in the south
or in the west,
A child of nature, fearless, frank and free;





THE YOUNGER SON


And the warmest heart that beats for you is
beating in his breast,
And he sends you loyal greeting o'er the sea.


You've a brother in the army, you've another in
the Church;
One of you is a diplomatic swell;
You've had the pick of everything and left him
in the lurch,
And yet I think he's doing very well.
I'm sure his life is happy, and he doesn't envy
yours;
I know he loves the land his pluck has won:
And I fancy in the years unborn, while Eng-
land's fame endures,
She will -ome to bless with pride The
Younger Son.













THE MARCH OF THE DEAD

The cruel war was over oh, the triumph was
so sweet!
We watched the troops returning, through
our tears;
There was triumph, triumph, triumph down the
scarlet glittering street,
And you scarce could hear the music for the
cheers.
And you scarce could see the house-tops for the
flags that flew between;
The bells were pealing madly to the sky;
And everyone was shouting for the Soldiers of
the Queen,
And the glory of an age was passing by.



And then there came a shadow, swift and sud-
den, dark and drear;
The bells were silent, not an echo stirred.
95






THE MARCH OF THE DEAD


The flags were drooping sullenly, the men for-
got to cheer;
We waited, and we never spoke a word.
The sky grew darker, darker, till from out the
gloomy rack
There came a voice that checked the heart
with dread:
"Tear down, tear down your bunting now, and
hang up sable black;
They are coming-it's the Army of the
Dead."

They were coming, they were coming, gaunt and'
ghastly, sad and slow;
They were coming, all the crimson wrecks of
pride;
With faces seared, and cheeks red smeared, and
haunting eyes of woe,
And clotted holes the khaki couldn't hide.
Oh, the clammy brow of anguish! the livid,
foam-flecked lips!
The reeling ranks of ruin swept along!
The limb that trailed, the hand that failed, the
bloody finger tips!
And oh, the dreary rhythm of their song!
96






THE MARCH OF THE DEAD


" The) left us on the veldt-side, but we felt we
couldn't stop
On thi-, our England's crow ning festal day;
We're the men of Nlagersfontein, we're the men
of Spion Kop,
Colenso we're the men who had to pay.
We're the men "ho paid the blood-price. Shall
the grave he all our gain?
You owe us. Long and heavy is the score.
Then cheer us for our glory now, and cheer us
for our pain,
And cheer us as ye never cheered before."




The folks were white and stricken, and each
tongue seemed weighted with lead:
Each heart was clutched in hollow hand of ice;
And every eye was staring at the horror of the
dead,
The pity of the men who paid the price.
They were come, were come to mock us, in the
first flush of our peace;
Through writhing lips their teeth were all
agleam:






THE MARCH OF THE DEAD


They were coming in their thousands -oh,
would they never cease!
I closed my eyes, and then it was a dream.


There was triumph, triumph, triumph down the
scarlet gleaming street;
The town was mad; a man was like a boy.
A thousand flags were laming where the sky and
city meet;
A thousand bells were thundering the joy.
There was music, mirth and sunshine; but some
eyes shone with regret:
And while we stun with cheers our homing
braves,
O God, in Thy great mercy, let us nevermore
forget
The graves they left behind, the bitter graves.












"FIGHTING MAC"


A LIFE TRAGEDY

A pistol shot rings round and round the world:
In pitiful defeat a warrior lies.
A last defiance to dark Death is hurled,
A last wild challenge shocks the sunlit skies.
Alone he falls, with wide, wan, noeful eyes:
Eyes that could smile at death could not face
shame.


Alone, alone he paced his narrow room,
In the bright sunshine of that Paris day;
Saw in his thought the awful hand of doom;
Saw in his dream his glory pass away;
Tried in his heart, his wears heart, to pray:
"O God I who made me, give me strength to
face
The spectre of this bitter, black disgrace."
*






" FIGHTING MIAC"


The burn brawls darkly down the shaggy
glen;
The bee-kissed heather blooms around the
door;
He sees himself a barefoot boy again,
Bending o'er page of legendary lore.
He hears the pibroch, grips the red clay-
more,
Runs with the Fiery Cross, a clansman true,
Snorn kinsman of Rob Roy and Roderick
Dhu.





Eating his heart out with a wild desire,
One day, behind his counter trim and
near,
He hears a sound that sets his brain afire-
The Highlanders are marching down the
street.
Oh, how the pipes shrill out, the mad drums
beat!
" On to the gates of Hell, my Gordons gay I"
He flings his hated yardstick away.
1oo




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