By Robert Service
Verses chronicling the Klondike gold rush and immortalizing the colourful characters of the Yukon Territory, selected from the author's previous collections "The spell of the Yukon" and "Ballads of a Cheechako".
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Stare at me well, aye, stare! 36 Comfort Say! . 46 Page vi The Ballad of Gum-Boot Ben He was an old prospector with a vision bleared and dim. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ? 112 The Lure of Little Voices There's a cry from out the lonelinessoh, listen, Honey, listen! . . . . . . .? . . . . . . . 155 Glossary 157 Page ix Preface Robert W. Service was born on January 14, 1874 in Preston, a city about 25 miles north-northeast of Liverpool, and spent his boyhood in Glasgow.
Then I woke my pals, and soft we swore by the mystic Silver Flail, Twas the hand of Fate, and to-morrow straight we would seek the lone moose trail. We watched the groaning ice wrench free, crash on with a hollow din; Men of the wilderness were we, freed from the taint of sin. The mighty river snatched us up and it bore us swift along; The days were bright, and the morning light was sweet with jewelled song. We poled and lined up nameless streams, portaged o'er hill and plain; We burnt our boat to save the nails, and built our boat again.
Little of them shall be said On to the Golden Valley! Pause not to bury the dead. Then there were days of drifting, breezes soft as a sigh; Night trailed her robe of jewels over the floor of the sky. Page 34 The moonlit stream was a python, silver, sinuous, vast, That writhed on a shroud of velvet well, it was done at last. There were the tents of Dawson, there the scar of the slide; Swiftly we poled o'er the shallows, swiftly leapt o'er the side. Fires fringed the mouth of Bonanza; sunset gilded the dome; The test of the trail was over thank God, thank God, we were Home!