Sunday, April 27, 2014

Robert Service - Poetry

Another poem that I haven't heard of.  Another poet unknown to me.  This poem is by Robert Service and it's called 'The Cremation of Sam McGee'.  It's too long to give the entire thing but the full thing can be found here.  I recommend that you read the whole deal.

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold'
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

Now Sam McGee 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 in a spell;
Though he'd often say in his homely way
that he'd sooner live in Hell.

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 we 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 stars o'erhead
were dancing heel and toe,
He turned to me, and said "Cap," says he,
"I'll cash in this trip, I guess;
And if I do, I'm asking that you
won't refuse my last request."

That's as much as I'll share.  But do go over and read the whole deal.  It's a pretty good yarn and I'm going to try and share it with the kids.  See if they enjoy it.
This isn't a beautiful poem.  Not the kind that sings.  But the rhymes are comfortable and the story is wonderful.  I never seem to hear tall tales anymore.  Have they gone extinct and out of fashion?  A sad thing if they have.  

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