The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses by Robert W. ServiceThe collection of poetry is very, very dear to my heart. My father owned this book, and despite its weight, carried it with him any time he went rock climbing or back packing. Later, when we were children sitting at the campfire Dad would recite the longer poems to us- Cremation of Sam McGee, Spell of the Yukon, and the Shooting of Dan McGrew- all from memory. They were good times.
I eventually found the exact same copy type that my dad had carried with him all those years at a library sale. Now it sits proudly in my library.
Poetry is not normally for me, but Robert W. Service was an amazing man. His poetry is evocative and beautiful, but it’s never snobbish or confusing. It’s very straight forward. He was nick-named the People’s Poet, and I truly believe that anyone can enjoy his works. He panned for gold in the Yukon, he lived carefree in France as a Bohemian, and he served in the first World War as an ambulance man- the pain, love, action, and heroism of his life are all present in his poems.
I do enjoy some of his other collections, but Spell of the Yukon will always be one of the most important books in my life.
This book is offered for free as an eBook by Project Gutenberg, and is offered as an audiobook by Librivox.
The Cremation of Sam McGee
The Spell of the Yukon
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 that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge I cremated Sam McGee. 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. On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail. Talk of your cold! 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 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 you 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 Yet 'taint being dead-it's my awful dread of the icy grave that pains; So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you'll cremate my last remains.
Born in Lancashire, England to a bank cashier and an heiress, poet Robert William Service moved to Scotland at the age of five, living with his grandfather and three aunts until his parents moved to Glasgow four years later and the family reunited. He wrote Prose Home Harriet Blog. Visit Home Events Exhibitions Library. Newsletter Subscribe Give.
Life Early Life Robert W. Service was born in Preston, Lancashire, England, Click here to add this poet to your My Favorite Poets. Google paid for every week online work from home to dollars. It's really user friendly and I'm just so happy that I found out about it.. Also, I believe it may be a typo in the second stanza, third line, of Robert William Service's poem Resignation, to begin that line alone with a lowercase o - especially as the second line ends with a period. It should read: Or, as I wear my collars high, how laundry men would gloat!