L’Envoi

7 02 2012

As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to love the warm months of summer more than the challenging seasons of cooler weather.  Living in a snowy region near Canada, however, stirs my soul with the challenges of survival, rugged living, a bracing of oneself against the cold and snow.  And the call to carry on….

Robert Service (1874-1958) wrote hearty poetry about the Yukon, the high North and a different breed of men who journeyed West in the days of the Gold Rush.  It is winter and this poem fits the the season, the temperature and the soul of the pioneer.

                     L’Envoi

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.

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