The Heart Of The Sourdough

27 03 2012

Like most fellow bloggers in the blogosphere, I like to monitor the traffic.  The longer I write, the more people stop by to read.  Oddly enough, I consistently get lots of hits from people who like poetry about the Yukon.

I’ve enjoyed the poetry of Robert Service ever since the late Jim Elliot, missionary and martyr to Equador’s Auca Indians, first introduced me to it in the late 1980’s via his biography, Shadow Of The Almighty: The Life And Testament Of Jim Elliot. Service’s poetry, like Jim Elliot himself, is rugged and adventurous, revealing the wildness and magnitude of God.

Anyway, here’s another Robert Service opus.  Enjoy!


The Heart of the Sourdough

There where the mighty mountains bare their fangs unto the moon,
There where 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-fire flows
Into the bowl of the midnight sky, violet, amber and rose.
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 another bout with the foe.
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 own;
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.

Image Credit




2 responses

28 03 2012
Kristin Barton Cuthriell

After reading your comment on Lead.Learn.Live., I decided to stop by your blog. You commented on Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled which is one of my favorite books. I love your writing and your illustrations, and I look forward to reading more of your blog.

28 03 2012
Christian Fahey

Thanks so much for stopping by Kristin! “The Road Less Traveled” is one of the most important books I’ve read in the past 30 years. I hope the blog is a helpful addition to your day!

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