L'Envoi (Songs of a Sourdough)

A poem by Robert William Service

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 must you follow and fight
Under the vampire wing;
There in the long, long night
Hoping and vanquishing.

Husbandmen 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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