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ROBERT WILLIAM SERVICE
Canadian traveler, poet and man of letters
(1874 - 1958)
  CHECK READING LIST (1)  

It's easy to fight when everything's right
  And you're mad with the thrill and the glory;
    It's easy to cheer when victory's near,
      And wallow in fields that are gory.
        It's a different song when everything's wrong,
          When you're feeling infernally mortal;
            When it's ten against one, and hope there is none,
              Buck up, little soldier, and chortle!
      - Carry On [War]

This is the law of the Yukon, that only the Strong shall survive;
  That surely the Weak shall perish, and only the Fit survive.
    Dissolute, damned and despairful, crippled and palsied and slain,
      This is the Will of the Yukon,--Lo, how she makes it plain!
      - Law of the Yukon [Nature : Yukon]

Master, I've filled my contract, wrought in Thy many lands;
  Not by my sins wilt Thou judge me, but by the work of my hands.
    Master, I've done Thy bidding, and the light is low in the west,
      And the long, long shift is over . . . Master, I've earned it--Rest.
      - Song of the Wage Slave [Rest]

There's a land where the mountains are nameless
  And the rivers all run God knows where;
    There are lives that are erring and aimless,
      And deaths that just hang by a hair;
        There are hardships that nobody reckons;
          There are valleys unpeopled and still;
            There's a land--oh, it beckons and beckons,
              And I want to go back--and I will.
      - Spell of the Yukon [Yukon]

The lonely sunsets flare forlorn
  Down valleys dreadly desolate;
    The lonely mountains soar in scorn
      As still as death, as stern as fate.
      - The Land God Forgot [Sunset]

And each forgets, as he strips and runs
  With a brilliant, fitful pace,
    It's the steady, quiet, plodding ones
      Who win in the lifelong race.
        And each forgets that his youth has fled,
          Forgets that his prime is past,
            Till he stands one day, with a hope that's dead,
              In the glare of the truth at last.
      - The Men That Don't Fit In [Failure]

When children's children shall talk of War as a madness that may not be;
  When we thank our God for our grief today, and blazon from sea to sea
    In the name of the Dead the banner of Peace
      . . . that will be Victory.
      - The Song of the Pacifist [War]

Alas! the road to Anywhere is pitfalled with disaster;
  There's hunger, want, and weariness, yet O we loved it so!
    As on we tramped exultantly, and no man was our master,
      And no man guessed what dreams were ours, as, swinging heel and toe,
        We tramped the road to Anywhere, the magic road to Anywhere,
          The tragic road to Anywhere, such dear, dim years ago.
      - The Tramps [Arcadia]


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