by Robert Service (1874 - 1958)

Language: English 
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.

Confirmed with The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses, New York, Barse & Hopkins, 1907, pages 125-126.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Andrew Schneider [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2019-11-10
Line count: 32
Word count: 165