To the Man of the High North

by Robert W. Service

My rhymes are rough, and often in my rhyming I've drifted, silver-sailed, on seas of dream, Hearing afar the bells of Elfland chiming, Seeing the groves of Arcadie agleam. I was the thrall of Beauty that rejoices From peak snow-diademed to regal star; Yet to mine aerie ever pierced the voices, The pregnant voices of the Things That Are. The Here, the Now, the vast Forlorn around us; The gold-delirium, the ferine strife; The lusts that lure us on, the hates that hound us; Our red rags in the patch-work quilt of Life. The nameless men who nameless rivers travel, And in strange valleys greet strange deaths alone; The grim, intrepid ones who would unravel The mysteries that shroud the Polar Zone. These will I sing, and if one of you linger Over my pages in the Long, Long Night, And on some lone line lay a calloused finger, Saying: "It's human-true--it hits me right"; Then will I count this loving toil well spent; Then will I dream awhile--content, content.