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arahlynda

Imagine That

I just love books.

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Speaks the Nightbird
Robert R. McCammon
The G.I. Diet Cookbook
Rick Gallop
Collected Poems - Robert W. Service

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.



Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms
and blows.
Why he left his home in the South to roam ‘round the Pole,
God only knows.
He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him like
a spell;
Though he’d often say in his homely way that “he’d sooner live
in hell.”

On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Daw-
son trail.
Talk of your cold! Through the parka’s fold it stabbed like a
driven nail.
If our eyes we’d close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we
couldn’t see;
It wasn’t much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam
McGee

And that very night as we lay packed tight in our robes be-
neath the snow,
And the dogs were fed, and the stars o’erhead were dancing
heel and toe,
He turned to me and “Cap” says he, “I’ll cash in this trip, I
guess;
And if I do I’m asking that you won’t refuse my last request.”

Well he seemed so low that I couldn’t say no, then he says with
a sort of moan:
“It’s the cursed cold, and it’s got right hold till I’m chilled clean
through to the bone.
Yet ‘tain’t being dead – it’s my awful dread of the icy grave
that pains;
So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you’ll cremate my last
remains.”

A pal’s last need is a thing to heed, so I swore I would not fail;
And we started on at the streak of dawn; but God! he looked
ghastly pale.
He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day of his home
in Tennessee;
And before nightfall a corpse was all that was left of Sam
McGee.

There wasn’t a breath in that land of death, and I hurried, horror-
driven,
With a corpse half hid that I couldn’t get rid, because of a
promise given;
It was lashed to the sleigh and it seemed to say: “You may tax
your brawn and brains,
But you promised true and it’s up to you to cremate those last
remains.”

Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the trail has its own
stern code.
In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart
how I cursed that load.
In the long, long night, by the lone firelight, while the huskies,
round in a ring,
Howled out their woes to the homeless snows – O God! how
I loathed the thing.

And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy and heavier
grow;
And on I went, though the dogs were spent and the grub, was
getting low;
The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, but I swore I would not
give in;
And I’d often sing to the hateful thing, and it hearkened with
a grin.

Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there
lay;
It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the
“Alice May.”
And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen
chum;
Then “Here,” said I, with a sudden cry, “ is my cre-ma-tor-eum.”

Some planks I tore from the cabin floor, and I lit the boiler
fire;
Some coal I found that was lying around, and I heaped the fuel
higher;
The flames just soared, and the furnace roared – such a blaze you
seldom see;
And I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in
Sam McGee

Then I made a hike, for I didn’t like to hear him sizzle so;
And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind
began to blow,
It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks, and I
don’t know why;
And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went streaking down
the sky.

I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear;
But the stars came out and they danced about ere again I ven-
tured near;
I was sick with dread, but I bravely said; “I’ll just take a peep
inside.
I guess he’s cooked and it’s time I looked”; . . . then the door
I opened wide.

And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the
furnace roar;
And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and he said: “Please
close that door.
It’s fine in here, but I greatly fear you’ll let in the cold and
storm –
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it’s the first time I’ve
been warm.”


There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.






Happy Canada Day Good Readers!