The Heart of the Sourdough
By: Robert Service
"Yukon" Jack McSherry, III
 
The Heart of the  Sourdough
 
There where the mighty mountians  bare their fangs unto the moon,
There where the sullen sun-dogs glare in the snow-bright, bitter noon,
And the glacier-glutted streams sweep down at the clarion call of June.
 
There where the livid tundras keep their tryst with the tranquil snows;
There where the silences are spawned, and the light of hell-fire flows
Into the bowl of the midnight sky, violet, amber and rose.
 
There where the rapids churn and roar, and the ice-floes bellowing run;
Where the tortured, twisted rivers of blood rush to the setting sun -
I've packed my kit and I'm going, boys, ere another day is done.
 
I knew it would call, or soon or late, as it calls the whirring wings;
It's the olden lure, it's the golden lure, it's the lure of the timeless things,
And to-night, oh, God of the trails untrod, how it whines in my heart-strings!
 
I'm sick to death of your well-groomed gods, your make-believe and your show;
I long for a whiff of bacon and beans, a snug shake-down in the snow,
A trail to break, and a life at stake, and another bout with the foe.
 
With the raw-ribbed Wild that abhors all life, the Wild that would crush and rend,
I have clinched and closed with the naked North, I have learned to defy and defend;
Shoulder to shoulder we have fought it out - yet the Wild must win in the end.
 
I have flouted the Wild. I have followed its lure, fearless, familiar, alone;
By all that the battle means and makes I claim that land for my own;
Yet the Wild must win, and a day will come when I shall be overthrown.
 
Then when as wolf-dogs fight we've fought, the  lean wolf-land and I;
Fought and bled till the snows are red under the reeling sky;
Even as lean wolf-dog goes down will I go down and die.
 
                                       R. Service
Service, Robert The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses, Philadelphia: Edward Stern & Co., Inc., 1911, Page 15 - 17
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