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Robert Service: L'Envoi



Robert Service

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.