Fantasist's Scroll

Fun, Fiction and Strange Things from the Desk of the Fantasist.

1/16/2005

Happy Birthday, Robert Service.

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

I know, you’re thinking, who?
Well, Robert W. Service is the poet who wrote “The Cremation of Sam Mcgee”. Still in the dark? That’s okay. I don’t think that Mr. Service is too well known anymore. I know him because of my father. Apparently, when my father was growing up one of the things that kids in school did was memorize and recite poetry. It was a competition along the lines of a spelling bee, from what he described. In any case, the poem that he memorized was, of course, “The Cremation of Sam Mcgee”. It’s a gruesome little tale about a man keeping his promise to a dying friend. A promise to cremate his remains in the frozen Yukon, in Winter, during the Gold Rush. Here’s a sample:

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.

You can see how that might grab a young man’s attention, eh? Especially, when his father introduces him to it. Well, if you click on the link, you can read the rest for yourself. I think it’s worth it.

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