PRELUDE The north wind is keening overhead. It minds me of the howl of a wolf-dog under the Arctic stars. Sitting alone by the glow of the great peat fire I can hear it high up in the braeside firs. It is the voice, inexorably scornful, of the Great White Land. Oh, I hate it, I hate it! Why cannot a man be allowed to forget? It is near ten years since I joined the Eager Army. I have travelled: I have been a pilgrim to the shrines of beauty; I... more...

The Land God Forgot The lonely sunsets flare forlornDown valleys dreadly desolate;The lordly mountains soar in scornAs still as death, as stern as fate.The lonely sunsets flame and die;The giant valleys gulp the night;The monster mountains scrape the sky,Where eager stars are diamond-bright.So gaunt against the gibbous moon,Piercing the silence velvet-piled,A lone wolf howls his ancient rune —The fell arch-spirit of the Wild.O outcast... more...

THE LAW OF THE YUKON This is the law of the Yukon, and ever she makes it plain:"Send not your foolish and feeble; send me your strong and your sane.Strong for the red rage of battle; sane, for I harry them sore;Send me men girt for the combat, men who are grit to the core;Swift as the panther in triumph, fierce as the bear in defeat,Sired of a bulldog parent, steeled in the furnace heat.Send me the best of your breeding, lend me your chosen... more...

RHYMES OF A ROLLING STONE Prelude I sing no idle songs of dalliance days,No dreams Elysian inspire my rhyming;I have no Celia to enchant my lays,No pipes of Pan have set my heart to chiming.I am no wordsmith dripping gems divineInto the golden chalice of a sonnet;If love songs witch you, close this book of mine,Waste no time on it.Yet bring I to my work an eager joy,A lusty love of life and all things human;Still in me leaps the wonder of the... more...

Foreword I've tinkered at my bits of rhymesIn weary, woeful, waiting times;In doleful hours of battle-din,Ere yet they brought the wounded in;Through vigils of the fateful night,In lousy barns by candle-light;In dug-outs, sagging and aflood,On stretchers stiff and bleared with blood;By ragged grove, by ruined road,By hearths accurst where Love abode;By broken altars, blackened shrinesI've tinkered at my bits of rhymes.I've solaced me with scraps... more...

CONTENTS OF FIRST LINES: To the Man of the High NorthMy rhymes are rough, and often in my rhymingMen of the High NorthMen of the High North, the wild sky is blazing;The Ballad of the Northern LightsOne of the Down and Out—that's me. Stare at me well, ay, stare!The Ballad of the Black Fox SkinThere was Claw-fingered Kitty and Windy Ike living the life of shame,The Ballad of Pious PeteI tried to refine that neighbor of mine, honest to God, I... more...