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Ballads of a Cheechako

Robert W. Service

Book Overview: 

Collection of poems.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Twas as if the earth had gaped too far and her stony jaws were fixt. Then the winter fell with a sudden swoop, and the heavy clouds sagged low, And earth and sky were blotted out in a whirl of driving snow. We were climbing up a glacier in the neck of a mountain pass, When the Dago Kid slipped down and fell into a deep crevasse. When we got him out one leg hung limp, and his brow was wreathed with pain, And he says: "'Tis badly broken, boys, and I'll never walk again. It's death for all if ye linger here, and that's no cursed lie; Go on, go on while the trail is good, and leave me down to die." He raved and swore, but we tended him with our uncouth, clumsy care. The camp-fire gleamed and he gazed and dreamed with a fixed and curious stare. Then all at once he grabbed my gun and he put it to his head, And he says: "I'll fix it for you, boys"—them are the words he said. So we sewed him up in. . . Read More

Community Reviews

If Service had written only the imperishable "The Shooting of Dan McGrew" and "The Cremation of Sam McGee," it would have been plenty. Most of his other Yukon poems are a little unimpressive once you've read those two. Bizarre to realize that he wound up spending years in Paris and Nice, played hims

Robert Service sought adventure throughout his life, and found the Alaskan gold rush as one of his most favorite subjects, returning to it time after time.

This, like sourdough bread, will have an audience certain and welcoming. There will be naysayers as well, as is true with all poetry. I found th

Even though I have read this collection before, I bought the 1909 edition and decided to reread it. I still enjoyed it. The ballads are all stories of character types that could be found in the frozen north during the Yukon gold rush. Stories can be—and often are— written in prose; however, the rhyt