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Mr. Mcgee

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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.
 
Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.
Why he left his home in the South to roam 'round the Pole, God only knows.
He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;
Though he'd often say in his homely way that "he'd sooner live in ****."
 
On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.
Talk of your cold! through the parka's fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
If our eyes we'd close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn't see;
It wasn't much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.
 
And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow,
And the dogs were fed, and the stars o'erhead were dancing heel and toe,
He turned to me, and "Cap," says he, "I'll cash in this trip, I guess;
And if I do, I'm asking that you won't refuse my last request."
 
Well, he seemed so low that I couldn't say no; then he says with a sort of moan:
"It's the cursèd cold, and it's got right hold till I'm chilled clean through to the bone.
Yet 'tain't being dead—it's my awful dread of the icy grave that pains;
So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you'll cremate my last remains."
 
A pal's last need is a thing to heed, so I swore I would not fail;
And we started on at the streak of dawn; but God! he looked ghastly pale.
He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day of his home in Tennessee;
And before nightfall a corpse was all that was left of Sam McGee.
 
There wasn't a breath in that land of death, and I hurried, horror-driven,
With a corpse half hid that I couldn't get rid, because of a promise given;
It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say: "You may tax your brawn and brains,
But you promised true, and it's up to you to cremate those last remains."
 
Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the trail has its own stern code.
In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart how I cursed that load.
In the long, long night, by the lone firelight, while the huskies, round in a ring,
Howled out their woes to the homeless snows— O God! how I loathed the thing.
 
And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy and heavier grow;
And on I went, though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low;
The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, but I swore I would not give in;
And I'd often sing to the hateful thing, and it hearkened with a grin.
 
Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay;
It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the "Alice May."
And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum;
Then "Here," said I, with a sudden cry, "is my cre-ma-tor-eum."
 
Some planks I tore from the cabin floor, and I lit the boiler fire;
Some coal I found that was lying around, and I heaped the fuel higher;
The flames just soared, and the furnace roared—such a blaze you seldom see;
And I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in Sam McGee.
 
Then I made a hike, for I didn't like to hear him sizzle so;
And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow.
It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks, and I don't know why;
And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went streaking down the sky.
 
I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear;
But the stars came out and they danced about ere again I ventured near;
I was sick with dread, but I bravely said: "I'll just take a peep inside.
I guess he's cooked, and it's time I looked"; ... then the door I opened wide.
 
And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar;
And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and he said: "Please close that door.
It's fine in here, but I greatly fear you'll let in the cold and storm—
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it's the first time I've been warm."
 
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.
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Tractor wouldn't start last night, so I ended up pitching feed up to the bunks. So darn cold no one even came to eat, they stayed hidden in the loose housing. Working away and I thought about the story Dad used to read to me as a kid all the time. Thought some of you might enjoy it

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Thank you, and the Mercury is dropping here again.  

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This got re-worded for that Antarctic expedition that got stuck a while back

The Ice That Wasn't There

Ruth

January 2, 2014 at 9:04 pm

Here is something I wrote on JoNova’s blog:
Thanks to Robert W Service for the inspiration!


There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for fame;
The Climate Change has bedfellows strange
That would make your brain go lame;
The Southern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did bear
Was the climate geeks on the Akademik
Who got stuck in the ice-not-there.
Now Chris Turney was from New South Wee, where the gum tree stands and grows
Why he left his home in the South to roam ‘round the Pole, God only knows.
He was always hot, (no matter what), and often channelled Mao;
And he’d often say in his arrogant way “The Ice has Melted now.”
On Christmas Eve with Argo’s leave they were slow to find the trail
Talk of your cold! Through the parka’s fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
If eyes they’d close, then their lashes froze till sometimes they couldn’t see;
It wasn’t much fun, but the only one to tweet was Chris Turney.
And that very night, they got a fright – their ship was in sea ice;
And the blogs were read, and the wind they said was blowing up a vice;
Chris Turney claimed it was “Climate Change” – the Ice had Up and Went;
The rest had napped and they were trapped in their own experiment.
“Sea ice has waned due to climate change, but here it’s building up!
We have found this has changed – they all explained, there’s fresh water all about!
And don’t you know, the seawater below, well, we can almost drink it.
This ice which packs will have impacts so fast – you wouldn’t think it.”
The Snow Dragon and had also come, and got stuck in the same sea ice;
The Astrolabe tried and Turney cried so they hailed the Australis.
The sea ice grew and tempers brewed, and those onboard got sick;
The wind was blamed on Climate Change; that’s why the ice was thick!
The days went by and my oh my; the media had dissed
The simple fact the ship was packed with climate scientists!
They tried to show the melting snow would strike our hearts with fear
And we would back the carbon tax – if truth was far, not near.
Now a promise made is a debt unpaid and the sea has its own stern code.
In the days to come – though the papers were stum, we learned to love that load
Of childish geeks and climate freaks who danced and sang and stuff.
They howled their woes to ice and snow, and proved their warming bluff.
The choppers came and came again – the rescue on and off;
The Australis and the Chinese ship were struggling in a trough
Of water cold near the South Pole so they could pluck them out
Of their own vice in the snow and ice – “not supposed to be about.”
These scientists were more like kids when they begged for help from Watts;
To give the fools some weather tools, to extract them from a spot
Of danger here and trouble there – to save them from themselves!
The choppers came in just in time to pluck from icy shelves.
There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for fame;
The Climate Change has bedfellows strange
That would make your brain go lame;
The Southern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did bear
Was the climate geeks on the Akademik
Who got stuck in the ice-not-there.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/02/the-cause-of-the-akademik-shokalskiy-getting-stuck-in-antarctica-sigtseeing-mishaps-and-dawdling-by-the-passengers-getting-back-on-ship/#comment-1165100

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