Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MALAMUTE DOG OF ALASKA, by AMELIA WOODWARD TRUESDELL

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First Line: Thou, ruler and slave of the frozen plain!
Last Line: The snow-halls on valhalla's height.
Subject(s): Alaska; Animals; Hunting; Wilderness; Wolves; Hunters

Thou, ruler and slave of the frozen plain!
Thou, Malamute dog with the voice of pain!
Is it thine or a spirit's, that demon howl,
That snap and snarl, and whimpering growl
Which chills like the curse of the slain?

Thou wolf-faced thing with the jaws of steel
And the fangs that the blood-red lips reveal;
With appealing eyes which seem to entreat;
With thy thieving heart, and thy patient feet
For the trail where the snows congeal!

Thou wonder of blended good and ill!
What gives to thy tones that human thrill?
For war on the gods, condemned to thy form
Do vikings and dwarfs in the Arctic storm
Purgatorial penance fulfill?

Strange creature! Thy cry on the northern night
Wails forth beneath the Auroral light,
As if earth heard again the wild shriek of her woe
When Odin's life-blood stained the halls of snow,
The snow-halls on Valhalla's height.

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