Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE YUKON'S SONG OF THE GOLD, by AMELIA WOODWARD TRUESDELL



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THE YUKON'S SONG OF THE GOLD, by            
First Line: Lo! We are the waters that come from afar
Last Line: The cañons of unsought gold.
Subject(s): California - Gold Discoveries; Gold; Hunting; Treasures; Yukon Territory; Gold Rush; Forty-niners; Hunters


Lo! We are the waters that come from afar,
From the heart of the earth so young, so old,
Whose life-blood flows from the granite and spar,—
The heart that lies under the northern star;
And we bring you the song of the ancient gold,
The waters' song of the gold.

In the cavern-retorts of the master-smith Time,
It seethed in the heat and crumbled in cold;
When the forests uplifted their giant prime
And the saurians trailed through the ooze and slime,
He still was annealing the molten gold,
The unsunned and the nameless gold.

Ere Thor was a thought or Odin spoke,
The gleaming quartz into billows rolled;
Then eternal silence in echoes awoke,
When the billows uplifted to crags and broke
In the terrible song of the crashing gold,
The song of the grinding gold.

We scraped it down with the glaciers' might
From cranny and crevice of mountain fold;
When the altar-flame of Auroral light
To a temple had turned the Arctic night,
Then the ether throbbed with our chant of the gold,
The psalm of our votive gold.

In the ice-dark caves our soul was stirred
As men called for our help in the cañon's hold;
Deep under the glaciers our name we heard,
In the secret springs we leaped at the word;
We shouted and sung the wild song of the gold,
The song of our waiting gold.

From the benches' wash in the river-sluice
A primitive man scooped the shining mould;
But our pebbles have taught you the riffles' use;
Rejoicing, we make you a play-day truce
To hunt from your sluice-box toys the gold,
Your trifle of captured gold.

Our strength we chain to their narrow bound,
But we scoff when you say we are bought and sold;
With a plunge and a flash, far below we are found
In the river our home; and the hills resound
With our fetterless song while you sweep up the gold,
While you gloat on the virgin gold.

When the pick on the river's bank is still
And men come not to the snow-lapped wold,
Then our song that was loosed at the primal thrill
Of chaos pulsed with the infinite Will,
Shall ring as at first through cañons of gold,
The cañons of unsought gold.





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