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The Salvation of Sam 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 
That I shared with 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 hell". 

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, 
I heard him roll in the bitter cold away from the dogs and me,
And over the cries of the howling skies came the weeping of Sam McGee.

Now the arctic plain brings terrible pains, and my heart was smitten as well,
And I fixed my eyes on the coal-black skies when I felt we were close to hell.
But a southern gent of a certain bent has a heart that runs out of his eyes,
And with Sam McGee lying next to me it occured that he might be more wise.

So "Sam," said I, as I stared at the sky, away from his prying gaze,
"I might seem tough, but these trails get rough, and I've barely slept for days."
When you get so cold on the hunt for gold that your guts sink down to your toes,
You start to dream of a lot of strange means of trapping your heat from the snow.

Then Sam McGee stopped to listen to me, and he rolled so his eyes met mine,
And the only sound for a hectare around was the wind in the hollow pines.
Till finally, soft, like a creeping frost, I saw his cracked lips smile,
And I reached for his glove with the manful love that can keep a man sane for a while.

It's a nasty trick, when the ice runs thick, to cuddle without getting froze,
And I felt a chill that could frankly kill when he nuzzled my neck with his nose;
But we two clang tight, on that freezing night, under our rags and our shirts,
With the desparate hold of a pal in the cold, who digs in his nails till it hurts.

In the arctic gale, he was thin and pale, but his frame was hot with fear,
And I felt him blush at my clinging touch, as I drew him even more near.
But my body was live, and he couldn't hide, with our bodies so close in the wrap,
That Sam McGee had the same for me, though he stared like a vole in a trap.

So I lowered my arm where his hips were warm, and I clutched where it made him gasp,
And Sam McGee was as warm as me, though his heart beat awful fast.
Though his eyes went wide as I stroked the pride of my pal in the driving snow,
He could barely see as he did for me what the men of the Yukon know.

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 
That I shared with Sam McGee.