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Old 04-22-2011, 12:40 PM   #1
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Service, Robert W: The Trail of '98. V1. 22 Apr 2011

Robert William Service (January 16, 1874 – September 11, 1958) was a poet and writer who has often been called "the Bard of the Yukon". Service is best known for his poems "The Shooting of Dan McGrew" and "The Cremation of Sam McGee", from his first book, Songs of a Sourdough (1907; also published as The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses). "These humorous tales in verse were considered doggerel by the literary set, yet remain extremely popular to this day. "Songs of a Sourdough has sold more than three million copies, making it the most commercially successful book of poetry of the 20th century.

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Why should a man be ever shadowed by the vampire wing of his past? Have I not a right to be happy? Money, estate, name, are mine, all that means an open sesame to the magic door. Others go in, but I beat against its flinty portals with hands that bleed. No! I have no right to be happy. The ways of the world are open; the banquet of life is spread; the wonder-workers plan their pageants of beauty and joy, and yet there is no praise in my heart. I have seen, I have tasted, I have tried. Ashes and dust and bitterness are all my gain. I will try no more. It is the shadow of the vampire wing.
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