The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses

by
Robert W. Service

The Lure of Little Voices


There's a cry from out the loneliness --
  oh, listen, Honey, listen!
Do you hear it, do you fear it, you're a-holding of me so?
You're a-sobbing in your sleep, dear,
  and your lashes, how they glisten --
Do you hear the Little Voices all a-begging me to go?

All a-begging me to leave you.
  Day and night they're pleading, praying,
On the North-wind, on the West-wind,
  from the peak and from the plain;
Night and day they never leave me --
  do you know what they are saying?
"He was ours before you got him, and we want him once again."

Yes, they're wanting me, they're haunting me,
  the awful lonely places;
They're whining and they're whimpering as if each had a soul;
They're calling from the wilderness,
  the vast and God-like spaces,
The stark and sullen solitudes that sentinel the Pole.

They miss my little camp-fires, ever brightly, bravely gleaming
In the womb of desolation, where was never man before;
As comradeless I sought them, lion-hearted, loving, dreaming,
And they hailed me as a comrade, and they loved me evermore.

And now they're all a-crying, and it's no use me denying;
The spell of them is on me and I'm helpless as a child;
My heart is aching, aching, but I hear them, sleeping, waking;
It's the Lure of Little Voices, it's the mandate of the Wild.

I'm afraid to tell you, Honey, I can take no bitter leaving;
But softly in the sleep-time from your love I'll steal away.
Oh, it's cruel, dearie, cruel,
  and it's God knows how I'm grieving;
But His loneliness is calling, and He knows I must obey.



©1907 Robert W. Service

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