This is a short poem about Sam McGee, a prospector from Tennessee during the Yukon gold rush who died on the trail. Sam McGee feared the icy grave and made his partner Cap promise to cremate him after his death. “A promise made is a debt unpaid” Cap reminds himself as he tells this story of the hardships, both physically and mentally, of fulfilling on the promise to cremate Sam McGee. Read more about his poem on Wikipedia.
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Robert Service was a poet and writer, sometimes referred to as “the Bard of the Yukon”. His writing was so expressive that his readers took him for a hard-bitten old Klondike prospector, not the late-arriving bank clerk he actually was. Read more about him on Wikipedia.