Robert William Service
The Lone Trail
Ye who know the Lone Trail fain would follow it,
Though it lead to glory or the darkness of the pit.
Ye who take the Lone Trail, bid your love good-by;
The Lone Trail, the Lone Trail follow till you die.
The trails of the world be countless, and most of the trails be tried;
You tread on the heels of the many, till you come where the ways divide;
And one lies safe in the sunlight, and the other is dreary and wan,
Yet you look aslant at the Lone Trail, and the Lone Trail lures you on.
And somehow you're sick of the highway, with its noise and its easy needs,
And you seek the risk of the by-way, and you reck not where it leads.
And sometimes it leads to the desert, and the togue swells out of the mouth,
And you stagger blind to the mirage, to die in the mocking drouth.
And sometimes it leads to the mountain, to the light of the lone camp-fire,
And you gnaw your belt in the anguish of hunger-goded desire.
And sometimes it leads to the Southland, to the swamp where the orchid glows,
And you rave to your grave with the fever, and they rob the corpse for its clothes.
And sometimes it leads to the Northland, and the scurvy softens your bones,
And your flesh dints in like putty, and you spit out your teeth like stones.
And sometimes it leads to a coral reef in the wash of a weedy sea,
And you sit and stare at the empty glare where the gulls wait greedily.
And sometimes it leads to an Arctic trail, and the snows where your torn feet freeze,
And you whittle away the useless clay, and crawl on your hands and knees.
Often it leads to the dead-pit; always it leads to pain;
By the bones of your brothers ye know it, but oh, to follow you're fain.
By your bones they will follow behind you, till the ways of the world are made plain.
Bid good-by to sweetheart, bid good-by to friend;
The Lone Trail, the Lone Trail follow to the end.
Tarry not, and fear not, chosen of the true;
Lover of the Lone Trail, the Lone Trail waits for you.
Robert William Service's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (The Lone Trail by Robert William Service )
- Please Know, Michael McParland
- Pity Party of One -or- I Never Got His N.., Joseph James Breunig 3rd
- She, Divya Singh
- The Garden, William Jay Smith
- The Flight, William Jay Smith
- Touch the Air Softly, William Jay Smith
- Dachshunds, William Jay Smith
- Sweet Home, Asit Kumar Sanyal
- Butterfly, William Jay Smith
- The readiness, hasmukh amathalal
Poem of the Day
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- On the Ning Nang Nong, Spike Milligan
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- A Thought, Robert Louis Stevenson
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
- Heather Burns
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)
(16 April 1918 – 27 February 2002)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)