Mary Weston Fordham

(1845-1905 / the United States)

Alaska - Poem by Mary Weston Fordham

With thy rugged, ice-girt shore,
Draped in everlasting snow,
Thou'rt enthroned a queen.
Crown of moss and lichen grey,
Frosted o'er with ocean spray,
All thy long, long wintry day,
Dark and stern thy mien.

From the cloudland fresh and fair,
Falls the snow through crispy air,
Mantling vale and hill.
Then old 'Borealis' glows,
With his fiery light that shows,
Frozen nature in repose,
River, stream and rill.

On thy north the Polar Sea
Thunders forth in wild melee,
'Mid gorges dark and steep
Full many a ship with noble crew,
Lies low beneath thy waters blue,
Nor left behind a single clew,
But sleep a dreamless sleep.

Beside the far famed Yukon stands
Hundreds of men from distant lands,
All with the same desire
Gold, gold's the watchword, yellow ore,
That tempts him from his homestead door,
And Oh! alas he nevermore
May sit by household fire.

Ah! if men would only toil,
Dig and delve their own rich soil,
With vigor and with vim;
Forth would spring the golden corn,
Loud would ring the harvest song,
Life and health they would prolong,
All through nature's prime.

Under his own, his fruitful vine,
Beneath his laden fig tree green,
He, like a king, would reign.
Bending low with purple yield,
Rivalling fair Eschkol's fields,
He'd a potent influence wield,
With his corn and wine.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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