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The Athabasca Trail

From The Birmingham Age Herald, December 17, 1914. By A. Conan Doyle.

My life is gliding downwards; it speeds swifter to the day
When it shoots the last dark canyon to the Plains of Far-away,
But while its stream is running through the years that are to be,
The mighty voice of Canada will ever call to me.
I shall hear the roar of river, where the waters foam and tear;
I shall smell the virgin upland with its balsam-laden air;
And in dreams I shall be riding down the winding woody vale
With the packer and the packhorse on the Athabasca trail.

I have passed the warden cities at the Eastern water-gate
Where the hero and the martyr laid the corner-stone of state;
The habitant, courier-du-bois, and hardy voyageur,
Where lives a breed more strong at need to venture or endure?
I have seen the gorge of Erie, where the roaring waters run;
I have crossed the inland ocean lying golden in the sun;
But the last and best and sweetest is the ride by hill and dale
With the packer and the packhorse on the Athabasca Trail.

I’ll dream again of fields of grain that stretch from sky to sky,
And the little prairie hamlets where the cars go roaring by;
Wooden hamlets as I saw them, mighty cities still to be,
To girdle stately Canada with gems from sea to sea.
Mother of a mighty manhood, land of glamor and of hope,
From your eastward sea-swept islands to the sunny western slope,
Ever more my heart is with you, evermore till life shall fail,
I’ll be out with pack and packhorse on the Athabasca Trail.

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