Friday, June 4, 2010

Song of the 'Alcan" Pioneers

Song of the “Alcan” Pioneers

They gave us a job and we did it:
They said that it couldn’t be done
They figured that time would forbid it
They licked us before we’d begun

But there she is – eagles above her
The Road –see, she steams in the snow.
She’s ours, and oh God, how we love her,
But now --- marching orders – we go.

We started with nothing and won her,
We diced for her honor with death
We starved, froze and died upon her
And damned her with agonized breath
Blood-red ran the snow where we lay –
Blood-red rode the sun at her setting,
Cold white are the graves we’re forgetting
Cold white are our ashes today.

We leveled the mountains to find her,
We climbed from the pit to the sky
We conquered the forests to bind her
We burrowed where mastodons lie
Smooth, straight and true we have
Clean she is, living, aglow,
The Road --- feel her, vibrant
Impassioned –
And now – marching orders – we go.

Go from the stardust of June night,
Go from the beauty we won,
Little lost lakes in the moonlight,
Snow-steepled spires in the sun.
We lend you the road – we who made it,
And bright may your victories burn,
We lend you The Road – we who laid it,
Until the day we return.

Attributed to “an unknown soldier”, this poem first
Appeared in 1950 in Milepost

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