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Selections from Ballads of a Cheechako

Selections from Ballads of a Cheechako by Robert W. Service
By: (1874-1958)

These twelve poems are from Ballads of a Cheechako which was Robert W. Service’s third book of Yukon poems, published in 1909. The word Cheechako, from Chinook Jargon, originated in the United States (Alaska) and Canada (Yukon) and was imported into local English during the Yukon gold rush that began in 1896. Cheechako, is a non derogatory word meaning “newcomer” or “tenderfoot.” The derivation looks something like this: chee new cha come ko home.

First Page:


by Robert W. Service

[British born Canadian Poet 1874 1958.]

[Note on text: Italicized stanzas will be indented 5 spaces. Italicized words or phrases will be capitalised. Lines longer than 75 characters have been broken according to metre, and the continuation is indented two spaces.]

[This etext was transcribed from an American 1909 edition.]


by Robert W. Service

Author of "The Spell of the Yukon"


To the Man of the High North My rhymes are rough, and often in my rhyming

Men of the High North Men of the High North, the wild sky is blazing;

The Ballad of the Northern Lights One of the Down and Out that's me. Stare at me well, ay, stare!

The Ballad of the Black Fox Skin There was Claw fingered Kitty and Windy Ike living the life of shame,

The Ballad of Pious Pete I tried to refine that neighbor of mine, honest to God, I did.

The Ballad of Blasphemous... Continue reading book >>

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