Robert Service was a Scottish man with grit. He also had a flair for verse. He is known as the Canadian Kipling. This is the first paragraph of his famous poem the Law of the Yukon. He lived in the icy region, and the danger and adventure provided grist for his poems. This one is about sending your best men. I can’t help but see a call to view the good fight of missions as an appropriate parallel.
The Law of the Yukon
This is the law of the Yukon, and ever she makes it plain:
“Send not your foolish and feeble;
send me your strong and your sane —
Strong for the red rage of battle; sane for I harry them sore;
Send me men girt for the combat, men who are grit to the core;
Swift as the panther in triumph, fierce as the bear in defeat,
Sired of a bulldog parent, steeled in the furnace heat.
Send me the best of your breeding, lend me your chosen ones;
Them will I take to my bosom, them will I call my sons;
Them will I gild with my treasure, them will I glut with my meat;
But the others — the misfits, the failures — I trample under my feet.
Dissolute, damned and despairful, crippled and palsied and slain,
Ye would send me the spawn of your gutters — Go! take back your spawn again.