'The Cremation of Sam McGee' With memorable illustrations from painter Ted Harrison, the morbidly funny 1907 Robert Service poem about the fate of a Yukon gold prospector is resurrected as a children's story.

'The Cremation of Sam McGee'

'The Cremation of Sam McGee'

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Sam and friend set off. Ted Harrison/Kids Can Press hide caption

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Ted Harrison/Kids Can Press

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A map of the Yukon graces the back cover. Kids Can Press hide caption

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Kids Can Press

A map of the Yukon graces the back cover.

Kids Can Press

Robert Service's poem, "The Cremation of Sam McGee," tells the tale of two gold miners in the Yukon and one man's "last request."

The poem, which was originally published in 1907, was later transformed into a children's book with colorful illustrations by Ted Harrison, in 1986.

Now, a 20th-anniversary edition has been released by Kids Can Press, with new cover art and heavy paper stock. The tale is bookended by the following verse:

There are strange things done in the midnight sun

By the men who toil for gold;


The Arctic trails have their secret tales

That would make your blood run cold;


The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,

But the queerest they ever did see


Was that night on the marge of Lake Laberge

I cremated Sam McGee.