Baid and the Eskimo

Eight days the blizzard raged, and they
Could nothing do but simply wait,
Impatient at the long delay,
and not unmindful of their fate.

And when at length they were set free
To seek their bearings, they could hear
The air-planes which they could not see,
Although the sound proclaimed them near.

The air-force was indeed at work
Seeking the lost ones to locate;
And not a man of them did shirk.
The lost men were in danger great.

Their food supply was running low.
And wolves upon the dogs did fell.
This was for Baird a heavy blow,
It loudly for return did call.

They had to kill some dogs for food,
And only six remained at length.
This made their outlook far from good.
They to proceed had not the strength.

Two caribou, and fish a few
Helped them to make the journey home,
Half famished and half frozen too
But glad they need no longer roam.

For forty days, and seven more,
Their fate remained to men unknown.
And many hearts for them beat sore,
Hope for their safety few dare own.
The winds that blow o'er Baffin Isle
Are strong, and Winter's frosts are keen,
But Hudson traders only smile.
The cold doth better hunting mean.

It needful was that one should make
A journey to a near air-base
Ten days of travel it would take,
At least, for him to reach the place.

On Ronald Baird the choice now fell.
He had an Esquimo for guide,
A man who knew the Island well,
And who assumed the task with pride.

Eleven dogs hitched to a sled.
Sufficed to carry their supplies.
They placed the lead-dog at the head,
And boldly faced the wintry skies.

Twas, January they set out
With confidence, and in good cheer.
They'd make the journey without doubt.
They did not see a thing to fear.

Two hundred miles they made with ease,
And then a blinding blizzard blew,
That threatened everything to freeze.
It quite obscured for them the view.

And when they found that they were lost
They built an igioo, and remained
Secure from biting wind and frost
Until the storm its wrath restrained.

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