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Executive Secretary Ex-Students' Association, 

the University of Texas. 

For three years Sheldon Fellow from Harvard University 

for the Collection of American Ballads; Ex-President 

American Folk-Lore Society. Collector of 

"Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier 

Ballads"; joint author with Dr. 

H. Y. Benedict of "The 

Book of Texas. " 



Jl3eto gorfe 



All rights reserved 


Set up and electrotyped. Published November, 1919. 




In affectionate gratitude to a group of men, my intimate friends 
during College days (brought under one roof by a " Fraternity "), 
whom I still love not less but more, 
Will Prat her, Hammett Hardy, Penn Hargrove and Harry 

Sieger, of precious and joyous memory; 

Norman Crazier, not yet quite emerged from Presbyterianism ; 
Eugene Barker, cynical, solid, unafraid; 
" Cap' en " Duval, a gentleman of Virginia, sah ; 
Ed Miller, red-headed and royal-hearted ; 
Bates MacFarland, calm and competent without camouflage; 
Jimmie Haven, who has put 'em over every good day since ; 
Charley Johnson, " the Swede " the fattest, richest and dearest of 

the bunch; 
Edgar Witt, whose loyal devotion and pertinacious energy built 

the " Frat " house ; 

Roy Bedichek, too big for any job he has yet tackled; 
" Curley " Duncan, who possesses all the virtues of the old time 

cattleman and none of the vices of the new; 
Rom Rhome, the quiet and canny counter of coin; 
Gavin Hunt, student and lover of all things beautiful; 
Dick Kimball, the soldier; every inch of him a handsome man; 
Alex and Bruce and Dave and George and "Freshman" Mathis 

and Clarence, the six Freshmen we u took in " ; while Ike 

MacFarland, Alfred Fierce Ward, and Guy and Charlie 

Witt were still in the process of assimilation, 
To this group of God's good fellows, I dedicate this little book. 

No loopholes now are framing 
Lean faces, grim and brown, 
No more keen eyes are aiming 
To bring the redskin down ; 
But every wind careening 
Seems here to breathe a song 
A song of brave careering, 
A saga of the strong. 


In collecting, arranging, editing, and preserv- 
ing the " Songs of the Cattle Trail and Cow 
Camp," my friend John Lomax has performed a 
real service to American literature and to America. 
No verse is closer to the soil than this; none more 
realistic in the best sense of that much-abused word; 
none more truly interprets and expresses a part of 
our national life. To understand and appreciate 
these lyrics one should hear Mr. Lomax talk about 
them and sing them; for they were made for the 
voice to pronounce and for the ears to hear, rather 
than for the lamplit silence of the library. They 
are as oral as the chants of Vachel Lindsay; and 
when one has the pleasure of listening to Mr. Lomax 
who loves these verses and the men who first 
sang them one reconstructs in imagination the 
appropriate figures and romantic setting. 

For nothing is so romantic as life itself. None 
of our illusions about life is so romantic as the 
truth. Hence the purest realism appeals to the 
mature imagination more powerfully than any im- 
possible prettiness can do. The more we know of 
individual and universal life, the more we are ex- 
cited and stimulated. 

And the collection of these poems is an addition 



to American Scholarship as well as to American Lit- 
erature. It was a wise policy of the Faculty of 
Harvard University to grant Mr. Lomax a travel- 
ling fellowship, that he might have the necessary 
leisure to discover and to collect these verses; it is 
really " original research," as interesting and surely 
as valuable as much that passes under that name; 
for it helps every one of us to understand our own 

Yale University, 
July 27, 1919. 



"Look down, look down, that weary road, 
'Tis the road that the sun goes down." 

* * * 

" 'Twas way out West where the antelope roam, 
And the coyote howls 'round the cowboy's home, 
Where the mountains are covered with chaparral frail, 
And the valleys are checkered with the cattle trail, 
Where the miner digs for the golden veins, 
And the cowboy rides o'er the silent plains, " 

The " Songs of the Cattle Trail and Cow Camp " 
does not purport to be an anthology of Western verse. 
As its title indicates, the contents of the book are 
limited to attempts, more or less poetic, in translat- 
ing scenes connected with the life of a cowboy. The 
volume is in reality a by-product of my earlier col- 
lection, " Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Bal- 
lads. " In the former book I put together what 
seemed to me to be the best of the songs created and 
sung by the cowboys as they went about their work. 
In making the collection, the cowboys often sang or 
sent to me songs which I recognized as having al- 
ready been in print; although the singer usually said 
that some other cowboy had sung the song to him 
and that he did not know where it had originated. 
For example, one night in New Mexico a cowboy 
sang to me, in typical cowboy music, Larry Chitten- 



den's entire " Cowboys' Christmas Ball "; since that 
time the poem has often come to me in manuscript 
form as an original cowboy song. The changes 
usually, it must be confessed, resulting in bettering 
the verse which have occurred in oral transmis- 
sion, are most interesting. Of one example, Charles 
Badger Clark's " High Chin Bob," I have printed, 
following Mr. Clark's poem, a cowboy version, 
which I submit to Mr. Clark and his admirers for 
their consideration. 

In making selections for this volume from a large 
mass of material that came into my ballad hopper 
while hunting cowboy songs as a Traveling Fellow 
from Harvard University, I have included the best 
of the verse given me directly by the cowboys ; other 
selections have come in through repeated recommen- 
dation of these men; others are vagrant verses from 
Western newspapers; and still others have been 
lifted from collections of Western verse written by 
such men as Charles Badger Clark, Jr., and Herbert 
H. Knibbs. To these two authors, as well as others 
who have permitted me to make use of their work, 
the grateful thanks of the collector are extended. 
As will be seen, almost one-half of the selections 
have no assignable authorship. I am equally grate- 
ful to these unknown authors. 

All those who found u Cowboy Songs " diverting, 
it is believed, will make welcome " The Songs of the 
Cattle Trail and Cow Camp." Many of these have 
this claim to be called songs : they have been set to 


music by the cowboys, who, in their isolation and 
loneliness, have found solace in narrative or de- 
scriptive verse devoted to cattle scenes. Herein, 
again, through these quondam songs we may come 
to appreciate something of the spirit of the big 
West its largeness, its freedom, its wholehearted 
hospitality, its genuine friendship. Here again, too, 
we may see the cowboy at work and at play; hear 
the jingle of his big bell spurs, the swish of his rope, 
the creaking of his saddle gear, the thud of thou- 
sands of hoofs on the long, long trail winding from 
Texas to Montana ; and know something of the life 
that attracted from the East some of its best young 
blood to a work that was necessary in the winning 
of the West. The trails are becoming dust covered 
or grass grown or lost underneath the farmers' fur- 
row; but in the selections of this volume, many of 
them poems by courtesy, men of today and those 
who are to follow, may sense, at least in some small 
measure, the service, the glamour, the romance of 
that knight-errant of the plains the American 

J. A. L. 

The University of Texas, 
Austin, July 9, 1919. 









BRONCHO VERSUS BICYCLE . . ... ... . , 14 















A COWBOY'S LOVE SONG . . . . . . . c 65 

A BORDER AFFAIR ..... . . * . . . . . . 67 


LOVE LYRICS OF A COWBOY ...... . . . . .71 







RIDING SONG ....... 81 














THE OL' Cow HAWSE . > , 104 








THE COWBOY . , , . ... , 127 

BAR-Z ON A SUNDAY NIGHT . . . . . . . . . . .129 


THE HABIT ........... . . . . . . . .132 

A RANGER * .,,,.. . . . . . 134 

THE INSULT . ... . .137 





















JUST A-RIDIN'! . . , . . 187 



The centipede runs across my head, 
The vinegaroon crawls in my bed, 
Tarantulas jump and scorpions play, 
The broncs are grazing far away, 
The rattlesnake gives his warning cry, 
And the coyotes sing their lullaby, 
While I sleep soundly beneath the sky. 


OUT where the handclasp's a little stronger, 
Out where the smile dwells a little longer, 
That's where the West begins; 
Out where the sun is a little brighter, 
Where the snows that fall are a trifle whiter, 
Where the bonds of home are a wee bit tighter, 
That's where the West begins. 

Out where the skies are a trifle bluer, 
Out where friendship's a little truer, 

That's where the West begins; 
Out where a fresher breeze is blowing, 
Where there's laughter in every streamlet flowing, 
Where there's more of reaping and less of sowing, 

That's where the West begins. 

Out where the world is in the making, 
Where fewer hearts in despair are aching, 

That's where the West begins ; 
Where there's more of singing and less of sighing, 
Where there's more of giving and less of buying, 
And a man makes friends without half trying, 
That's where the West begins. 

Arthur Chapman. 


DID you ever wait for daylight when the stars 
along the river 
Floated thick and white as snowflakes in the water 

deep and strange, 
Till a whisper through the aspens made the current 

break and shiver 

As the frosty edge of morning seemed to melt and 
spread and change? 

Once I waited, almost wishing that the dawn would 

never find me; 
Saw the sun roll up the ranges like the glory of the 

Was about to wake my pardner who was sleeping 

close behind me, 
When I saw the man we wanted spur his pony to 

the ford. 

Saw the ripples of the shallows and the muddy 

streaks that followed, 
As the pony stumbled toward me in the narrows of 

the bend; 
Saw the face I used to welcome, wild and watchful, 

lined and hollowed ; 


The Shallows of the Ford 

And God knows I wished to warn him, for I once 
had called him friend. 

But an oath had come between us I was paid by 

Law and Order; 
He was outlaw, rustler, killer so the border 

whisper ran; 
Left his word in Caliente that he'd cross the Rio 

Call me coward? But I hailed him " Riding 

close to daylight, Dan ! " 

Just a hair and he'd have got me, but my voice, and 

not the warning, 
Caught his hand and held him steady; then he 

nodded, spoke my name, 
Reined his pony round and fanned it in the bright 

and silent morning, 
Back across the sunlit Rio up the trail on which he 


He had passed his word to cross it I had passed 

my word to get him 
We broke even and we knew it; 'twas a case of give 

and take 
For old times. I could have killed him from the 

brush; instead, I let him 
Ride his trail I turned my pardner flung his 

arm and stretched awake; 

The Shallows of the Ford 

Saw me standing in the open; pulled his gun and 

came beside me; 
Asked a question with his shoulder as his left hand 

pointed toward 
Muddy streaks that thinned and vanished not a 

word, but hard he eyed me 
As the water cleared and sparkled in the shallows of 

the ford. 

Henry Herbert Knibbs. 


DON'T you hear the big spurs jingle? 
Don't you feel the red blood tingle? 
Be it smile or be it frown, 
Be it dance or be it fight, 
Broncho Bill has come to town 
To dance a dance tonight. 

Chaps, sombrero, handkerchief, silver spurs at heel; 
" Hello, Gil! " and " Hello, Pete I " " How do you 

think you feel? " 
" Drinks are mine. Come fall in, boys; crowd up 

on the right. 
Here's happy days and honey joys. I'm going to 

dance tonight." 
(On his hip in leathern tube, a case of dark blue 


Bill, the broncho buster, from the ranch at Beaver 


Ninety steers and but one life in his hands to spend; 
Ready for a fight or spree; ready for a race; 
Going blind with bridle loose every inch of space. 

Down at Johnny Schaeffer's place, see them trooping 


The Dance at Silver Valley 

Up above the women laugh; down below is gin. 
Belle McClure is dressed in blue, ribbon in her hair; 
Broncho Bill is shaved and slick, all his throat is 

Round and round with Belle McClure he whirls a 

dizzy spin. 

Jim Kershaw, the gambler, waits, white his hands 

and slim. 
Bill whispers, " Belle, you know it well; it is me or 

Jim Kershaw, so help me God, if you dance with 


It is either you or me must travel down to hell." 
Jim put his arm around her waist, her graceful 

waist and slim. 

Don't you hear the banjo laugh? Hear the fiddles 

Broncho Bill leaned at the door, watched the twirl- 
ing stream. 

Twenty fiends were at his heart snarling, " Kill him 

(Out of hell that woman came.) " I love you, 
Belle McClure." 

Broncho Bill, he laughed and chewed and careless 
he did seem. 

The dance is done. Shots crack as one. The 
crowd shoves for the door. 

The Dance at Silver Falley 

Broncho Bill is lying there and blood upon the floor. 
" YouVe finished me; youVe gambler's luck; youVe 

won the trick and Belle. 
Mine the soul that here tonight is passing down to 

And I must ride the trail alone. Goodbye to Belle 


Downstairs on the billiard cloth, something lying 

Upstairs still the dance goes on, all the lamps are 

Round and round in merry spin on the floor a 

Laugh and chaff and merry spin such a little 

Broncho Bill has come to town and danced his dance 


Don't you hear the fiddle shrieking? 
Don't you hear the banjo speaking? 
Don't you hear the big spurs jingle? 
Don't you feel the red blood tingle? 
Faces dyed with desert brown, 
(One that's set and white) ; 
Broncho Bill has come to town 
And danced his dance tonight. 

William Maxwell. 


AT a round-up on the Gila 
One sweet morning long ago, 
Ten of us was throwed quite freely 
By a boss from Idaho. 
An' we 'lowed he'd go a-beggin' 
For a man to break his pride 
Till, a-hitchin' up one leggin', 
Boastful Bill cut loose an' cried : 

" I'm a ornery proposition for to hurt, 
I fulfil my earthly mission with a quirt, 
I can ride the highest liver 
'Twixt the Gulf an' Powder River, 
An' I'll break this thing as easy as I'd 

So Bill climbed the Northern fury 
An' they mangled up the air 
Till a native of Missouri 
Would have owned, the brag was fair. 
Though the plunges kept him reelin' 
An' the wind it flapped his shirt, 
Loud above the boss's squealin' 
We could hear our friend assert: 

" I'm the one to take such rockin's as a 


The Legend of Boastful Bill 

Someone hand me up the makin's of a 


If you think my fame needs brightnin', 
Why, I'll rope a streak o' lightnin' 
An' spur it up an' quirt it till it's broke." 

Then one caper of repulsion 

Broke that hoss's back in two, 

Cinches snapped in the convulsion, 

Skyward man and saddle flew, 

Up they mounted, never flaggin', 

And we watched them through our tears, 

While this last, thin bit o' braggin' 

Came a-floatin' to our ears: 

" If you ever watched my habits very 

You would know I broke such rabbits by 

the gross. 

I have kept my talent hidin', 
I'm too good for earthly ridin', 
So I'm off to bust the lightnin' Adios! " 

Years have passed since that ascension; 
Boastful Bill ain't never lit; 
So we reckon he's a-wrenchin' 
Some celestial outlaw's bit 
When the night wind flaps our slickers, 
And the rain is cold and stout, 
And the lightnin' flares and flickers, 
We can sometimes hear him shout : 

The Legend of Boastful Bill 

" I'm a ridin' son o' thunder o' the sky, 
I'm a broncho twistin' wonder on the fly. 
Hey, you earthlin's, shut your winders, 
We're a-rippin' clouds to flinders. 
If this blue-eyed darlin' kicks at you, you 

Star-dust on his chaps and saddle, 
Scornful still of jar and jolt, 
He'll come back sometime a-straddle 
Of a bald-faced thunderbolt; 
And the thin-skinned generation 
Of that dim and distant day 
Sure will stare with admiration 
When they hear old Boastful say: 

" I was first, as old raw-hiders all confest, 
I'm the last of all rough riders, and the 


Huh! you soft and dainty floaters 
With your aeroplanes and motors, 
Huh! are you the greatgrandchildren of 
the West?" 

From recitation, original, by 
Charles Badger Clark, Jr. 



I THINK we can all remember when a Greaser 
hadn't no show 

In Palo Pinto particular, it ain't very long ago; 
A powerful feelin' of hatred ag'in the whole Greaser 

That murdered bold Crockett and Bowie pervaded 

all in the place. 
Why, the boys would draw on a Greaser as quick 

as they would on a steer; 
They was shot down without warnin' often, in the 

memory of many here. 
One day the bark of pistols was heard ringin' out 

in the air, 
And a Greaser, chased by some ranchmen, tore 

round here into the square. 
I don't know what he's committed, 'tain't likely 

anyone knew, 
But I wouldn't bet a check on the issue ; if you knew 

the gang, neither would you. 
Breathless and bleeding, the Greaser fell down by 

the side of the wall; 
And a man sprang out before him, a man both 

strong and tall, 
By his clothes I should say a cowboy, a stranger 

in town, I think, 


The Texas Cowboy and the Mexican Greaser 

With his pistol he waved back the gang, who was 

wild with rage and drink. 
" I warn ye, get back! " he said, " or I'll blow your 

heads in two ! 
A dozen on one poor creature, and him wounded 

and bleeding, too ! " 
The gang stood back for a minute; then up spoke 

Poker Bill: 
" Young man, yer a stranger, I reckon. We don't 

wish yer any ill ; 
But come out of the range of the Greaser, or, as 

sure as I live, you'll croak; " 
And he drew a bead on the stranger. I'll tell yer 

it wa'n't no joke. 
But the stranger moven' no muscle as he looked in 

the bore of Bill's gun; 
He hadn't no thought to stir, sir; he hadn't no 

thought to run; 
But he spoke out cool and quiet, " I might live for 

a thousand year 
And not die at last so nobly as defendin' this 

Greaser here; 
For he's wounded, now, and helpless, and hasn't 

had no fair show; 
And the first of ye boys that strikes him, I'll lay 

that first one low." 
The gang respected the stranger that for another 

was willing to die; 
They respected the look of daring they saw in that 

cold, blue eye. 


The Texas Cowboy and the Mexican Greaser 

They saw before them a hero that was glad in the 

right to fall; 
And he was a Texas cowboy, never heard of Rome 

at all. 
Don't tell me of yer Romans, or yer bridge bein' 

held by three; 
True manhood's the same in Texas as it was in 

Rome, d'ye see? 
Did the Greaser escape? Why certain. I saw the 

hull crowd over thar 
At the ranch of Bill Simmons, the gopher, with their 

glasses over the bar. 

From recitation. Anonymous. 


THE first that we saw of the high-tone tramp 
War over thar at our Pecos camp ; 
He war comin' down the Santa Fe trail 
Astride of a wheel with a crooked tail, 
A-skinnin' along with a merry song 
An' a-ringin' a little warnin' gong. 
He looked so outlandish, strange and queer 
That all of us grinned from ear to ear, 
And every boy on the round-up swore 
He never seed sich a hoss before. 

Wai, up he rode with a sunshine smile 

An' a-smokin' a cigarette, an' I'll 

Be kicked in the neck if I ever seen 

Sich a saddle as that on his queer machine. 

Why, it made us laugh, fer it wasn't half 

Big enough fer the back of a suckin' calf. 

He tuk our fun in a keerless way, 

A-venturin' only once to say 

Thar wasn't a broncho about the place 

Could down that wheel in a ten-mile race. 

I'd a lightnin' broncho out in the herd 
That could split the air like a flyin' bird, 

Broncho Versus Bicycle 

An' I hinted round in an off-hand way, 
That, providin' the enterprize would pay, 
I thought as I might jes' happen to light 
On a hoss that would leave him out er sight. 
In less'n a second we seen him yank 
A roll o' greenbacks out o' his flank, 
An' he said if we wanted to bet, to name 
The limit, an' he would tackle the game. 

Jes' a week before we had all been down 

On a jamboree to the nearest town, 

An' the whiskey joints and the faro games 

An' a-shakin' our hoofs with the dance hall dames, 

Made a wholesale bust; an', pard, I'll be cussed 

If a man in the outfit had any dust. 

An' so I explained, but the youth replied 

That he'd lay the money matter aside, 

An' to show that his back didn't grow no moss 

He'd bet his machine against my hoss. 

I tuk him up, an' the bet war closed, 

An' me a-chucklin', fer I supposed 

I war playin' in dead-sure, winnin' luck 

In the softest snap I had ever struck, 

An' the boys chipped in with a knowin' grin, 

Fer they thought the fool had no chance to win. 

An' so we agreed fer to run that day 

To the Navajo cross, ten miles away, 

As handsome a track as you ever seed 

Fer testin' a bosses prettiest speed. 

Broncho Versus Bicycle 

Apache Johnson and Texas Ned 

Saddled up their hosses an' rode ahead 

To station themselves ten miles away 

An' act as judges an' see fair play; 

While Mexican Bart and big Jim Hart 

Stayed back fer to give us an even start. 

I got aboard of my broncho bird 

An' we came to the scratch an' got the word; 

An' I laughed till my mouth spread from ear to ear 

To see that tenderfoot drop to the rear. 

The first three miles slipped away first-rate; 
Then bronc began fer to lose his gait. 
But I warn't oneasy an' didn't mind 
With tenderfoot more'n a mile behind. 
So I jogged along with a cowboy song 
Till all of a sudden I heard that gong 
A-ringin' a warnin' in my ear 
Ting, ting, tmg y ting, too infernal near; 
An' lookin' backwards I seen that chump 
Of a tenderfoot gainin' every jump. 

I hit old bronc a cut with the quirt 
An' once more got him to scratchin' dirt; 
But his wind got weak, an' I tell you, boss, 
I seen he wasn't no ten-mile hoss. 
Still, the plucky brute took another shoot 
An' pulled away from the wheel galoot. 
But the animal couldn't hold his gait; 
An' the idea somehow entered my pate 


Broncho Versus Bicycle 

That if tenderfoot's legs didn't lose their grip 
He'd own that hoss at the end of the trip. 

Closer an' closer come tenderfoot, 

An' harder the whip to the hoss I put; 

But the Eastern cuss, with a smile on his face 

Ran up to my side with his easy pace 

Rode up to my side, an' dern his hide, 

Remarked 'twere a pleasant day fer a ride; 

Then axed, onconcerned, if I had a match, 

An' on his britches give it a scratch, 

Lit a cigarette, said he wished me good-day, 

An' as fresh as a daisy scooted away. 

Ahead he went, that infernal gong 

A-ringin' " good-day " as he flew along, 

An' the smoke from his cigarette came back 

Like a vaporous snicker along his track. 

On an' on he sped, gettin' further ahead, 

His feet keepin' up that onceaseable tread, 

Till he faded away in the distance, an' when 

I seed the condemned Eastern rooster again 

He war thar with the boys at the end of the race, 

That same keerless, onconsarned smile on his face. 

Now, pard, when a cowboy gits licked he don't swar 
Nor kick, if the beatin' are done on the squar; 
So I tuck that Easterner right by the hand 
An' told him that broncho awaited his brand. 
Then I axed him his name, an' where from he came, 


Broncho Versus Bicycle 

An' how long he'd practiced that wheel-rollin' game. 
Tom Stevens he said war his name, an' he come 
From a town they call Bosting, in old Yankeedom. 
Then he jist paralyzed us by sayin' he'd whirled 
That very identical wheel round the world. 

Wai, pard, that's the story of how that smart chap 
Done me up w'en I thought I had sich a soft snap, 
Done me up on a race with remarkable ease, 
An' lowered my pride a good many degrees. 
Did I give him the hoss ? W'y o' course I did, boss, 
An' I tell you it warn't no diminutive loss. 
He writ me a letter from back in the East, 
An' said he presented the neat little beast 
To a feller named Pope, who stands at the head 
O' the ranch where the cussed wheel hosses are bred. 




TWENTY abreast down the Golden Street ten 
thousand riders marched; 
Bow-legged boys in their swinging chaps, all clumsily 

keeping time; 
And the Angel Host to the lone, last ghost their 

delicate eyebrows arched 

As the swaggering sons of the open range drew 
up to the throne sublime. 

Gaunt and grizzled, a Texas man from out of the 

concourse strode, 
And doffed his hat with a rude, rough grace, then 

lifted his eagle head; 
The sunlit air on his silvered hair and the bronze 

of his visage glowed; 
" Marster, the boys have a talk to make on the 

things up here," he said. 

A hush ran over the waiting throng as the Cherubim 

replied : 
" He that readeth the hearts of men He deemeth 

your challenge strange, 
Though He long hath known that ye crave your 

own, that ye would not walk but ride, 
Oh, restless sons of the ancient earth, ye men of the 

open range! " 


Riders of the Stars 

Then warily spake the Texas man: "A petition 

and no complaint 
We here present, if the Law allows and the Marster 

He thinks it fit; 

We-all agree to the things that be, but we're long- 
ing for things that ain't, 

So we took a vote and we made a plan and here is 
the plan we writ : 

11 ' Give us a range and our horses and ropes, open 

the Pearly Gate, 
And turn us loose in the unfenced blue riding the 

sunset rounds, 
Hunting each stray in the Milky Way and running 

the Rancho straight; 
Not crowding the dogie stars too much on their way 

to the bedding-grounds. 

" ' Maverick comets that's running wild, we'll rope 
'em and brand 'em fair, 

So they'll quit stampeding the starry herd and scar- 
ing the folks below, 

And we'll save 'em prime for the round-up time, 
and we riders'll all be there, 

Ready and willing to do our work as we did in the 
long ago. 

" ' We've studied the Ancient Landmarks, Sir; 
Taurus, the Bear, and Mars, 

Riders of the Stars 

And Venus a-smiling across the west as bright as a 

burning coal, 
Plain to guide as we punchers ride night-herding 

the little stars, 
With Saturn's rings f$r our home corral and the 

Dipper our water hole. 

" ' Here, we have nothing to do but yarn of the 

days that have long gone by, 
And our singing it doesn't fit in up here though we 

tried it for old time's sake; 
Our hands are itching to swing a rope and our legs 

are stiff; that's why 
We ask you, Marster, to turn us loose just give 

us an even break! ' " 

Then the Lord He spake to the Cherubim, and this 

was His kindly word : 
" He that keepeth the threefold keys shall open and 

let them go; 
Turn these men to their work again to ride with the 

starry herd; 
My glory sings in the toil they crave; 'tis their 

right. I would have it so." 

Have you heard in the starlit dusk of eve when the 

lone coyotes roam, 
The Yip I Yip! Yip! of a hunting cry and the 

echo that shrilled afar, 

Riders of the Stars 

As you listened still on a desert hill and gazed at 

the twinkling dome, 
And a viewless rider swept the sky on the trail of 

a shooting star? 

Henry Herbert Knibbs. 



I WANT free life, and I want fresh air; 
And I sigh for the canter after the cattle, 
The crack of the whips like shots in battle, 
The medley of hoofs and horns and heads 
That wars and wrangles and scatters and spreads; 
The green beneath and the blue above, 
And dash and danger, and life and love 
^And Lasca! 

Lasca used to ride 

On a mouse-grey mustang close to my side, 
With blue scrape and bright-belled spur; 
I laughed with joy as I looked at her! 
Little knew she of books or creeds ; 
An Ave Maria sufficed her needs; 
Little she cared save to be at my side, 
To ride with me, and ever to ride, 
From San Saba's shore to Lavaca's tide. 
She was as bold as the billows that beat, 
She was as wild as the breezes that blow: 
From her little head to her little feet, 
She was swayed in her suppleness to and fro 
By each gust of passion; a sapling pine 
That grows on the edge of a Kansas bluff 
And wars with the wind when the weather is rough, 
Is like this Lasca, this love of mine. 



She would hunger that I might eat, 
Would take the bitter and leave me the sweet; 
But once, when I made her jealous for fun 
At something I whispered or looked or done, ' 
One Sunday, in San Antonio, 
To a glorious girl in the Alamo, 
She drew from her garter a little dagger, 
And sting of a wasp it made me stagger ! 
An inch to the left, or an inch to the right, 
And I shouldn't be maundering here tonight; 
But she sobbed, and sobbing, so quickly bound 
Her torn rebosa about the wound 
That I swiftly forgave her. Scratches don't count 
In Texas, down by the Rio Grande. 

Her eye was brown a deep, deep brown; 
Her hair was darker than her eye; 
And something in her smile and frown, 
Curled crimson lip and instep high, 
Showed that there ran in each blue vein, 
Mixed with the milder Aztec strain, 
The vigorous vintage of Old Spain. 
She was alive in every limb 
With feeling, to the finger tips; 
And when the sun is like a fire, 
And sky one shining, soft sapphire 
One does not drink in little sips. 

The air was heavy, the night was hot, 
I sat by her side and forgot, forgot; 



Forgot the herd that were taking their rest, 
Forgot that the air was close oppressed, 
That the Texas norther comes sudden and soon, 
In the dead of the night or the blaze of the noon; 
That, once let the herd at its breath take fright, 
Nothing on earth can stop their flight; 
And woe to the rider, and woe to the steed, 
That falls in front of their mad stampede! 

Was that thunder? I grasped the cord 

Of my swift mustang without a word. 

I sprang to the saddle, and she clung behind. 

Away ! on a hot chase down the wind ! 

But never was fox-hunt half so hard, 

And never was steed so little spared. 

For we rode for our lives. You shall hear how we 

In Texas, down by the Rio Grande. 

The mustang flew, and we urged him on; 

There was one chance left, and you have but one 

Halt, jump to the ground, and shoot your horse; 

Crouch under his carcass, and take your chance ; 

And if the steers in their frantic course 

Don't batter you both to pieces at once, 

You may thank your star; if not, goodbye 

To the quickening kiss and the long-drawn sigh, 

And the open air and the open sky, 

In Texas, down by the Rio Grande. 


The cattle gained on us, and, just as I felt 
For my old six-shooter behind in my belt, 
Down came the mustang, and down came we, 
Clinging together and, what was the rest? 
A body that spread itself on my breast, 
Two arms that shielded my dizzy head, 
Two lips that hard to my lips were prest; 
Then came thunder in my ears, 
As over us surged the sea of steers, 
Blows that beat blood into my eyes, 
And when I could rise >. 
Lasca was dead! 

I gouged out a grave a few feet deep, 

And there in the Earth's arms I laid her to sleep; 

And there she is lying, and no one knows ; 

And the summer shines, and the winter snows; 

For many a day the flowers have spread 

A pall of petals over her head; 

And the little grey hawk hangs aloft in the air, 

And the sly coyote trots here and there, 

And the black snake glides and glitters and slides 

Into the rift of a cottonwood tree; 

And the buzzard sails on, 

And comes and is gone, 

Stately and still, like a ship at sea. 

And I wonder why I do not care 

For the things that are, like the things that were. 

Does half my heart lie buried there 

In Texas, down by the Rio Grande? 

Frank Desprez. 



SHE was a Texas maiden, she came of low degree, 
Her clothes were worn and faded, her feet from 

shoes were free; 
Her face was tanned and freckled, her hair was 

sun-burned, too, 
Her whole darned tout ensemble was painful for to 

She drove a lop-eared mule team attached unto a 


The trickling perspiration exuding from her brow; 
And often she lamented her cruel, cruel fate, 
As but a po' white's daughter down in the Lone Star 

No courtiers came to woo her, she never had a 

Her misfit face precluded such things as that, you 


She was nobody's darling, no feller's solid girl, 
And poets never called her an uncut Texas pearl. 
Her only two companions was those two flea-bit 


And these she but regarded as animated tools 
To plod along the furrows in patience up and down 
And pull the ancient wagon when pap'd go to town. 


The Transformation of a Texas Girl 

No fires of wild ambition were flaming in her soul, 
Her eyes with tender passion she'd never upward 

The wondrous world she'd heard of, to her was but 

a dream 
As walked she in the furrows behind that lop-eared 

Born on that small plantation, 'twas there she 

thought she'd die; 
She never longed for pinions that she might rise and 

To other lands far distant, where breezes fresh and 

Would never shake and tremble from brayings of a 


But yesterday we saw her dressed up in gorgeous 

style ! 

A half a dozen fellows were basking in her smile ! 
She'd jewels on her fingers, and jewels in her ears 
Great sparkling, flashing brilliants that hung as 

frozen tears ! 
The feet once nude and soil-stained were clad in 

Frenchy boots, 
The once tanned face bore tintings of miscellaneous 

fruits ; 
The voice that once admonished the mules to move 

Was tuned to new-born music, as sweet as Siren's 

song ! 


The Transformation of a Texas Girl 

Her tall and lanky father, one knows as " Sleepy 


Is now addressed as Colonel by men who honor him; 
And youths in finest raiment now take him by the 

Each in the hope that some day he'll call him dad- 

Their days of toil are over, their sun has risen at 

A gold-embroidered curtain now hides their rocky 


For was it not discovered their little patch of soil 
Had rested there for ages above a flow of oil? 

James Barton Adams. 



>T T 7 AY high up the Mogollons, 1 
VV Among the mountain tops, 
A lion cleaned a yearlin's bones 
And licked his thankful chops, 
When on the picture who should ride, 
A-trippin' down the slope, 
But High-Chin Bob, with sinful pride 
And mav' rick-hungry rope. 

" Oh, glory be to me," says he, 
" And fame's unfadin' flowers! 
All meddlin' hands are far away; 
I ride my good top-hawse today 
And I'm top-rope of the Lazy J 
Hi! kitty cat, you're ours! " 

That lion licked his paw so brown 
And dreamed soft dreams of veal 
And then the circlin' loop sung down 
And roped him 'round his meal. 
He yowled quick fury to the world 
Till all the hills yelled back; 
The top-hawse gave a snort and whirled 
And Bob caught up the slack. 

1 Pronounced by the natives " muggy-yones." 


The Glory Trail 

" Oh, glory be to me," laughs he. 

" We hit the glory trail. 

No human man as I have read 

Darst loop a ragiri lion's head, 

Nor ever hawse could drag one dead 

Until we told the tale" 

'Way high up the Mogollons 

That top-hawse done his best, 

Through whippin' brush and rattlin' stones, 

From canyon-floor to crest. 

But ever when Bob turned and hoped 

A limp remains to find, 

A red-eyed lion, belly roped 

But healthy, loped behind. 

" Oh, glory be to me," grunts he, 

" This glory trail is rough, 

Yet even till the Judgment Morn 

I'll keep this dally 'round the horn, 

For never any hero born 

Could stoop to holler: ' nuff!'" 

Three suns had rode their circle home 

Beyond the desert's rim, 

And turned their star herds loose to roam 

The ranges high and dim; 

Yet up and down and round and 'cross 

Bob pounded, weak and wan, 

For pride still glued him to his hawse 

And glory drove him on. 

The Glory Trail 

" Oh, glory be to me" sighs he. 
" He kaint be drug to death, 
But now I know beyond a doubt 
Them heroes I have read about 
Was only fools that stuck it out 
To end of mortal breath" 

'Way high up the Mogollons 

A prospect man did swear 

That moon dreams melted down his bones 

And hoisted up his hair : 

A ribby cow-hawse thundered by, 

A lion trailed along, 

A rider, ga'nt, but chin on high, 

Yelled out a crazy song. 

" Oh, glory be to me! " cries he, 
" And to my noble noose! 

stranger, tell my pards below 

1 took a rampin' dream in tow, 
And if I never lay him low, 
I'll never turn him loose! " 

Charles Badger Clark. 


'TT7AY high up in the Mokiones, among the 

V V mountain tops, 

A lion cleaned a yearling's bones and licks his thank- 
ful chops; 
And who upon the scene should ride, a-trippin' down 

the slope, 

But High Chin Bob of sinful pride and maverick- 
hungry rope. 
" Oh, glory be to me I " says he, " an' fame's 

unfadin' flowers; 
I ride my good top hoss today and Fm top hand 

of Lazy-J, 
So, kitty-cat, you're ours ! " 

The lion licked his paws so brown, and dreamed soft 

dreams of veal, 
As High Chin's rope came circlin' down and roped 

him round his meal; 
She yowled quick fury to the world and all the hills 

yelled back; 
That top horse gave a snort and whirled and Bob 

took up the slack. 
" Oh, glory be to me ! " says he, " we'll hit the 

glory trail. 


High Chin Bob 

No man has looped a lion's head and lived to 

drag the critter dead 
Till I shall tell the tale." 

'Way high up in the Mokiones that top hoss done his 


'Mid whippin' brush and rattlin' stones from canon- 
floor to crest; 
Up and down and round and cross Bob pounded 

weak and wan, 
But pride still glued him to his hoss and glory 

spurred him on. 
" Oh, glory be to me ! " says he, " this glory 

trail is rough ! 
But I'll keep this dally round the horn until 

the toot of judgment morn 
Before I'll holler 'nough!" 

Three suns had rode their circle home, beyond 

the desert rim, 
And turned their star herds loose to roam the ranges 

high and dim; 

And whenever Bob turned and hoped the limp re- 
mains to find, 

A red-eyed lion, belly roped, but healthy, loped be- 
" Oh, glory be to me," says Bob, " he caint 

be drug to death ! 
These heroes that I've read about were only 

fools that stuck it out 
To the end of mortal breath." 

High Chin Bob 

'Way high up in the Mokiones, if you ever camp 

there at night, 
You'll hear a rukus among the stones that'll lift 

your hair with fright; 
You'll see a cow-hoss thunder by a lion trail 

And the rider bold, with his chin on high, sings forth 

his glory song : 
" Oh, glory be to me! " says he, " and to my 

mighty noose. 
Oh, pardner, tell my friends below I took a 

ragin' dream in tow, 

And if I didn't lay him low, I never turned him 

From oral rendition. 



I WAS just about to take a drink 
I was mighty dry 
So I hailed an old time cowman 
Who was passing by, 
" Come in, Ole Timer! have a drink! 
Kinda warm today!" 
As we leaned across the bar-rail 
" How's things up your way? " 

" Stock is doin' fairly good, 

Range is gettin' fine; 

I jes dropped down to meetin' here 

To spend a little time. 

Con'sidable stuff a-movin' now 

Cows an' hosses, too, 

Prices high an' a big demand 

Now I'm tellin' you ! 

" I've loaded out my feeders, . , 

Got a good price all aroun' ; 

Sold 'em in Kansas City 

To a commission man named Brown. 

A thousand told o' mixed stuff, 

In pretty fair shape, too," 

Said the old Texas cowman, 

" Now I'm tellin' you! 


To Hear Him Tell It 

" IVe been in this yere country 

Since late in fifty-nine, 

I know every foot o' sage brush 

Clear to the southern line. 

Got my first bunch started up 

Long in seventy-two, 

Had to ride range with a long rope 

Now I'm tellin' you ! 

" Lordy, I kin remember 

Them good ole early days 

When we ust t' trail the herds north 

*N forty different ways. 

Jes'n point 'em from the beddin' groun' 

An' let 'em drift right through," 

Said the reminiscent cowman, 

" Now I'm tellin' you ! 

" Yessir, trailed 'em up to Wichita, 

Cross the Kansas line, 

Made deliveries at Benton 

As early as fifty-nine. 

Turned 'em most to soldiers, 

Some went to Injuns, too, 

Beef wasn't nigh so high then 

Now I'm tellin' you ! 

" Son, I've fit nigh every Injun 
That ever roamed the plains, 
'N I was one o' the best hands 


To Hear Him Tell It 

That ever pulled bridle reins. 

Why, you boys don't know range life 

You don't seem to git the ways, 

Like we did down in Texas 

In them good oP early days ! 

" Yes, thing's a heap sight diff'rent now! 

'Tain't like in them oF days 

When cowmen trailed their herds north 

'N forty diff'rent ways. 

We ship 'em on the railroad now, 

Load out on the big S. P.," 

Says the relic of Texas cowman 

As he takes a drink with me. 

" I figger on buyin' more feeders, 

From down across the line 

Chihuahua an' Sonora stuff, 

An' hold 'em till they're prime. 

So here's to the steers an' yearlin's!" 

As we clink our glasses two, 

" Things ain't the same as they used to be, 

Now I'm tellin' you! 

" I got t' git out an' hustle, 

I ain't got time t' stay; 

Jes' want t' see some uh the boys 

'N then I'm on my way. 

There's many a hand here right now 

That I know'd long, long ago, 


To Hear Him Tell It 

When ranch land was free an' open 
An' the plowman had a show. 

44 Tain't often we git together 

To swap yarns an' tell our lies," 

Said the old time Texas cowman 

As a mist comes to his eyes. 

44 So let's drink up; here's how! " 

As we drain our glasses two, 

44 Them was good ol' days an' good ol' ways 

Now I'm tellin' you! " 

He talked and talked and yarned away, 

He harped on days of yore 

My head it ached and I grew faint; 

My legs got tired and sore. 

Then a woman yelled, 44 You come here, John!" 

And Lordy! how he flew! 

And the last I heard as he broke and ran 

Was, 44 Now I'm tellin' you!" 

I won't never hail old timers 

To have a drink with me, 

To learn the history of the range 

As far back as seventy-three. 

And the next time that I'm thirsty 

And feeling kind of blue, 

I'll step right up and drink alone 

Now I'm tellin' you! 

From the Wild Bunch. 


IT was on the western frontier, 
The miners, rugged and brown, 
Were gathered round the posters, 
The circus had come to town! 
The great tent shone in the darkness 
Like a wonderful palace of light, 
And rough men crowded the entrance, 
Shows didn't come every night! 

Not a woman's face among them; 

Many a face that was bad, 

And some that were only vacant, 

And some that were very sad. 

And behind a canvas curtain, 

In a corner of the place, 

The clown, with chalk and vermillion, 

Was " making up " his face. 

A weary looking woman 
With a smile that still was sweet, 
Sewed on a little garment, 
With a cradle at her feet. 
Pantaloon stood ready and waiting, 
It was time for the going on ; 
But the clown in vain searched wildly, ; 
The " property baby " was gone ! 


The Clown's Baby 

He murmured, impatiently hunting, 

" It's strange that I cannot find 

There, I've looked in every corner; 

It must have been left behind! " 

The miners were stamping and shouting, 

They were not patient men; 

The clown bent over the cradle, 

" I must take you, little Ben." 

The mother started and shivered, 

But trouble and want were near; 

She lifted the baby gently, 

" You'll be very careful, dear? " 

" Careful? You foolish darling!" 

How tenderly it was said! 

What a smile shone through the chalk and paint! 

" I love each hair of his head! " 

The noise rose into an uproar, 

Misrule for the time was king; 

The clown with a foolish chuckle 

Bolted into the ring. 

But as, with a squeak and flourish, 

The fiddles closed their tune 

" You'll hold him as if he were made of glass?" 

Said the clown to the pantaloon. 

The jovial fellow nodded, 

" I've a couple myself," he said. 

" I know how to handle 'em, bless you ! 

The Clown's Baby 

Old fellow, go ahead ! " 

The fun grew fast and furious, 

And not one of all the crowd 

Had guessed that the baby was alive, 

When he suddenly laughed aloud. 

Oh, that baby laugh ! It was echoed 

From the benches with a ring, 

And the roughest customer there sprang up 

With, " Boys, it's the real thing." 

The ring was jammed in a minute, 

Not a man that did not strive 

For a " shot at holding the baby," 

The baby that was alive! 

He was thronged with kneeling suitors 

In the midst of the dusty ring, 

And he held his court right royally, 

The fair little baby king, 

Till one of the shouting courtiers, 

A man with a bold, hard face, 

The talk, for miles, of the country, 

And the terror of the place, 

Raised the little king to his shoulder 
And chuckled, " Look at that! " 
As the chubby fingers clutched his hair; 
Then, " Boys, hand round the hat! " 
There never was such a hatful 
Of silver and gold and notes ; 


The Clown's Baby 

People are not always penniless 
Because they don't wear coats. 

And then, " Three cheers for the baby!" 
I tell you those cheers were meant, 
And the way that they were given 
Was enough to raise the tent. 
And then there was sudden silence 
And a gruff old miner said, 
" Come boys, enough of this rumpus; 
It's time it was put to bed." 

So, looking a little sheepish, 

But with faces strangely bright, 

The audience, somewhat lingering, 

Flocked out into the night. 

And the bold-faced leader chuckled, 

" He wasn't a bit afraid! 

He's as game as he's good-looking! 

Boys, that was a show that paid! " 

Margaret Vandergrift. 



I'M wild and woolly and full of fleas, 
I'm hard to curry below the knees, 
I'm a she-wolf from Shamon Creek, 
For I was dropped from a lightning streak 
And it's my night to hollow Whoo-pee ! 

I stayed in Texas till they runned me out, 
Then in Bull Frog they chased me about, 
I walked a little and rode some more, 
For I've shot up a town before 
And it's my night to hollow Whoo-pee! 

Give me room and turn me loose 

I'm peaceable without excuse. 

I never killed for profit or fun, 

But riled, I'm a regular son of a gun 

And it's my night to hollow Whoo-pee ! 

Good-eye Jim will serve the crowd; 

The rule goes here no sweetnin' 'lowed. 

And we'll drink now the Nixon kid, 

For I rode to town and lifted the lid 

And it's my night to hollow Whoo-pee! 

You can guess how quick a man must be, 
For I killed eleven and wounded three; 


The Drunken Desperado 

And brothers and daddies aren't makin' a sound 
Though they know where the kid is found 
And it's my night to hollow Whoo-pee 1 

When I get old and my aim aint true 

And it's three to one and wounded, too, 

I won't beg and claw the ground; 

For I'll be dead before I'm found 

When it's my night to hollow Whoo-pee! 

Baird Boyd. 



I SHOT him where the Rio flows; 
I shot him when the moon arose; 
And where he lies the vulture knows 
Along the Tinto River. 

In schools of eastern culture pale 
My cloistered flesh began to fail; 
They bore me where the deserts quail 
To winds from out the sun. 

I looked upon the land and sky, 
Nor hoped to live nor feared to die; 
And from my hollow breast a sigh 
Fell o'er the burning waste. 

But strong I grew and tall I grew; 
I drank the region's balm and dew, 
It made me lithe in limb and thew, 
How swift I rode and ran! 

And oft it was my joy to ride 
Over the sand-blown ocean wide 
While, ever smiling at my side, 
Rode Marta of Milrone. 


Maria of Milrone 

A flood of horned heads before, 
The trampled thunder, smoke and roar, 
Of full four thousand hoofs, or more 
A cloud, a sea, a storm! 

Oh, wonderful the desert gleamed, 
As, man and maid, we spoke and dreamed 
Of love in life, till white wastes seemed 
Like plains of paradise. 

Her eyes with Love's great magic shone. 
" Be mine, O Marta of Milrone, 
Your hand, your heart be all my own!" 
Her lips, made sweet response. 

" I love you, yes; for you are he 
Who from the East should come to me 
And I have waited long! " Oh, we 
Were happy as the sun. 

There came upon a hopeless quest, 
With hell and hatred in his breast, 
A stranger, who his love confessed 
To Marta long in vain. 

To me she spoke : " Chosen mate, 
His eyes are terrible with fate, 
I fear his love, I fear his hate, 
I fear some looming ill! " 


Marta of Milrone 

Then to the church we twain did ride, 
I kissed her as she rode beside. 
How fair how passing fair my bride 
With gold combs in her hair! 

Before the Spanish priest we stood 
Of San Gregorio's brotherhood 
A shot rang out ! and in her blood 
My dark-eyed darling lay. 

God! I carried her beside 

The Virgin's altar where she cried, - 
Smiling upon me ere she died, 
" Adieu, my love, adieu!" 

1 knelt before St. Mary's shrine 

And held my dead one's hand in mine, 
" Vengeance," I cried, " O Lord, be thine, 
But I thy minister ! " 

I kissed her thrice and sealed my vow, 
Her eyes, her sea-cold lips and brow, 
u Farewell, my heart is dying now, 

Marta of Milrone ! " 

Then swift upon my steed I lept; 
My streaming eyes the desert swept; 

1 saw the accursed where he crept 
Against the blood-red sun. 


Marta of Milrone 

I galloped straight upon his track, 
And never more my eyes looked back; 
The world was barred with red and black; 
My heart was flaming coal. 

Through the delirious twilight dim 
And the black night I followed him; 
Hills did we cross and rivers swim, 
My fleet foot horse and I. 

The morn burst red, a gory wound, 
O'er iron hills and savage ground; 
And there was never another sound 
Save beat of horses' hoofs. 

Unto the murderer's ear they said, 

" Thou'rt of the dead! Thou'rt of the dead! " 

Still on his stallion black he sped 

While death spurred on behind. 

Fiery dust from the blasted plain 
Burnt like lava in every vein; 
But I rode on with steady rein 
Though the fierce sand-devils spun. 

Then to a sullen land we came, 

Whose earth was brass, whose sky was flame; 

I made it balm with her blessed name 

In the land of Mexico. 


Maria of Milrone 

With gasp and groan my poor horse fell, 
Last of all things that loved me well! 
I turned my head a smoking shell 
Veiled me his dying throes. 

But fast on vengeful foot was I ; 
His steed fell, too, and was left to die; 
He fled where a river's channel dry 
Made way to the rolling stream. 

Red as my rage the huge sun sank. 
My foe bent low on the river's bank 
And deep of the kindly flood he drank 
While the giant stars broke forth. 

Then face to face and man to man 
I fought him where the river ran, 
While the trembling palm held up its fan 
And the emerald serpents lay. 

The mad, remorseless bullets broke 

From tongues of flame in the sulphur smoke; 

The air was rent till the desert spoke 

To the echoing hills afar. 

Hot from his lips the curses burst; 
He fell! The sands were slaked of thirst; 
A stream in the stream ran dark at first, 
And the stones grew red as hearts. 


Marta of Milrone 

I shot him where the Rio flows; 
I shot him when the moon arose; 
And where he lies the vulture knows 
Along the Tinto River. 

But where she lies to none is known 
Save to my poor heart and a lonely stone 
On which I sit and weep alone 
Where the cactus stars are white. 

Where I shall lie, no man can say; 
The flowers all are fallen away; 
The desert is so drear and grey, 
O Marta of Milrone! 

Herman Schefauer. 


FAR out in the wilds of Oregon, 
On a lonely mountain side, 
Where Columbia's mighty waters 
Roll down to the Ocean's tide; 
Where the giant fir and cedar 
Are imaged in the wave, 
O'ergrown with ferns and lichens, 
I found poor Dempsey's grave. 

I found no marble monolith, 

No broken shaft nor stone, 

Recording sixty victories 

This vanquished victor won; 

No rose, no shamrock could I find, 

No mortal here to tell 

Where sleeps in this forsaken spot 

The immortal Nonpareil. 

A winding, wooded canyon road 
That mortals seldom tread 
Leads up this lonely mountain 
To this desert of the dead. 
And the western sun was sinking 
In Pacific's golden wave; 
And these solemn pines kept watching 
Over poor Jack Dempsey's grave. 

Jack Dempsey's Grave 

That man of honor and of iron, 

That man of heart and steel, 

That man who far out-classed his class 

And made mankind to feel 

That Dempsey's name and Dempsey's fame 

Should live in serried stone, 

Is now at rest far in the West 

In the wilds of Oregon. 

Forgotten by ten thousand throats 
That thundered his acclaim 
Forgotten by his friends and foes 
That cheered his very name; 
Oblivion wraps his faded form, 
But ages hence shall save 
The memory of that Irish lad 
That fills poor Dempsey's grave. 

O Fame, why sleeps thy favored son 

In wilds, in woods, in weeds? 

And shall he ever thus sleep on 

Interred his valiant deeds? 

'Tis strange New York should thus forget 

Its " bravest of the brave," 

And in the wilds of Oregon 

Unmarked, leave Dempsey's grave. 




ONCE more are we met for a season of pleasure, 
That shall smooth from our brows every fur- 
row of care, 

For the sake of old times shall we each tread a meas- 

And drink to the lees in the eyes of the fair. 
Once more let the hand-clasp of years past be given; 
Let us once more be boys and forget we are men; 
Let friendships the chances of fortune have riven 
Be renewed and the smiling past come back again. 
The past, when the prairie was big and the cattle 
Were as " scary " as ever the antelope grew 
When to carry a gun, to make our spurs rattle, 
And to ride a blue streak was the most that we knew; 
The past when we headed each year for Dodge City 
And punched up the drags on the old Chisholm 

Trail ; 
When the world was all bright and the girls were all 

And a feller could " mav'rick " and stay out of jail. 

Then here's to the eyes that like diamonds are gleam- 

And make the lamps blush that their duties are o'er; 

And here's to the lips where young love lies a-dream- 


The Cattle Round-Up 

And here's to the feet light as air on the floor; 
And here's to the memories fun's sweetest sequel; 
And here's to the night we shall ever recall; 
And here's to the time time shall know not its 


When we danced the day in at the Cattlemen's Ball. 

H. D. C. McLaclachlan. 



/ am the plain, barren since time began. 
Yet do I dream of motherhood, when man 
One day at last shall look upon my charms 
And give me towns } like children^ for my arms. 


IUST to read in the novel books 'bout fellers 
that got the prod 
From an arrer shot from his hidin' place by the 

hand o' the Cupid god, 
An' Td laugh at the cussed chumps they was 

a-wastin' their breath in sighs 
An' goin' around with a locoed look a-campin' 

inside their eyes. 
IVe read o' the gals that broke 'em up a-sailin' in 

airy flight 
On angel pinions above their beds as they dreampt 

o' the same at night, 
An' a sort o' disgusted frown' d bunch the wrinkles 

acrost my brow, 
An' I'd call 'em a lot o' sissy boys- but I'm seein' 

it different now. 

I got the jab in my rough ol' heart, an' I got it 

a-plenty, too, 
A center shot from a pair o' eyes of the winninest sort 

o' blue, 
An' I ride the ranges a-sighin' sighs, as cranky as a 

locoed steer 
A durned heap worse than the novel blokes that the 

narrative gals'd queer. 

A Cowboy's Worrying Love 

Just hain't no energy left no mo', go 'round like a 

orphant calf 
A-thinkin' about that sagehen's eyes that give me the 

Cupid gaff, 
An' I'm all skeered up when I hit the thought some 

other rider might 
Cut in ahead on a faster hoss an' rope her afore my 


There ain't a heifer that ever run in the feminine 
beauty herd 

Could switch a tail on the whole durned range 'long- 
side o' that little bird; 

A figger plump as a prairy dog's that's feedin' on 
new spring grass, 

An' as purty a face as was ever flashed in front of 
a lookin' glass. 

She's got a smile that 'd raise the steam in the icyist 
sort o' heart, 

A couple o' soul inspirin' eyes, an' the nose that keeps 
'em apart 

Is the cutest thing in the sassy line that ever oc- 
curred to act 

As a ornament stuck on a purty face, an' that's a 
dead open fact. 

I'm a-goin' to brace her by an' by to see if there's 

any hope, 
To see if she's liable to shy when I'm ready to pitch 

the rope; 


A Cowboy's Worrying Love 

To see if she's goin' to make a stand, or fly like a 

skeered up dove 
When I make a pass with the brandin' iron that's 

het in the fire o' love. 
I'll open the little home corral an' give her the 

level hunch 
To make a run fur the open gate when I cut her 

out o' the bunch, 
Fur there ain't no sense in a-jammin' round with a 

heart that's as soft as dough 
An' a-throwin' the breath o' life away bunched up 

into sighs. Heigh-ho! 

James Barton Adams. 



FUNNY how it come about! 
Me and Texas Tom was out 
Takin' of a moonlight walk, 
Fillin' in the time with talk. 
Every star up in the sky 
Seemed to wink the other eye 
At each other, 'sif they 
Smelt a mouse around our way! 

Me and Tom had never grew 
Spoony like some couples do ; 
Never billed and cooed and sighed; 
He was bashful like and I'd 
Notions of my own that it 
Wasn't policy to git 
Too abundant till I'd got 
Of my feller good and caught. 

As we walked along that night 
He got talkin' of the bright 
Prospects that he had, and I 
Somehow felt, I dunno why, 
That a-fore we cake-walked back 
To the ranch he'd make a crack 

The Cowboy and the Maid 

Fer my hand, and I was plum 
Achin' fer the shock to come. 

By and by he says, " I've got 
Fifty head o' cows, and not 
One of 'em but, on the dead, 
Is a crackin' thoroughbred. 
Got a daisy claim staked out, 
And I'm thinkin' it's about 
Time fer me to make a shy 
At a home." " O Tom ! " says I. 

" Bin a-lookin' round," says he, 
44 Quite a little while to see 
'F I could git a purty face 
Fer to ornament the place. 
Plenty of 'em in the land; 
But the one 'at wears my brand 
Must be sproutin' wings to fly! " 
44 You deserve her, Tom," says I. 

" Only one so fur," says he, 
" Fills the bill, and mebbe she 
Might shy off and bust my hope 
If I should pitch the poppin' rope. 
Mebbe she'd git hot an' say 
That it was a silly play 
Askin' her to make a tie." 
44 She would be a fool," says I. 

The Cowboy and the Maid 

'Tain't nobody's business what 
Happened then, but I jist thought 
I could see the moon-man smile 
Cutely down upon us, while 
Me and him was walkin' back, 
Stoppin' now and then to smack 
Lips rejoicin' that at last 

dread crisis had been past. 



OH, the last steer has been branded 
And the last beef has been shipped, 
And I'm free to roam the prairies 
That the round-up crew has stripped; 
I'm free to think of Susie, 
Fairer than the stars above, 
She's the waitress at the station 
And she is my turtle dove. 

Biscuit-shootin' Susie, 
She's got us roped and tied; 
Sober men or woozy 
Look on her with pride. 
Susie's strong and able, 
And not a one gits rash 
When she waits on the table 
And superintends the hash. 

Oh, I sometimes think I'm locoed 
An' jes fit fer herdin' sheep, 
'Cause I only think of Susie 
When I'm wakin' or I'm sleep. 
I'm wearin' Cupid's hobbles, 
An' I'm tied to Love's stake-pin, 
And when my heart was branded 
The irons sunk deep in. 

A Cowboy's Love Song 
Chorus : 

I take my saddle, Sundays, 
The one with inlaid flaps, 
And don my new sombrero 
And my white angora chaps; 
Then I take a bronc for Susie 
And she leaves her pots and pans 
And we figure out our future 
And talk o'er our homestead plans. 

Chorus : 




SPANISH is the Win' tongue, 
Soft as music, light as spray; 
'Twas a girl I learnt it from 
Livin' down Sonora way. 
I don't look much like a lover, 
Yet I say her love-words over 
Often, when I'm all alone 
" Mi amor, mi corazon" 

Nights when she knew where I'd ride 

She would listen for my spurs, 
Throw the big door open wide, 

Raise them laughin' eyes of hers, 
And my heart would nigh stop beatin' 
When I'd hear her tender greetin' 

Whispered soft for me alone 

" Mi amor! mi corazon!" 

Moonlight in the patio, 

Old Senora noddin' near, 
Me and Juana talkin' low 

So the " madre " couldn't hear 
How those hours would go a-flyin', 
And too soon I'd hear her sighin', 

In her little sorry-tone 

" Adios, mi corazon" 

A Border A fair 

But one time I had to fly 

For a foolish gamblin' fight, 
And we said a swift good-bye 

On that black, unlucky night. 
When I'd loosed her arms from clingin', 
With her words the hoofs kept ringin', 

As I galloped north alone 

"Adios, mi corazon." 

Never seen her since that night; 

I kaint cross the Line, you know. 
She was Mex. and I was white; 

Like as not it's better so. 
Yet I've always sort of missed her 
Since that last, wild night I kissed her, 

Left her he^rt and lost my own 

" Adios, mi corazon." 

Charles B. Clark, Jr. 



I WAS young and happy and my heart was light 
and gay, 
Singin', always singin' through the sunny summer 


Happy as a lizard in the wavin' chaparral, 
Walkin' down through Laramie with Snagtooth Sal. 

Sal, Sal, 

My heart is broke today 

Broke in two forever when they laid you in the 

I would give creation to be walkin' with my 

Walkin' down through Laramie with Snag- 
tooth Sal. 

Bury me tomorrow where the lily blossoms spring 
Underneath the willows where the little robins sing. 
You will yearn to see me but ah, nevermore you 

Walkin' down through Laramie with Snagtooth Sal. 


Plant a little stone above the little mound of sod; 
Write : " Here lies a lovin' an' a busted heart, 


Snagtooth Sal 

Nevermore you'll see him walkin' proudly with his 

Walkin' down through Laramie with Snagtooth Sal." 

Sal, Sal, 

My heart is broke today 

Broke in two forever when they laid you in the 

I would give creation to be walkin' with my 

Walkin' down through Laramie with Snag- 
tooth Sal. 

Lowell O. Reese, 
In the Saturday Evening Post. 



IT hain't no use fer me to say 
There's others with a style an' way 
That beats hers to a fare-you-well, 
Fer, on the square, I'm here to tell 
I jes can't even start to see 
But what she's perfect as kin be. 
Fer any fault I finds excuse 
I'll tell you, pard, it hain't no use 
Fer me to try to raise a hand, 
When on my heart she's run her brand. 

The bunk-house ain't the same to me; 

The bunch jes makes me weary Gee! 

I never knew they was so coarse 

I warps my face to try to force 

A smile at each old gag they spring; 

Fer I'd heap ruther hear her sing 

" Sweet Adeline," or softly play 

The " Dream o' Heaven " that-a-way. 

Besides this place, most anywhere 

I'd ruther be so she was there. 

She called me u dear," an' do you know, 
My heart jes skipped a beat, an' tho' 
I'm hard to feaze, I'm free to yip 

Love Lyrics of a Cowboy 

My reason nearly lost its grip. 

She called me " dear," jes sweet an' slow, 

An' lookin' down an' speakin' low; 

An' if I had ten lives to live, 

With everything the world could give, 

I'd shake 'em all without one fear 

If 'fore I'd go she'd call me " dear." 

You wonders why I slicks up so 

On Sundays, when I gits to go 

To see her well, I'm free to say 

She's like religion that-a-way. 

Jes sort o' like some holy thing, 

As clean as young grass in the spring; 

An' so before I rides to her 

I looks my best from hat to spur 

But even then I hain't no right 

To think I look good in her sight. 

If she should pass me up say, boy, 
You jes put hobbles on your joy; 
First thing you know, you gits so gay 
Your luck stampedes and gits away. 
An' don't you even start a guess 
That you've a cinch on happiness ; 
Per few e'er reach the Promised Land 
If they starts headed by a band. 
Ride slow an' quiet, humble, too, 
Or Fate will slap its brand on you. 

Love Lyrics of a Cowboy 

The old range sleeps, there hain't a stir. 

Less it's a night-hawk's sudden whir, 

Or cottonwoods a-whisperin' while 

The red moon smiles a lovin' smile. 

An' there I set an' hold her hand 

So glad I jes can't understand 

The reason of it all, or see 

Why all the world looks good to me ; 

Or why I sees in it heap more 

Of beauty than I seen before. 

Fool talk, perhaps, but it jes seems 
We're ridin' through a range o' dreams; 
Where medder larks the year round sing, 
An' it's jes one eternal spring. 
An' time why time is gone by gee ! 
There's no such thing as time to me 
Until she says, " Here, boy, you know 
You simply jes have got to go; 
It's nearly twelve." I rides away, 
41 Dog-gone a clock! " is what I say. 

R. V. Carr. 



THE couriers from Chihuahua go 
To distant Cusi and Santavo, 
Announce the feast of all the year the crown 
Se corren los torosf 
And Juan brings his Pepita into town. 

The rancherias on the mountain side, 

The haciendas of the Llano wide, 

Are quickened by the matador's renown. 

Se corren los toros! 

And Juan brings his Pepita into town. 

The women that on ambling burros ride, 

The men that trudge behind or close beside 

Make groups of dazzling red and white and brown. 

Se corren los toros! 

And Juan brings his Pepita into town. 

Or else the lumbering carts are brought in play, 
That jolt and scream and groan along the way, 
But to their happy tenants cause no frown. 
Se corren los toros! 
And Juan brings his Pepita into town. 

The Plaza De Los Toros offers seats, 
Some deep in shade, on some the fierce sun beats ; 


The Bull Fight 

These for the don, those for the rustic clown. 

Se corren los toros! 

And Juan brings his Pepita into town. 

Pepita sits, so young and sweet and fresh, 
The sun shines on her hair's dusky mesh. 
Her day of days, how soon it will be flown ! 
Se corren los toros! 
And Juan's brought his Pepita into town. 

The bull is harried till the governor's word 
Bids the Diestro give the agile sword; 
Then shower the bravos and the roses down ! 
'Sta inner to el toro! 

And Juan takes his Pepita back from the town. 

L. Worthington Green. 




SAY, Moll, now don't you 'How to quit 
A-playin' maverick? 
Sech stock should be corralled a bit 
An' hev a mark 't '11 stick. 

Old Val's a-roundin'-up today 
Upon the Sweetheart Range, 
'N me a-helpin', so to say, 
Though this yere herd is strange 

To me 'n yit, ef I c'd rope 

Jes one to wear my brand 

I'd strike f'r Home Ranch on a lope, 

The happiest in the land. 

Yo' savvy who I'm runnin' so, 

Yo' savvy who I be; 

Now, can't yo' take that brand yo' know, 

The * M-I-N-E. 

C. F. Lummis. 



I'VE heard that story ofttimes about that little 

A-cryin' for the shiney moon to fall into his lap, 
An' jes a-raisin' merry hell because he couldn't git 
The same to swing down low so's he could nab a-holt 

of it, 

An' I'm a-feelin' that-a-way, locoed I reckon, wuss 
Than that same kid, though maybe not a-makin' sich 

a fuss, 
A-goin' round with achin' eyes a-hankerin' fer a 

That's hangin' on the beauty tree, too high fer me 

to reach. 

I'm jes a rider of the range, plumb rough an' on- 

An' wild an' keerless in my ways, like others of my 

A reckless cuss in leather chaps, an' tanned an' black- 
ened so 

You'd think I wuz a Greaser from the plains of 

I never learnt to say a prayer, an' guess my style o' 

If fired off in a Sunday School would give 'em all 
a shock; 


A Cowboy's Hopeless Love 

An' yet I got a-mopin' round as crazy as a loon 
An' actin' like the story kid that bellered fer the 

I wish to God she'd never come with them bright 

laughin' eyes, 
Had never flashed that smile that seems a sunburst 

from the skies, 
Had stayed there in her city home instead o' comin' 

To visit at the ranch an' knock my heart plumb out 

o' gear. 
I wish to God she'd talk to me in a way to fit the 

In words t'd have a tendency to hold me in my 


Instead o' bein' sociable an' actin' like she thought 
Us cowboys good as city gents in clothes that's tailor 


If I would hint to her o' love, she'd hit that love a 

An' laugh at sich a tough as me a-tryin' to rope a 

She'd give them fluffy skirts a flirt, an' skate out o' 

my sight, 
An' leave me paralyzed, an' it'd serve me cussed 

I wish she'd pack her pile o' trunks an' hit the city 



A Cowboy's Hopeless Love 

An' maybe I'd recover from this violent attack; 
An' in the future know enough to watch my feedin' 

An' shun the loco weed o' love when there's an angel 


James Barton Adams. 



TERE'S a moccasin track in the drifts, 
A A It's no more than the length of my hand; 
An' her instep, just see how it lifts ! 
If that ain't the best in the land! 
For the maid ran as free as the wind 
And her foot was as light as the snow. 
Why, as sure as I follow, I'll find 
Me a kiss where her red blushes grow. 

Here's two small little feet and a skirt; 

Here's a soft little heart all aglow. 

See me trail down the dear little flirt 

By the sign that she left in the snow ! 

Did she run? 'Twas a sign to make haste. 

An' why bless her ! I'm sure she won't mind. 

If she's got any kisses to waste, 

Why, she knew that a man was behind. 

Did she run 'cause she's only afraid? 

No ! For sure 'twas to set me the pace ! 

An' I'll follow in love with a maid 

When I ain't had a sight of her face. 

There she is ! An' I knew she was near. 

Will she pay me a kiss to be free ? 

Will she hate? Will she love? Will she fear? 

Why, the darling ! She's waiting to see ! 

Pocock in " Curley." 


ET us ride together, 
Blowing mane and hair, 
Careless of the weather, 
Miles ahead of care, 
Ring of hoof and snaffle, 
Swing of waist and hip, 
Trotting down the twisted road 
With the world let slip. 

Let us laugh together, 
Merry as of old 
To the creak of leather 
And the morning cold. 
Break into a canter; 
Shout to bank and tree; 
Rocking down the waking trail, 
Steady hand and knee. 


Take the life of cities, 
Here's the life for me. 
'Twere a thousand pities 
Not to gallop free. 
So we'll ride together, 
Comrade, you and I, 
Careless of the weather, 
Letting care go by. 



THAR she goes a-lopin', stranger, 
Khaki-gowned, with flyin' hair, 
Talk about your classy ridin', 
Wai, you're gettin' it right thar. 
Jest a kid, but lemme tell you 
When she warms a saddle seat 
On that outlaw bronc a-straddle 
She is one that can't be beat! 

Every buckaroo that sees her 
Tearin' cross the range astride 
Has some mighty jealous feelin's 
Wishin' he knowed how to ride. 
Why, she'll take a deep barranca 
Six-foot wide and never peep ; 
That 'ere cayuse she's a-forkin' 
Sure 's somethin' on the leap. 

Ride? Why, she can cut a critter 
From the herd as neat as pie, 
Read a brand out on the ranges 
Just as well as you or I. 
Ain't much yet with the riata, 
But you give her a few years 
And no puncher with the outfit 
Will beat her a-ropin' steers. 

Our Little Cowgirl 

Proud o' her? Say, lemme tell you, 
She's the queen of all the range; 
Got a grip upon our heart-strings 
Mighty strong, but that ain't strange ; 
'Cause she loves the lowin' cattle, 
Loves the hills and open air, 
Dusty trails on blossomed canons 
God has strung around out here. 

Hoof-beats poundin' down the mesa, 
Chicken-time in lively tune, 
Jest below the trail to Keeber's, 
Wait, you'll see her pretty soon. 
You kin bet I know that ridin', 
Now she's toppin' yonder swell. 
Thar she is; that's her a-smilin' 
At the bars of the corral. 



I'M night guard all alone tonight, 
Dead homesick, lonely, tired and blue; 
And none but you can make it right; 
My heart is hungry, Girl, for you. 

Fve longed all night to hug you, Dear; 
To speak my love Fm at a loss. 
But just as soon as daylight's here 
Fm goin' straight to see the boss. 

" How long's the round-up goin' to run? 

Another week, or maybe three? 

Give me my time, then, I am done. 

No, Fm not sick. Three weeks? Oh gee! ' 

I know, though, when Fve had enough. 
I will not work, darned if I will. 
Fm goin' to quit, and that's no bluff. 
Say, gimme some tobacco, Bill. 



THE herds are gathered in from plain and hill, 
Who's that a-calling? 
The boys are sleeping and the boys are still, 

Who's that a-calling? 
'Twas the wind a-sighing in the prairie grass, 

Who's that a-calling? 
Or wild birds singing overhead as they pass. 

Who's that a-calling? 

Making heart and pulse to beat. 

No, no, it wasn't earthly sound I heard, 

Who's that a-calling? 
It was no sigh of breeze or song of bird, 

Who's that a-calling? 
For the tone I heard was softer far than these, 

Who's that a-calling? 

'Twas loved ones' voices from far off across the seas 



THE dust hangs thick upon the trail 
And the horns and the hoofs are clashing, 
While off at the side through the chaparral 
The men and the strays go crashing; 
But in right good cheer the cowboy sings, 
For the work of the fall is ending, 
And then it's ride for the old home ranch 
Where a maid love's light is tending. 

Then it's crack ! crack ! crack ! 

On the beef steer's back, 

And it's run, you slow-foot devil; 

For I'm soon to turn back where through the black 

Love's lamp gleams along the level. 

He's trailed them far o'er the trackless range, 

Has this knight of the saddle leather; 

He has risked his life in the mad stampede, 

And has breasted all kinds of weather. 

But now is the end of the trail in sight, 

And the hours on wings are sliding; 

For it's back to the home and the only girl 

When the foreman O K's the option. 

Then it's quirt ! quirt ! quirt ! 
And it's run or git hurt, 


Song of the Cattle Trail 

You hang-back, bawling critter. 

For a man who's in love with a turtle dove 

Ain't got no time to fritter. 



WHAR y'u from, little stranger, little boy? 
Y'u was ridin' a cloud on that star-strewn 


But y'u fell from the skies like a drop of rain 
To this world of sorrow and long, long pain. 
Will y'u care fo' yo' mothah, little boy? 

When y'u grows, little varmint, little boy, 

Y'u'll be ridin' a hoss by yo' fathah's side 

With yo' gun and yo' spurs and yo' howstrong pride. 

Will y'u think of yo' home when the world rolls 

Will y'u wish for yo' mothah, little boy? 

When y'u love in yo' manhood, little boy, 
When y'u dream of a girl who is angel fair, 
When the stars are her eyes and the wind is her 


When the sun is her smile and yo' heaven's there, 
Will y'u care for yo' mothah, little boy? 

Pocock in " Curley." 



I COULD not be so well content, 
So sure of thee, 

But well I know you must relent 
And come to me, 
Lolita ! 

The Caballeros throng to see 

Thy laughing face, 



But well I know thy heart's for me, 

Thy charm, thy grace, 

Lolita ! 

I ride the range for thy dear sake, 

To earn thee gold, 


Lolita ; 

And steal the gringo's cows to make 

A ranch to hold 

Lolita ! 

Pocock in " Curley." 



T ONESOME ? Well, I guess so ! 
I ^ This place is mighty blue ; 
The silence of the empty rooms 
Jes' palpitates with you. 

The day has lost its beauty, 
The sun's a-shinin' pale; 
I'll round up my belonging 
An' I guess I'll hit the trail. 

Out there in the sage-brush 
A-harkin' to the " Coo-oo " 
Of the wild dove in his matin' 
I can think alone of you. 

Perhaps a gaunt coyote 

Will go a-lopin' by 

An' linger on the mountain ridge 

An' cock his wary eye. 

An' when the evenin' settles, 

A-waitin' for the dawn 

Perhaps I'll hear the ground owl : 

" She's gone she's gone she's gone ! " 



YOU'RE very well polished, I'm free to confess, 
Well balanced, well rounded, a power for right; 
But cool and collected, no steel could be less ; 
You're primed for continual fight. 

Your voice is a bellicose bark of ill-will, 
On hatred and choler you seem to have fed; 
But when I control you, your temper is nil; 
In fact, you're most easily led. 

Though lead is your diet and fight is your fun, 
I simply can't give you the jolt; 
For I love you, you blessed old son-of-a-gun, 
You forty-five caliber Colt ! 

Burke Jenkins. 


THAT time when Bob got throwed 
I thought I sure would bust. 
I like to died a-laffin' 
To see him chewin' dust. 

He crawled on that Andy bronc 
And hit him with a quirt. 
The next thing that he knew 
He was wallowin' in the dirt. 

Yes, it might a -killed him, 
I heard the old ground pop ; 
But to see if he was injured 
You bet I didn't stop. 

I just rolled on the ground 
And began to kick and yell; 
It like to tickled me to death 
To see how hard he fell. 

'Twarn't more than a week ago 
That I myself got throwed, 
(But 'twas from a meaner horse 
Than old Bob ever rode). 

When Bob Got Throwed 

D'you reckon Bob looked sad and said, 
" I hope that you ain't hurt! " 
Naw! He just laffed and laffed and laffed 
To see me chewin' dirt. 

IVe been prayin' ever since 
For his horse to turn his pack; 
And when he done it, I'd a laffed 
If it had broke his back. 

So I was still a^howlin' 

When Bob, he got up lame ; 

He seen his horse had run clean off 

And so for me he came. 

He first chucked sand into my eyes, 
With a rock he rubbed my head, 
Then he twisted both my arms, 
" Now go fetch that horse," he said. 

So I went and fetched him back, 
But I was feelin' good all day; 
For I sure enough do love to see 
A feller get throwed that way. 




HAVEN'T got no special likin' fur the toney 
sorts o' play, 

Chasin' foxes or that hossback polo game, 
Jumpin' critters over hurdles sort o' things that 

any jay 

Could accomplish an' regard as rather tame. 
None o' them is worth a mention, to my thinkin' 

p'int o' view, 

Which the same I hold correct without a doubt, 
As a-toppin' of a broncho that has got it in fur you 
An' concludes that's just the time to have it out. 

Don't no sooner hit the saddle than the exercises 


An' they're lackin' in perliminary fuss; 
You kin hear his j'ints a-crackin' like he's breakin' 

'em apart, 

An' the hide jes' seems a-rippin' off the cuss, 
An' you sometimes git a joltin' that makes every- 
thing turn blue, 

. An' you want to strictly mind what you're about, 
When you're fightin' with a broncho that has got it 

in fur you 

An' imagines that's the time to have it out. 

Cowboy Versus Broncho 

Bows his back when he is risin', sticks his nose be- 
tween his knees, 

An' he shakes hisself while a-hangin' in the air; 
Then he hits the earth so solid that it somewhat dis- 

With the usual peace an' quiet of your hair. 
You imagine that your innards are a-gittin' all 


An' your spine don't feel so cussed firm an' stout, 
When you're up agin a broncho that has got it in 

fur you 
Doin' of his level best to have it out. 

He will rise to the occasion with a lightnin' jump, an' 

When he hits the face o' these United States 
Doesn't linger half a second till he's in the air agin 

Occupies the earth an' then evacuates. 
Isn't any sense o' comfort like a-settin' in a pew 

Listenin' to hear a sleepy parson spout 
When you're up on top a broncho that has got it in 
fur you 

An' is desputly a-tryin' to have it out. 

Always feel a touch o' pity when he has to give 

it up 

After makin' sich a well intentioned buck 
An' is standin' broken hearted an' as gentle as a pup 
A reflectin' on the rottenness o' luck. 

Cowboy Versus Broncho 

Puts your sympathetic feelin's, as you might say, in 

a stew, 

Though you're lame as if a-sufferin' from the gout, 
When you're lightin' off a broncho that has had it in 

fur you 
An' mistook the proper time to have it out. 

James Barton Adams. 



IF a feller's been a-straddle 
Since he's big enough to ride, 
And has had to sling his saddle 
On most any colored hide, 
Though it's nothin' they take pride in, 
Still most fellers I have knowed, 
If they ever done much ridin', 
Has at different times got throwed. 

All the boys start out together 
For the round-up some fine day 
When you're due to throw your leather 
On a little wall-eyed bay, 
An' he swells to beat the nation 
When you're cinchin' up the slack, 
An' he keeps an elevation 
In your saddle at the back. 

He stands still with feet a-sprawlin', 
An' his eye shows lots of white, 
An' he kinks his spinal column, 
An' his hide is puckered tight, 
He starts risin' an' a-jumpin', 
An' he strikes when you get near, 

When You're Throwed 

An' you cuss him an' you thump him 
Till you get him by the ear, 

Then your right hand grabs the saddle 
An' you ketch your stirrup, too, 
An' you try to light a-straddle 
Like a woolly buckaroo ; 
But he drops his head an' switches, 
Then he makes a backward jump, 
Out of reach your stirrup twitches 
But your right spur grabs his hump. 

An' " Stay with him! " shouts some feller; 
Though you know it's hope forlorn, 
Yet you'll show that you ain't yeller 
An' you choke the saddle horn. 
Then you feel one rein a-droppin' 
An' you know he's got his head; 
An' your shirt tail's out an' floppin' ; 
An' the saddle pulls like lead. 

Then the boys all yell together 

Fit to make a feller sick: 

" Hey, you short horn, drop the leather! 

Fan his fat an' ride him slick! " 

Seems you're up-side-down an' flyin' ; 

Then your spurs begin to slip. 

There's no further use in tryin', 

For the horn flies from your grip, 


When You're Throwed 

An' you feel a vague sensation 
As upon the ground you roll, 
Like a violent separation 
'Twixt your body an' your soul. 
Then you roll agin a hummock 
Where you lay an' gasp for breath, 
An' there's somethin' grips your stomach 
Like the finger-grips o' death. 

They all offers you prescriptions 
For the grip an' for the croup, 
An' they give you plain descriptions 
How you looped the spiral loop; 
They all swear you beat a circus 
Or a hoochy-koochy dance, 
Moppin' up the canon's surface 
With the bosom of your pants. 

Then you'll get up on your trotters, 
But you have a job to stand; 
For the landscape round you totters 
An' your collar's full o' sand. 
Lots of fellers give prescriptions 
How a broncho should be rode, 
But there's few that gives descriptions 
Of the times when they got throwed. 




YOU bad-eyed, tough-mouthed son-of-a-gun, 
Ye're a hard little beast to break, 
But ye're good for the fiercest kind of a run 
An' ye're quick as a rattlesnake. 
Ye jolted me good when we first met 
In the dust of that bare corral, 
An' neither one of us will forget 
The fight we fit, old pal. 

But now well, say, old hoss, if John 

D. Rockefeller shud come 

With all the riches his paws are on 

And want to buy you, you bum, 

Fd laugh in his face an' pat your neck 

An' say to him loud an' strong: 

" I wouldn't sell you this derned old wreck 

For all your wealth so long! " 

For we have slept on the barren plains 
An' cuddled against the cold; 
We've been through tempests of drivin' rains 
When the heaviest thunder rolled; 
We've raced from fire on the lone prairee 
An' run from the mad stampede; 
An' there ain't no money could buy from me 
A pard of your style an' breed. 

Pardners, , , 

So I reckon we'll stick together, pard, 

Till one of us cashes in; 

Ye're wirey an' tough an' mighty hard, 

An' homlier, too, than sin. 

But yer head's all there an' yer heart's all right, 

An' you've been a good pardner, too, 

An' if ye've a soul it's clean an' white, 

You ugly oF scoundrel, you ! 

Berton Braley. 



I'VE busted bronchos off and on 
Since first I struck their trail, 
And you bet I savvy bronchos 
From nostrils down to tail; 
But I struck one on Powder River, 
And say, hands, he was the first 
And only living broncho 
That your servant couldn't burst. 

He was a no-count buckskin, 

Wasn't worth two-bits to keep, 

Had a black stripe down his backbone, 

And was woolly like a sheep. 

That hoss wasn't built to tread the earth; 

He took natural to the air; 

And every time he went aloft 

He tried to leave me there. 

He went so high above the earth 
Lights from Jerusalem shone. 
Right thar we parted company 
And he came down alone. 
I hit terra firma, 
The buckskin's heels struck free, 
And brought a bunch of stars along 
To dance in front of me. 

The Bronc That Wouldn't Bust 

I'm not a-riding airships 

Nor an electric flying beast; 

Ain't got no rich relation 

A-waitin' me back East; 

So I'll sell my chaps and saddle, 

My spurs can lay and rust; 

For there's now and then a digger 

That a buster cannot bust. 



WHEN it comes to saddle hawses, there's a dif- 
ference in steeds : 
There is fancy-gaited critters that will suit some 

feller's needs; 
There is nags high-bred an' tony, with a smooth an' 

shiny skin, 
That will capture all the races that you want to run 

'em in. 
But fer one that never tires; one that's faithful, tried 

and true ; 
One that allus is a " stayer " when you want to 

slam him through, 
There is but one breed o' critters that I ever came 

That will allus stand the racket : 'tis the 


Hawse ! 

No, he ain't so much fer beauty, fer he's scrubby an' 

he's rough, 
An' his temper's sort o' sassy, but you bet he's good 

enough ! 
Fer he'll take the trail o' mornin's, be it up or be it 



The Ol' Cow Hawse 

On the range a-huntin' cattle or a-lopin' into town, 
An' he'll leave the miles behind him, an' he'll never 

sweat a hair, 

'Cuz he's a willin' critter when he's goin' anywhere. 
Oh, your thoroughbred at runnin' in a race may be 

the boss, 
But fer all day ridin' lemme have the 


Hawse ! 

When my soul seeks peace and quiet on the home 

ranch of the blest, 
Where no storms or stampedes bother, an' the trails 

are trails o' rest, 
When my brand has been inspected an' pronounced 

to be O K, 
An' the boss has looked me over an' has told me I 

kin stay, 
Oh, I'm hopin' when I'm lopin' off across that 

blessed range 
That I won't be in a saddle on a critter new an' 

But I'm prayin' every minnit that up there I'll ride 

That big heaven range o' glory on an 


Hawse ! 

E. A. Brinninstool. 


WRANGLE up your mouth-harps, drag your 
banjo out, 

Tune your old guitarra till she twangs right stout, 
For the snow is on the mountains and the wind is on 

the plain, 

But we'll cut the chimney's moanin' with a livelier 

Shinin' dobe fire-place, shadows on the wall 
(See old Shorty's friv'lous toes a-twitchin* at 

the call:) 
It's the best grand high that there is within the 

When seven jolly punchers tackle " Turkey in 

the Straw." 

Freezy was the day's ride, lengthy was the trail, 
Ev'ry steer was haughty with a high-arched tail, 
But we held 'em and we shoved 'em for our longin' 

hearts were tried 
By a yearnin' for tobaccer and our dear fireside. 

Swing y er into stop-time, don't you let y er droop 
(You're about as tuneful as a coyote with the 


The Bunk-House Orchestra 

Ay, the cold wind bit when we drifted down the 

But we drifted on to comfort and to " Turkey 

in the Straw" 

Snarlin' when the rain whipped, cussin' at the ford 
Ev'ry mile of twenty was a long discord, 
But the night is brimmin' music and its glory is com- 

When the eye is razzle-dazzled by the flip o' Shorty's 

Snappy for the dance, now, till she up and 

(Don't he beat the devil's wife for jiggin' in 
his boots?) 

Shorty got throwed high and we laughed till he 
was raw, 

But tonight he's done forgot it prancin* " Tur- 
key in the Straw' 9 

Rainy dark or firelight, bacon rind or pie, 

Livin' is a luxury that don't come high; 

Oh, be happy and onruly while our years and luck 

For we all must die or marry less than forty years 

from now! 

Lively on the last turn! Lope 'er to the death! 
(Reddy's soul is willin' but he's gettin* short o' 


The Bunk-House Orchestra 

Ay, the storm wind sings and old trouble sucks 
his paw 

When we have an hour of firelight set to " Tur- 
key in the Straw" 

Charles Badger Clark. 



YOU can't expect a cowboy to agitate his shanks 
In etiquettish manner in aristocratic ranks 
When he's always been accustomed to shake the heel 

and toe 
At the rattling rancher dances where much etiquet 

don't go. 
You can be I set them laughing in quite an excited 


A-giving of their squinters an astonished sort of play, 
JVVhen I happened into Denver and was asked to take 

a prance 
In the smooth and easy mazes of a high-toned dance. 

When I got among the ladies in their frocks of fleecy 

And the dudes togged out in wrappings that were 

simply out of sight, 
Tell you what, I was embarrassed, and somehow I 

couldn't keep 

From feeling like a burro in a pretty flock of sheep. 
Every step I made was awkward and I blushed a 

fiery red 
Like the principal adornment of a turkey gobbler's 



The Cowboy's Dance Song 

The ladies said 'twas seldom that they had had the 

To see an old-time puncher at a high-toned dance. 

I cut me out a heifer from a bunch of pretty girls 
And yanked her to the center to dance the dreamy 

She laid her head upon my bosom in a loving sort 

of way 
And we drifted into heaven as the band began to 

I could feel my neck a-burning from her nose's 

breathing heat, 
And she do-ce-doed around me, half the time upon 

my feet; 
She peered up in my blinkers with a soul-dissolving 

Quite conducive to the pleasures of a high-toned 


Every nerve just got a-dancing to the music of de- 

As I hugged the little sagehen uncomfortably tight; 

But she never made a bellow and the glances of her 

Seemed to thank me for the pleasure of a genuine 

She snuggled up against me in a loving sort of way, 

And I hugged her all the tighter for her trustifying 


The Cowboy's Dance Song 

Tell you what the joys of heaven ain't a cussed cir- 
To the hug-a-mania pleasures of a high-toned dance. 

When they struck the old cotillion on the music bill 

of fare, 
Every bit of devil in me seemed to burst out on a 


I fetched a cowboy whoop and started in to rag, 
And cut her with my trotters till the floor began to 

Swung my pardner till she got sea-sick and rushed 

for a seat; 
I balanced to the next one but she dodged me slick 

and neat. 

Tell you what, I shook the creases from my go-to- 
meeting pants 
When I put the cowboy trimmings on that high-toned 


James Barton Adams. 




/ 'TltT^Y out in Western Texas, where the Clear 

W Fork's waters flow, 
Where the cattle are " a-browzin'," and the Spanish 

ponies grow; 
Where the Norther u comes a-whistlin' " from be- 

yond the Neutral strip 
And the prairie dogs are sneezin', as if they had 

" the Grip"; 
Where the coyotes come a-howlin' round the ranches 

after dark, 
And the mocking-birds are singin' to the lovely 

Where the 'possum and the badger, and rattle-snakes 

And the monstrous stars are winkin' o'er a wilder- 

ness profound; 
Where lonesome, tawny prairies melt into airy 

While the Double Mountains slumber in heavenly 

kinds of dreams ; 
Where the antelope is grazin' and the lonely plovers 

It was there that I attended " The Cowboys' Christ- 

mas Ball." 


The Cowboys 9 Christmas Ball 

The town was Anson City, old Jones's county seat, 
Where they raise Polled Angus cattle, and waving 

whiskered wheat; 
Where the air is soft and " bammy," ,ah' dry an' 

full of health, 
And the prairies is explodin' with agricultural 

wealth ; 
Where they print the Texas Western, that Hec. Mc- 

Cann supplies, 
With news and yarns and stories, of most amazin* 

Where Frank Smith-" pulls the badger," on knowin' 

tender feet, \r 
And Democracy's triumphant, and mighty hard to 

Where lives that good old hunter, John Milsap from 

Lamar, / 
Who " used to be the sheriff, back East, in Paris, 

'Twas there, I say, at Anson, with the lively 

44 Widder Wall," 

That I went to that reception, " The Cowboys' 
/Christmas Ball." 

The boys had left the ranches and come to town in 

piles ; 
The ladies " kinder scatterin' " had gathered in 

for miles. 

And yet the place was crowded, as I remember well, 


The Cowboys 9 Christmas Ball 

'Twas got for the occasion at " The Morning Star 

The music was a fiddle and a lively tambourine, 

And a " viol come imported," by stage from Abilene. 

The room was togged out gorgeous with mistle- 
toe and shawls, 

And candles flickered frescoes around the airy walls. 

The " wimmin folks" looked lovely the boys 
looked kinder treed, 

Till their leader commenced yellin' : " Whoa, fel- 
lers, let's stampede." 

The music started sighin' and a-wailin 1 through the 

As a kind of introduction to " The Cowboys' Christ- 
mas Ball." 

_^_, I 

The leader was a fellow that came from Swenson's 

They called him " Windy Billy," from " little Dead- 
man's Branch." 

His rig was " kinder keerless," big spurs and high- 
heeled boots; 

He had the reputation that comes when " fellers 

His voice was like the bugle upon the mountain's 

His feet were animated, an' a mighty movin' sight, 

When he commenced to holler, " Neow, fellers, stake 
yer pen ! 


The Cowboys' Christmas Ball 

Lock horns to all them heifers, an' russle 'em like 

Saloot yer lovely critters; neow swing an' let 'em 

Climb the grape vine round 'em all hands do- 

ce-do ! 

You Mavericks, jine the round-up Jest skip her 

Huh! hit wuz gittin' happy, " The Cowboys' Christ- 
mas Ball!" 

The boys were tolerable skittish, the ladies power- 
ful neat, 

That old bass viol's music just got there with both 

That wailin' frisky fiddle, I never shall forget; 

And Windy kept a singin' I think I hear him 

" O Xes, chase your squirrels, an' cut 'em to one 

Spur Treadwell to the center, with Cross P Char- 
ley's bride, 

Doc. Hollis down the middle, an' twine the ladies' 

Varn Andrews pen the fillies in big T. Diamond's 

All pull yer freight tergether, neow swallow fork 
an' change, 

' Big Boston ' lead the trail herd, through little 
Pitchfork's range. 

The Cowboys' Christmas Ball 

Purr round yer gentle pussies, neow rope 'em! 

Balance all!" 

Huh ! hit wuz gittin' active " The Cowboys' 

Christmas Ball!" 

The dust riz fast an' furious, we all just galloped 

Till the scenery got so giddy, that Z Bar Dick was 


We buckled to our partners, an' told 'em to hold on, 
Then shook our hoofs like lightning until the early 

Don't tell me 'bout cotillions, or germans. No sir- 

That whirl at Anson City just takes the cake with 


I'm sick of lazy shufflin's, of them I've had my fill, 
Give me a fronteer breakdown, backed up by Windy 

McAllister ain't nowhere! when Windy leads the 


I've seen 'em both in harness, an' so I sorter know 
Oh, Bill, I sha'n't forget yer, and I'll oftentimes 

That lively-gaited sworray " The Cowboys' 

Christmas Ball." 

Larry Chittenden in " Ranch Verses" 



FROM every point they gaily come, the broncho's 
unshod feet 

Pat at the green sod of the range with quick, em- 
phatic beat; 

The tresses of the buxom girls as banners stream 

Like silken, castigating whips cut at the sweeping 

The dashing cowboys, brown of face, sit in their sad- 
dle thrones 

And sing the wild songs of the range in free, uncul- 
tured tones, 

Or ride beside the pretty girls, like gallant cavaliers, 

And pour the usual fairy tales into their listening ears. 

Within the " best room " of the ranch the jolly 
gathered throng 

Buzz like a hive of human bees and lade the air with 

The maidens tap their sweetest smiles and give their 
tongues full rein 

In efforts to entrap the boys in admiration's chain. 

The fiddler tunes the strings with pick of thumb and 
scrape of bow, 

Finds one string keyed a note too high, another one 
too low; 


A Dance at the Ranch 

Then rosins up the tight-drawn hairs, the young 

folks in a fret 
Until their ears are greeted with the warning words, 

" All set! 

S'lute yer pardners! Let 'er go! 
Balance all an' do-ce-do ! 
Swing yer girls an' run away ! 
Right an' left an' gents sashay! 
Gents to right an' swing or cheat ! 
On to next gal an' repeat ! 
Balance next an' don't be shy ! 
Swing yer pard an' swing 'er high ! 
Bunch the gals an' circle round ! 
Whack yer feet until they bound ! 
Form a basket! Break away! 
Swing an' kiss an' all git gay! 
Al'man left an' balance all! 
Lift yer hoofs an' let 'em fall! 
Swing yer op'sites ! Swing agin ! 
Kiss the sagehens if you kin! " 
An' thus the merry dance went on till morning's 

struggling light 
In lengthening streaks of grey breaks down the 

barriers of the night, 

And broncs are mounted in the glow of early morn- 
ing skies 
By weary-limbed young revelers with drooping, 

sleepy eyes. 

The cowboys to the ranges speed to " work " the 
lowing herds, 


A Dance at the Ranch 

The girls within their chambers hide their sleep like 

weary birds, 
And for a week the young folks talk of what a jolly 

They had that night at Jackson's ranch down on the 





GIT yo' little sagehens ready; 
Trot 'em out upon the floor 
Line up there, you critters! Steady! 

Lively, now ! One couple more. 
Shorty, shed that ol' sombrero; 
Broncho, douse that cigaret; 
Stop yer cussin', Casimero, 

'Fore the ladies. Now, all set: 

S'lute yer ladies, all together; 

Ladies opposite the same; 
Hit the lumber with yer leather; 

Balance all an' swing yer dame; 
Bunch the heifers in the middle; 

Circle stags an' do-ce-do; 
Keep a-steppin' to the fiddle; 

Swing 'em 'round an' off you go. 

First four forward. Back to places. 

Second foller. Shuffle back 
Now you've got it down to cases 

Swing 'em till their trotters crack. 
Gents all right a-heel an' toein'; 

Swing 'em kiss 'em if yo' kin 
On to next an' keep a-goin' 

Till yo' hit yer pards agin. 
1 20 

At a Cowboy Dance 

Gents to center. Ladies 'round 'em; 

Form a basket; balance all; 
Swing yer sweets to where yo' found 'em; 

All p'mnade around the hall. 
Balance to yer pards an' trot 'em 

'Round the circle double quick; 
Grab an' squeeze 'em while you've got 'em 

Hold 'em to it if they kick. 

Ladies, left hand to yer sonnies ; 

Alaman; grand right an' left; 
Balance all an' swing yer honies 

Pick 'em up an' feel their heft. 
All p'mnade like skeery cattle ; 

Balance all an' swing yer sweets; 
Shake yer spurs an' make 'em rattle 

Keno! Promenade to seats. 

James Barton Adams. 



YIP! Tip! Tip! Yip! tunin' up the fiddle; 
You an' take yo'r pardner there, standin' by 

the wall! 
Say " How! " make a bow, and sashay down the 

Shake yo'r leg lively at the Cowboys' Ball. 

Big feet, little feet, all the feet a-clickin' ; 
Everybody happy an' the goose a-hangin' high; 
Lope, trot, hit the spot, like a colt a-kickin' ; 
Keep a-stompin' leather while you got one eye. 

Yah ! Hoo ! Larry ! would you watch his wings 


Jumpin' like a chicken that's a-lookin' for its head; 
Hi ! Yip ! Never slip, and never think of stoppin', 
Just keep yo'r feet a-movin' till we all drop dead! 

High heels, low heels, moccasins and slippers ; 
Real old rally round the dipper and the keg ! 
Uncle Ed's gettin' red had too many dippers; 
Better get him hobbled or he'll break his leg ! 

Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip! tunin' up the fiddle; 

Pass him up another for his arm is gettin' slow. 


The Cowboys' Ball 

Bow down! right in town and sashay down the 

Got to keep a-movin' for to see the show ! 

Yes, mam ! Warm, mam ? Want to rest a minute ? 

Like to get a breath of air lookin' at the stars? 

All right! Fine night Dance? There's nothin' 

in it! 
That's my pony there, peekin' through the bars. 

Bronc, mam? No, mam! Gentle as a kitten! 
Here, boy! Shake a hand! Now, mam, you can 

Night's cool. What a fool to dance, instead of 

Like a gent and lady, same as you and me. 

Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip! tunin' up the fiddle; 
Well, them as likes the exercise sure can have it all ! 
Right wing, lady swings, and sashay down the mid- 
dle . . . 
But this beats dancin' at the Cowboys' Ball. 

Henry Herbert Knibbs. 



DOWN where the Rio Grande ripples 
When there's water In its bed; 
Where no man is ever drunken . 
All prefer mescal instead; 
Where no lie is ever uttered 
There being nothin' one can trade; 
Where no marriage vows are broken 
'Cause the same are never made. 


HE wears a big hat and big spurs and all that, 
And leggins of fancy fringed leather; 
He takes pride in his boots and the pistol he shoots, 
And he's happy in all kinds of weather ; 
He's fond of his horse, it's a broncho, of course, 
For oh, he can ride like the devil; 
He is old for his years and he always appears 
Like a fellow who's lived on the level; 
He can sing, he can cook, yet his eyes have the look 
Of a man that to fear is a stranger; 
Yes, his cool, quiet nerve will always subserve 
For his wild life of duty and danger. 
He gets little to eat, and he guys tenderfeet, 
And for fashion, oh well! he's not in it; 
He can rope a gay steer when he gets on its ear 
At the rate of two-forty a minute ; 
His saddle's the best in the wild, woolly West, 
Sometimes it will cost sixty dollars; 
Ah, he knows all the tricks when he brands mave- 

But his knowledge is not got from your scholars; 
He is loyal as steel, but demands a square deal, 
And he hates and despises a coward; 
Yet the cowboy, you'll find, to women is kind 
Though he'll fight till by death overpowered. 


The Cowboy 

Hence I say unto you, give the cowboy his due 

And be kind, my friends, to his folly; 

For he's generous and brave though he may not 

Like your dudes, who are so melancholy. 




WE ain't no saints on the Bar-Z ranch, 
'Tis said an' we know who 'tis 
" Th' devil's laid hold on us, tooth an' branch, 
An' uses us in his biz." 
Still, we ain't so bad but we might be wuss, 
An' you'd sure admit that's right, 
If you happened an' unbeknown to us 
Around, of a Sunday night. 

Th' week-day manners is stowed away, 

Th' jokes an' the card games halts, 

When Dick's ol' fiddle begins to play 

A toon an' it ain't no waltz. 

It digs fer th' things that are out o' sight, 

It delves through th' toughest crust, 

It grips th' heart-strings, an' holds 'em tight, 

Till we've got ter sing er bust ! 

With pipin' treble the kid starts in, 
An' Hell! how that kid kin sing! 
" Yield not to temptation, fer yieldin' is sin," 
He leads, an' the rafters ring; 
" Fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue," 
We shouts it with force an' vim; 

Bar-Z on a Sunday Night 

" Look ever to Jesus, he'll carry you through,"- 
That's puttin' it up to Him ! 

We ain't no saints on the oP Bar-Z, 

But many a time an' oft 

When oP fiddle's a-pleadin', " Abide with me," 

Our hearts gets kinder soft. 

An' we makes some promises there an' then 

Which we keeps till we goes to bed, 

That's the most could be ast o' a passel o' men 

What ain't no saints, as I said. 

Percival Combes. 



A PATTERING rush like the rattle of hail 
./"V When the storm king's wild coursers are out 

on the trail, 

A long roll of hoofs, and the earth is a drum ! 
The centaurs ! See ! Over the prairies they come ! 

A rollicking, clattering, battering beat; 

A rhythmical thunder of galloping feet; 

A swift-swirling dust-cloud a mad hurricane 

Of swarthy, grim faces and tossing, black mane ; 

Hurrah! in the face of the steeds of the sun 
The gauntlet is flung and the race is begun ! 

/. C. Davis. 



I'VE beat my way wherever any winds have blown; 
I've bummed along from Portland down to San 

Antone ; 

From Sandy Hook to Frisco, over gulch and hill, 
For once you git the habit, why, you can't keep still. 

I settled down quite frequent, and I says, says I, 

" I'll never wander further till I come to die." 

But the wind it sorter chuckles, " Why, o' course 

you will." 
An' sure enough I does it 'cause I can't keep still. 

I've seen a lot o' places where I'd like to stay, 
But I gets a-feelin' restless an' I'm on my way. 
I was never meant for settin' on my own door sill, 
An', once you git the habit, why, you can't keep still. 

I've been in rich men's houses an' I've been in jail, 
But when it's time for leavin' I jes hits the trail. 
I'm a human bird of passage and the song I trill 
Is, " Once you git the habit, why, you can't keep 
still." ' 


The Habit 

The sun is sorter coaxin', an' the road is clear, 
An' the wind is singin' ballads that I got to hear. 
It ain't no use to argue when you feel the thrill; 
For, once you git the habit, why, you can't keep still. 

Bert on Braley. 



HE never made parade of tooth or claw; 
He was plain as us that nursed the bawlin' 


Though he had a rather meanin'-lookin' jaw, 
He was shy of exercisin' it with words. 
As a circus-ridin' preacher of the law, 
All his preachin' was the sort that hit the nail; 
He was just a common ranger, just a ridin' pilgrim 

And he labored with the sinners of the trail. 

Once a Yaqui knifed a woman, jealous mad, 
Then hit southward with the old, old killer's plan, 
And nobody missed the woman very bad, 
While they'd just a little rather missed the man. 
But the ranger crossed his trail and sniffed it glad, 
And then loped away to bring him back again, 
For he stood for peace and order on the lonely, 

sunny border 
And his business was to hunt for sinful men ! 

So the trail it led him southward all the day, 
Through the shinin' country of the thorn and snake, 
Where the heat had drove the lizards from their 


A Ranger 

To the shade of rock and bush and yucca stake. 
And the mountains heaved and rippled far away 
And the desert broiled as on the devil's prong, 
But he didn't mind the devil if his head kept clear 

and level 
And the hoofs beat out their clear and steady song. 

Came the yellow west, and on a far off rise 
Something black crawled up and dropped beyond 

the rim, 

And he reached his rifle out and rubbed his eyes 
While he cussed the southern hills for growin' dim. 
Down a hazy 'royo came the coyote cries, 
Like they laughed at him because he'd lost his mark, 
And the smile that brands a fighter pulled his mouth 

a little tighter 
As he set his spurs and rode on through the dark. 

Came the moonlight on a trail that wriggled higher 
Through the mountains that look into Mexico, 
And the shadows strung his nerves like banjo wire 
And the miles and minutes dragged unearthly slow. 
Then a black mesquite spit out a thread of fire 
And the canyon walls flung thunder back again, 
And he caught himself and fumbled at his rifle while 

he grumbled 
That his bridle arm had weight enough for ten. 

Though his rifle pointed wavy-like and slack 
And he grabbed for leather at his hawse's shy, 


A Ranger 

Yet he sent a soft-nosed exhortation back 
That convinced the sinner just above the eye. 
So the sinner sprawled among the shadows black 
While the ranger drifted north beneath the moon, 
Wabblin' crazy in his saddle, workin' hard to stay 

While the hoofs beat out a slow and sorry tune. 

When the sheriff got up early out of bed, 
How he stared and vowed his soul a total loss, 
As he saw the droopy thing all blotched with red 
That came ridin' in aboard a tremblin' hawse. 
But " I got 'im " was the most the ranger said 
And you couldn't hire him, now, to tell the tale; 
He was just a quiet ranger, just a ridin' pilgrim 

And he labored with the sinners of the trail. 

Charles Badger Clark, Jr. 



I'VE swum the Colorado where she runs close 
down to hell ; 

I've braced the faro layouts in Cheyenne; 
I've fought for muddy water with a bunch of howlin' 

An' swallowed hot tamales and cayenne ; 

I've rode a pitchin' broncho till the sky was under- 
neath ; 

I've tackled every desert in the land; 
I've sampled XX whiskey till I couldn't hardly see 
An' dallied with the quicksands of the Grande; 

I've argued with the marshals of a half a dozen 

burgs ; 

I've been dragged free and fancy by a cow ; 
I've had three years' campaignin' with the fightin', 

bitin' Ninth, 
An' I never lost my temper till right now. 

I've had the yeller fever and been shot plum full of 

holes ; 

I've grabbed an army mule plum by the tail; 
But I've never been so snortin', really highfalutin' 

As when you up and hands me ginger ale. 



I WENT into the grog-shop, Tom, and stood be- 
side the bar, 
And drank a glass of lemonade and smoked a bad 

The same old kegs and jugs was thar, the same we 

used to know 

When we was on the round-up, Tom, some twenty 
years ago. 

The bar-tender is not the same. The one who used 

to sell 

Corroded tangle-foot to us, is rotting now in hell. 
This one has got a plate-glass front, he combs his 

hair quite low, 
He looks just like the one we knew some twenty years 


Old soak came up and asked for booze and had the 

same old grin 
While others burned their living forms and wet 

their coats with gin. 
Outside the doorway women stood, their faces 

seamed with woe 
And wept just like they used to weep some twenty 

years ago. 

1 A famous saloon in West Texas carried this unusual sign. 


" The Road to Ruin " 

I asked about our old-time friends, those cheery, 
sporty men; 

And some was in the poor-house, Tom, and some 
was in the pen. 

You know the one you liked the best? the hang- 
man laid him low, 

Oh, few are left that used to booze some twenty 
years ago. 

You recollect our favorite, whom pride claimed for 

her own, 
He used to say that he could booze or leave the 

stuff alone. 
He perished for the James Fitz James, out in the 

rain and snow, 
Yes, few survive who used to booze some twenty 

years ago. 

I visited the old church yard and there I saw the 

Of those who used to drown their woes in old fer- 
mented ways. 

I saw the graves of women thar, lying where the 
daisies grow, 

Who wept and died of broken hearts some twenty 
years ago. 




WHEN my loop takes hold on a two-year-old, 
By the feet or the neck or the horn, 
He kin plunge and fight till his eyes go wfyite, 

But I'll throw him as sure as you're born. 
Though the taut rope sing like a banjo string 

And the latigoes creak and strain, 

Yet I've got no fear of an outlaw steer 

And I'll tumble him on the plain. 

For a man is a man and a steer is a beast, 
And the man is the boss of the herd; 

And each of the bunch, from the biggest to least, 
Must come down when he says the word. 

When my leg swings 'cross on an outlaw hawse 

And my spurs clinch into his hide, 
He kin r'ar and pitch over hill and ditch, 

But wherever he goes I'll ride. 
Let '5m spin and flop like a crazy top, 

Or flit like a wind-whipped smoke, 
But he'll know the feel of my rowelled heel 

Till he's happy to own he's broke. 

For a man is a man and a hawse is a brute, 
And the hawse may be prince of his clan, 

The Outlaw 

But he'll bow to the bit and the steel-shod boot 
And own that his boss is the man. 

When the devil at rest underneath my vest 

Gets up and begins to paw, 
And my hot tongue strains at its bridle-reins, 

Then I tackle the real outlaw; 
When I get plumb riled and my sense goes wild, 

And my temper has fractious growed, 
If he'll hump his neck just a triflin' speck, 

Then it's dollars to dimes I'm throwed. 

For a man is a man, but he 9 s partly a beast 
He kin brag till he makes you deaf, 

But the one, lone brute, from the West to the 

That he kaint quite break, is himself. 

Charles B. Clark, Jr. 



the lean coyote told me, baring his 
slavish soul, 
As I counted the ribs of my dead cayuse and 

cursed at the desert sky, 
The tale of the Upland Rider's fate while I dug in 

the water hole 

For a drop, a taste of the bitter seep; but the 
water hole was dry! 

" He came," said the lean coyote, " and he cursed 

as his pony fell; 
And he counted his pony's ribs aloud; yea, even 

as you have done. 
He raved as he ripped at the clay-red sand like an 

imp from the pit of hell, 

Shriveled with thirst for a thousand years and 
craving a drop just one." 

" His name? " I asked, and he told me, yawning to 

hide a grin: 
" His name is writ on the prison roll and many 

a place beside; 

Last, he scribbled it on the sand with a finger seared 
and thin, 


The Desert 

And I watched his face as he spelled it out 
laughed as I laughed, and died. 

" And thus/' said the lean coyote, " his need is the 

hungry's feast, 
And mine." I fumbled and pulled my gun 

emptied it wild and fast, 
But one of the crazy shots went home and silenced 

the waiting beast; 

There lay the shape of the Liar, dead ! 'Twas I 
that should laugh the last. 

Laugh? Nay, now I would write my name as the 

Upland Rider wrote; 
Write? What need, for before my eyes in a 

wide and wavering line 
I saw the trace of a written word and letter by letter 


Into a mist as the world grew dark; and I knew 
that the name was mine. 

Dreams and visions within the dream; turmoil and 

fire and pain; 
Hands that proffered a brimming cup empty, 

ere I could take; 
Then the burst of a thunder-head rain ! It was 

rude, fierce rain ! 

Blindly down to the hole I crept, shivering, 
drenched, awake! 


The Desert 

Dawn and the edge of the red-rimmed sun scat- 
tering golden flame, 
As stumbling down to the water hole came the 

horse that I thought was dead; 
But never a sign of the other beast nor a trace of a 

rider's name; 

Just a rain-washed track and an empty gun 
and the old home trail ahead. 

Henry Herbert Knibbs. 



A -DOWN the road and gun in hand 
Comes Whiskey Bill, mad Whiskey Bill; 
A-lookin' for some place to land 
Comes Whiskey Bill. 
An' everybody'd like to be 
Ten miles away behind a tree 
When on his joyous, aching spree 
Starts Whiskey Bill. 

The times have changed since you made love, 

O Whiskey Bill, O Whiskey Bill! 

The happy sun grinned up above 

At Whiskey Bill. 

And down the middle of the street 

The sheriff comes on toe and feet 

A-wishin' for one fretful peek 

At Whiskey Bill. 

The cows go grazing o'er the lea, 

Poor Whiskey Bill! Poor Whiskey Bill! 

An' aching thoughts pour in on me 

Of Whiskey Bill. 

The sheriff up and found his stride; 

Bill's soul went shootin' down the slide, 

How are things on the Great Divide, 

O Whiskey Bill? 



fellers, that ornery thief must be nigh us, 
For I jist saw him across this way to the right ; 
Ah, there he is now right under that burr-oak 
As fearless and cool as if waitin' all night. 
Well, come on, but jist get every shooter all ready 
Fur him, if he's spilin' to give us a fight; 
The birds in the grove will sing chants to our picnic 
An' that limb hangin' over him stands about right. 

" Say, stranger, good mornin'. Why, dog blast my 
lasso, boys, 

If it ain't Denver Jim that's corralled here at last. 

Right aside for the jilly. Well, Jim, we are searchin' 

All night for a couple about of your cast. 

An' seein' yer enter this openin' so charmin' 

We thought perhaps yer might give us the trail. 

Haven't seen anything that would answer descrip- 

What a nerve that chap has, but it will not avail. 

" Want to trade bosses fur the one I am stridin' ! 
Will you give me five hundred betwixt fur the boot? 
Say, Jim, that air gold is the strongest temptation 
An' many a man would say take it and scoot. 


Denver Jim 

But we don't belong to that denomination; 
You have got to the end of your rope, Denver Jim. 
In ten minutes more we'll be crossin' the prairie, 
An' you will be hangin' there right from that limb. 

" Have you got any speakin' why the sentence ain't 


Here, take you a drink from the old whiskey flask. 
Ar' not dry? Well, I am, an' will drink ter yer, 


An' wish that this court will not bungle this task. 
There, the old lasso circles your neck like a fixture ; 
Here, boys, take the line an' wait fer the word; 
I am sorry, old boy, that your claim has gone under ; 
Fer yer don't meet yer fate like the low, common 


"What's that? So yer want me to answer a let- 

Well, give it to me till I make it all right, 
A moment or two will be only good manners, 
The judicious acts of this court will be white. 
1 Long Point, Arkansas, the thirteenth of August, 
My dearest son James, somewhere out in the West, 
For long, weary months I've been waiting for tid- 
Since your last loving letter came eastward to bless. 

u ' God bless you, my son, for thus sending that 


Denver Jim 

Remembering your mother when sorely in need. 
May the angels from heaven now guard you from 


And happiness follow your generous deed. 
How I long so to see you come into the doorway, 
As you used to, of old, when weary, to rest. 
May the days be but few when again I can greet you, 
My comfort and staff, is your mother's request' 

" Say, pard, here's your letter. I'm not good at 


I think you'd do better to answer them lines; 
An' fer fear I might want it I'll take off that lasso, 
An' the hoss you kin leave when you git to the pines. 
An' Jim, when yer see yer old mother jist tell her 
That a wee bit o' writin' kinder hastened the day 
When her boy could come eastward to stay with her 

Come boys, up and mount and to Denver away." 

O'er the prairies the sun tipped the trees with its 

The dew on the grass flashed the diamonds so 


As the tenderest memories came like a blessing 
From the days of sweet childhood on pinions of 

Not a word more was spoken as they parted that 



Denver Jim 

Yet the trail of a tear marked each cheek as they 

turned ; 

For higher than law is the love of a mother, 
It reversed the decision, the court was adjourned. 

Sherman D. Richardson. 


WE are the whirlwinds that winnow the 

We scatter the wicked like straw! 
We are the Nemeses, never at rest 
We are Justice, and Right, and the Law ! 

Moon on the snow and a blood-chilling blast, 
Sharp-throbbing hoofs like the heart-beat of fear, 
A halt, a swift parley, a pause then at last 
A stiff, swinging figure cut darkly and sheer 
Against the blue steel of the sky; ghastly white 
Every on-looking face. Men, our duty was clear; 
Yet ah ! what a soul to send forth to the night ! 

Ours is a service brute-hateful and grim; 
Little we love the wild task that we seek; 
Are they dainty to deal with the fear-rigid limb, 
The curse and the struggle, the blasphemous shriek? 
Nay, but men must endure while their bodies have 


God made us strong to avenge Him the weak 
To dispense his sure wages of sin which is death. 

We stand for our duty: while wrong works its will, 
Our search shall be stern and our course shall be 


The Vigilantes 

Retribution shall prove that the just liveth still, 
And its horrors and dangers our hearts can abide, 
That safety and honor may tread in our path; 
The vengeance of Heaven shall speed at our side, 
As we follow unwearied our mission of wrath. 

We are the whirlwinds that winnow the West 
We scatter the wicked like straw! 
We are the Nemeses, never at rest 
We are Justice, and Right, and the Law! 

Margaret Ashmun. 


D lava rock and glaring sand, 
'Neath the desert's brassy skies, 

Bound in the silent chains of death 

A border bandit lies. 

The poppy waves her golden glow 

Above the lowly mound; 

The cactus stands with lances drawn, 

A martial guard around. 

His dreams are free from guile or greed, 

Or foray's wild alarms. 

No fears creep in to break his rest 

In the desert's scorching arms. 

He sleeps in peace beside the trail, 

Where the twilight shadows play, 

Though they watch each night for his return 

A thousand miles away. 

From the mesquite groves a night bird calls 
When the western skies grow red; 
The sand storm sings his deadly song 
Above the sleeper's head. 
His steed has wandered to the hills 
And helpless are his hands, 


The Bandit's Grave 

Yet peons curse his memory 
Across the shifting sands. 

The desert cricket tunes his pipes 

When the half-grown moon shines dim; 

The sage thrush trills her evening song 

But what are they to him? 

A rude-built cross beside the trail 

That follows to the west . 

Casts its long-drawn, ghastly shadow 

Across the sleeper's breast. 

A lone coyote comes by night 

And sits beside his bed, 

Sobbing the midnight hours away 

With gaunt, up-lifted head. 

The lizard trails his aimless way 

Across the lonely mound, 

When the star-guards of the desert 

Their pickets post around. 

The winter snows will heap their drifts 

Among the leafless sage; 

The pallid hosts of the blizzard 

Will lift their voice in rage; 

The gentle rains of early spring 

Will woo the flowers to bloom, 

And scatter their fleeting incense 

O'er the border bandit's tomb. 

Charles Pitt. 


SEE, stretching yonder o'er that low divide 
Which parts the falling rain, the eastern slope 
Sends down its waters to the southern sea 
Through Double Mountain's winding length of 


The western side spreads out into a plain, 
Which sinks away o'er tawny, rolling leagues 
At last into the rushing Rio Grande, 
See, faintly showing on that distant ridge, 
The deep-cut pathways through the shelving crest, 
Sage-matted now and rimmed with chaparral, 
The dim reminders of the olden times, 
The life of stir, of blood, of Indian raid, 
The hunt of buffalo and antelope; 
The camp, the wagon train, the sea of steers; 
The cowboy's lonely vigil through the night; 
The stampede and the wild ride through the storm; 
The call of California's golden flood; 
The impulse of the Saxon's " Westward Ho " 
Which set our fathers' faces from the east, 
To spread resistless o'er the barren wastes, 
To people all the regions 'neath the sun 
Those vikings of the old Mackenzie Trail. 

It winds this old forgotten cattle trail 
Through valleys still and silent even now, 


The Old Mackenzie Trail 

Save when the yellow-breasted desert lark 

Cries shrill and lonely from a dead mesquite, 

In quivering notes set in a minor key; 

The endless round of sunny days, of starry nights, 

The desert's blank immutability. 

The coyote's howl is heard at dark from some 

Low-lying hill; companioned by the loafer wolf 

They yelp in concert to the far off stars, 

Or gnaw the bleached bones in savage rage 

That lie unburied by the grass-grown paths. 

The prairie dogs play sentinel by day 

And backward slips the badger to his den; 

The whir, the fatal strike of rattlesnake, 

A staring buzzard floating in the blue, 

And, now and then, the curlew's eerie call, 

Lost, always lost, and seeking evermore. 

All else is mute and dormant; vacantly 

The sun looks down, the days run idly on, 

The breezes whirl the dust, which eddying falls 

Smothering the records of the westward caravans, 

Where silent heaps of wreck and nameless graves 

Make milestones for the old Mackenzie Trail. 

Across the Brazos, Colorado, through 
Concho's broad, fair valley, sweeping on 
By Abilene it climbs upon the plains, 
The Llano Estacado (beyond lie wastes 
Of alkali and hunger gaunt and death), 
And here is lost in shifting rifts of sand. 
Anon it lingers by a hidden spring 


The Old Mackenzie Trail 

That bubbles joy into the wilderness; 

Its pathway trenched that distant mountain side, 

Now grown to gulches through torrential rain. 

De Vaca gathered pinons by the way, 

Long ere the furrows grew on yonder hill, 

Cut by the creaking prairie-schooner wheels; 

La Salle, the gentle Frenchman, crossed this course, 

And went to death and to a nameless grave. 

For ages and for ages through the past 

Comanches and Apaches from the north 

Came sweeping southward, searching for the sun, 

And charged in mimic combat on the sea. 

The scions of Montezuma's low-browed race 

Perhaps have seen that knotted, thorn-clad tree; 

Or sucked the cactus apples growing there. 

All these have passed, and passed the immigrants, 

Who bore the westward fever in their brain, 

The Norseman tang for roving in their veins ; 

Who loved the plains as sailors love the sea, 

Braved danger, death, and found a resting place 

While traveling on the old Mackenzie Trail. 

Brave old Mackenzie long has laid him down 
To rest beyond the trail that bears his name; 
A granite mountain makes his monument; 
The northers, moaning o'er the low divide, 
Go gently past his long deserted camps. 
No more his rangers guard the wild frontier, 
No more he leads them in the border fight. 
No more the mavericks, winding stream of horns 


The Old Mackenzie Trail 

To Kansas bound; the dust, the cowboy songs 
And cries, the pistol's sharp report, the free, 
Wild days in Texas by the Rio Grande. 
And some men say when dusky night shuts down, 
Dark, cloudy nights without a kindly star, 
One sees dim horsemen skimming o'er the plain 
Hard by Mackenzie's trail; and keener ears 
Have heard from deep within the bordering hills 
The tramp of ghostly hoofs, faint cattle lows, 
The rumble of a moving wagon train, 
Sometimes far echoes of a frontier song; 
Then sounds grow fainter, shadows troop away, 
On westward, westward, as they in olden time 
Went rangeing o'er the old Mackenzie Trail. 

John A. Lomax. 



A;L day across the sagebrush flat, 
Beneath the sun of June, 
My sheep they loaf and feed and bleat 

Their never changin' tune. 
And then, at night time, when they lay 

As quiet as a stone, 
I hear the gray wolf far away, 

"Alo-one!" he says, "Alo-one!" 

A-a ! ma-a ! ba-a ! eh-eh-eh ! 

The tune the woollies sing; 
It's rasped my ears, it seems, for years, 

Though really just since Spring; 
And nothin', far as I can see 

Around the circle's sweep, 
But sky and plain, my dreams and me 

And them infernal sheep. 

I've got one book it's poetry 

A bunch of pretty wrongs 
An Eastern lunger gave to me; 

He said 'twas " shepherd songs." 
But, though that poet sure is deep 

And has sweet things to say, 

1 Only such cowboys as are in desperate need of employment 
ever become sheep-herders. 


The Sheep-Herder 

He never seen a herd of sheep 
Or smelt them, anyway. 

A-a ! ma-a ! ba-a ! eh-eh-eh ! 

My woollies greasy gray, 
An awful change has hit the range 

Since that old poet's day. 
For you're just silly, on'ry brutes 

And I look like distress, 
And my pipe ain't the kind that toots 

And there's no " shepherdess." 

Yet 'way down home in Kansas State, 

Bliss Township, Section Five, 
There's one that's promised me to wait, 

The sweetest girl alive; 
That's why I salt my wages down 

And mend my clothes with strings, 
While others blow their pay in town 

For booze and other things. 

A-a ! ma-a ! ba-a ! eh-eh-eh I 

My Minnie, don't be sad; 
Next year we'll lease that splendid piece 

That corners on your dad. 
We'll drive to " literary," dear, 

The way we used to do 
And turn my lonely workin' here 

To happiness for you. 

The Sheep-Herder 

Suppose, down near that rattlers' den, 

While I sit here and dream, 
I'd spy a bunch of ugly men 

And hear a woman scream. 
Suppose I'd let my rifle shout 

And drop the men in rows, 
And then the woman should turn out 

My Minnie ! just suppose. 

A-a ! ma-a ! ba-a ! eh-eh-eh 1 

The tune would then be gay; 
There is, I mind, a parson kind 

Just forty miles away. 
Why, Eden would come back again, 

With sage and sheep corrals, 
And I could swing a singin' pen 

To write her " pastorals." 

I pack a rifle on my arm 

And jump at flies that buzz; 
There's nothin' here to do me harm; 

I sometimes wish there was. 
If through that brush above the pool 

A red should creep and creep 
Wah ! cut down on 'im ! Stop, you fool ! 

That's nothin' but a sheep. 

A-a! ma-a! ba-a! Hell! 

Oh, sky and plain and bluff! 
Unless my mail comes up the trail 
1 60 

The Sheep-Herder 

I'm locoed, sure enough. 
What's that? a dust-whiff near the butte 

Right where my last trail ran, 
A movin' speck, a wagon ! Hoot ! 

Thank God! here comes a man. 

Charles Badger Clark, Jr. 



YES, o' cose it's interestin' to a feller from the 
Mighty queerish, too, I tell you, sich a racket fer 

a change; 
From a life among the cattle, from a wool shirt 

and the chaps 
To the biled shirt o' the city and the other tony 

Never seed sich herds o' people throwed together, 

every brand 

O' humanity, I reckon, in this big mountain land 
Rounded up right here in Denver, runnin' on new 

sort o' feed. 
Actin' restless an' oneasy, like they threatened to 


Mighty curious to a rider comin' from the range, 

he feels 
What you'd call a lost sensation from sombrero clar 

to heels; 
Like a critter stray that drifted in a windstorm from 

its range 
To another run o' grazin' where the brands it sees 

are strange. 


A Cowboy at the Carnival 

Then I see a city herder, a policeman, don't you 

Sort o' think he's got men spotted an' is 'bout to make 

a throw 
Fer to catch me an' corral me fer a stray till he can 

On the wire an' tell the owner fer to come an' get 

his stock. 

Yes, it's mighty strange an' funny fer a cowboy, as 

you say, 

Fer to hit a camp like this one, so unanimously gay; 
But I want to tell you, pardner, that a rider sich as me 
Isn't built fer feedin' on sich crazy jamboree. 
Every bone I got's a-achin', an' my feet as sore as if 
I had hit a bed o' cactus, an' my hinges is as stiff 
From a-hittin' these hot pavements as a feller's jints 

kin git, 
'Taint like holdin' down a broncho on the range, a 

little bit. 

I'm hankerin', I tell you, fer to hit the trail an' run 

Like a crazy, locoed yearlin' from this big cloud- 
burst o' fun 

Back toward the cattle ranches, where a feller's 
breath comes free 

An' he wears the clothes that fits him, 'stead o' this 
slick toggery. 

Where his home is in the saddle, an' the heavens is 
his roof, 


A Cowboy at the Carnival 

An' his ever'day companions wears the hide an' 

cloven hoof, 
Where the beller of the cattle is the only sound he 

An' he never thinks o' nothin' but his grub an' hoss 

an' steers. 




I RODE across a valley range 
I hadn't seen for years. 
The trail was all so spoilt and strange 
It nearly fetched the tears. 
I had to let ten fences down, 
(The fussy lanes ran wrong) 
And each new line would make me frown 
And hum a mournin' song. 

Oh, it's squeak! squeak! squeak! 
Hear 'em stretchin' of the wire! 
The nester brand is on the land; 
I reckon I'll retire. 

While progress toots her brassy horn 
And makes her motor buzz, 
I thank the Lord I wasn't born 
No later than I wuz ! 

'Twas good to live when all the sod, 
Without no fence nor fuss, 
Belonged in partnership to God, 
The Government and us. 
With skyline bounds from east to west 
And room to go and come, 
I loved my fellowman the best 
When he was scattered some. 


The Old Cowman 

Oh, it's squeak! squeak! squeak! 

Close and closer cramps the wire ! 

There's hardly play to back away 

And call a man a liar. 

Their house has locks on every door; 

Their land is in a crate. 

There ain't the plains of God no more, 

They're only real estate. 

There's land where yet no ditchers dig 

Nor cranks experiment; 

It's only lovely, free and big 

And isn't worth a cent. 

I pray that them who come to spoil 

May wait till I am dead 

Before they foul that blessed soil 

With fence and cabbage head. 

Yet it's squeak! squeak! squeak I 

Far and farther crawls the wire! 

To crowd and pinch another inch 

Is all their heart's desire. 

The world is over-stocked with men, 

And some will see the day 

When each must keep his little pen, 

But I'll be far away. 

When my old soul hunts range and rest 
Beyond the last divide, 
Just plant me in some stretch of West 


The Old Cowman 

That's sunny, lone and wide. 

Let cattle rub my tombstone down 

And coyotes mourn their kin, 

Let hawses paw and tramp the moun', 

But don't you fence it in! 

Oh, it's squeak! squeak! squeak! 

And they pen the land with wire. 

They figure fence and copper cents 

Where we laughed round the fire. 

Job cussed his birthday, night and morn 

In his old land of Uz, 

But I'm just glad I wasn't born 

No later than I wuz ! 

Charles Badger Clark, Jr. 



THE lingering sunset across the plain 
Kissed the rear-end door of an east-bound 


And shone on a passing track close by 
Where a ding-bat sat on a rotting tie. 

He was ditched by a shock and a cruel fate. 
The con high-balled, and the manifest freight 
Pulled out on the stem behind the mail, 
And she hit the ball on a sanded rail. 

As she pulled away in the falling light 
He could see the gleam of her red tail-light. 
Then the moon arose and the stars came out 
He was ditched on the Gila Monster Route. 

Nothing in sight but sand and space; 
No chance for a gink to feed his face ; 
Not even a shack to beg for a lump, 
Or a hen-house to frisk for a single gump. 

He gazed far out on the solitude; 
He drooped his head and began to brood; 
He thought of the time he lost his mate 
In a hostile burg on the Nickle Plate. 


The Gila Monster Route 

They had mooched the stem and threw their feet, 
And speared four-bits on which to eat; 
But deprived themselves of daily bread 
And sluffed their coin for " dago red." 

Down by the track in the jungle's glade, 
In the cool green grass, in the tules' shade, 
They shed their coats and ditched their shoes 
And tanked up full of that colored booze. 

Then they took a flop with their skins plumb full. 
And they did not hear the harnessed bull, 
Till he shook them out of their boozy nap, 
With a husky voice and a loaded sap. 

They were charged with " vag," for they had no 


And the judge said, " Sixty days in jail." 
But the John had a bindle, a worker's plea, 
So they gave him a floater and set him free. 

They had turned him up, but ditched his mate, 
So he grabbed the guts of an east-bound freight, 
He flung his form on a rusty rod, 
Till he heard the shack say, " Hit the sod! " 

The John piled off, he was in the ditch, 
With two switch lamps and a rusty switch, 
A poor, old, seedy, half-starved bo 
On a hostile pike, without a show. 


The Gila Monster Route 

From away off somewhere in the dark 

Came the sharp, short notes of a coyote's bark. 

The bo looked round and quickly rose 

And shook the dust from his threadbare clothes. 

Off in the west through the moonlit night 
He saw the gleam of a big head-light 
An east-bound stock train hummed the rail; 
She was due at the switch to clear the mail. 

As she drew up close, the head-end shack 
Threw the switch to the passenger track, 
The stock rolled in and off the main, 
And the line was clear for the west-bound train. 

When she hove in sight far up the track, 

She was workin' steam, with her brake shoes slack, 

She hollered once at the whistle post, 

Then she flitted by like a frightened ghost. 

He could hear the roar of the big six-wheel, 
And her driver's pound on the polished steel, 
And the screech of her flanges on the rail 
As she beat it west o'er the desert trail. 

The John got busy and took the risk, 
He climbed aboard and began to frisk, 
He reached up high and began to feel 
For the end-door pin then he cracked the seal. 


The Gila Monster Route 

'Twas a double-decked stock-car, filled with sheep, 
Old John crawled in and went to sleep. 
She whistled twice and high-balled out, 
They were off, down the Gila Monster Route. 

L. F. Post and Glenn Norton. 



HO ! wind of the far, far prairies ! 
Free as the waves of the sea! 
Your voice is sweet as in alien street 
The cry of a friend to me! 
You bring me the breath of the prairies, 
Known in the days that are sped, 
The wild geese's cry and the blue, blue sky 
And the sailing clouds o'er head! 

My eyes are weary with longing 

For a sight of the sage grass gray, 

For the dazzling light of a noontide bright 

And the joy of the open day! 

Oh, to hear once more the clanking 

Of the noisy cowboy's spur, 

And the south wind's kiss like a mild caress 

Making the grasses stir. 

I dream of the wide, wide prairies 
Touched with their glistening sheen, 
The coyotes' cry and the wind-swept sky 
And the waving billows of green ! 
And oh, for a night in the open 
Where no sound discordant mars, 
And the marvelous glow, when the sun is low, 
And the silence under the stars! 


The Call of the Plains 

Ho, wind from the western prairies! 

Ho, voice from a far domain! 

I feel in your breath what I'll feel till death, 

The call of the plains again ! 

The call of the Spirit of Freedom 

To the spirit of freedom in me; 

My heart leaps high with a jubilant cry 

And I answer in ecstasy ! 

Ethel MacDiarmid. 


I ADMIRE the artificial art of the East; 
But I love more the inimitable art of the West, 
Where nature's handiwork lies in virginal beauty. 
Amidst the hum of city life 
I saunter back to dreams of home. 
Astride the back of my trusty steed 
I wander away, losing myself 
In the foothills of the Rockies. 

Away from human habitations, 
Up the rugged slopes, 
Through the timbered stretches, 
I hear the frightful cry of wolves 
And see a bear sneaking up behind. 

Many nights ago, 

While herding a bunch of cattle 

During the round-up season, 

I lay upon the grass 

Looking at the mated stars; 

I wondered if a cowboy 

Could go to the Unknown Place, 

1 Fox is a halfbreed Indian who sent me a lot of verse. Al- 
though he had never heard of Walt Whitman, these stanzas sug- 
gest that poet. The spelling and punctuation are mine. 


Where the Grizzly Dwells 

The Happy Hunting Ground, 
When this short life is over. 

But, here or there, I shall always live 

In the land of mountain air 

Where the grizzly dwells 

And sage brush grows; 

Where mountain trout are not a few; 

In the land of the Bitterroot, 

The Indian land, Land of the Golden West. 

James Fox. 



HERE'S to the passing cowboy, the plowman's 

His home, the boundless mesa, he of any man the 

Around his wide sombrero was stretched the rat- 
tler's hide, ' 

His bridle sporting conchos, his lasso at his side. 

All day he roamed the prairies, at night he, with 
the stars, 

Kept vigil o'er thousands held by neither posts nor 

With never a diversion in all the lonesome land, 

But cattle, cattle, cattle, and sun and sage and 

Sometimes the hoot-owl hailed him, when scudding 

through the flat; 
And prairie dogs would sauce him, as at their doors 

they sat; 
The rattler hissed its warning when near its haunts 

he trod 
Some Texas steer pursuing o'er the pathless waste 

of sod. 
With lasso, quirt, and 'colter the cowboy knew his 



A Cowboy Toast 

They pass with him to history and naught their place 

can fill; 
While he, bold broncho rider, ne'er conned a lesson 

But cattle, cattle, cattle, and sun and sand and sage. 

And oh ! the long night watches, with terror in the 

skies ! 
When lightning played and mocked him till blinded 

were his eyes; 
When raged the storm around him, and fear was 

in his heart 
Lest panic-stricken leaders might make the whole 

herd start. 

That meant a death for many, perhaps a wild stam- 
When none could stem the fury of the cattle in the 

Ah, then life seemed so little and death so very 

With cattle, cattle, cattle, and darkness everywhere. 

Then quaff with me a bumper of water, clear and 

To the memory of the cowboy whose fame must e'er 


From the Llano Estacado to Dakota's distant sands, 
Where were herded countless thousands in the days 

of fenceless lands. 


A Cowboy Toast 

Let us rear for him an altar in the Temple of the 


And weave of Texas grasses a garland for his grave; 
And offer him a guerdon for the work that he has 


With cattle, cattle, cattle, and sage and sand and 

James Barton Adams. 



"Billy Leamont rode out of the town 

Close at his shoulder rode Jack Lor ell 
Over the leagues of the prairies brown, 
Into the hills where the sun goes down 
Billy Leamont and Jack Lorell! 
* * * 

Billy Leamont looked down the dell 

Dead below him lay Jack Lorell 
With his gun at his forehead he fired and fell, 
Then rode they two through the streets of hell 

Billy Leamont and Jack Lorell! " 


WE'RE the children of the open and we hate 
the haunts o' men, 

But we had to come to town to get the mail. 
And we're ridin' home at daybreak 'cause the air 

is cooler then 

All 'cept one of us that stopped behind in jail. 
Shorty's nose won't bear paradin', Bill's off eye is 

darkly fadin', 

All our toilets show a touch of disarray, 
For we found that City life is a constant round of 

And we aint the breed for shyin' from a fray. 

!This fragment is not included in Mr. Clark's poem. 


Ridin' Up the Rocky Trail from Town 

Chant your warhoops, pardners, dear, while the east 

turns pale with fear 

And the chaparral is tremblin' all aroun* 
For we're wicked to the marrer; we're a midnight 

dream of terror 
When we're ridin' up the rocky trail from town! 

We acquired our hasty temper from our friend, the 


From the rattlesnake we learnt to guard our rights. 
We have gathered fightin' pointers from the famous 

bronco steed 

And the bobcat teached us reppertee that bites. 
So when some high-collared herrin' jeered the garb 

that I was wearin' 

'Twasn't long till we had got where talkin' ends, 
And he et his ill-bred chat, with a sauce of derby hat, 
While my merry pardners entertained his friends. 

Sing *er out, my buckeroos! Let the desert hear 

the news. 

Tell the stars the way we rubbed the haughty down. 
We're the fiercest wolves a-prowlin' and it's just our 

night for howlin' 
When we're ridin' up the rocky trail from town. 

Since the days that Lot and Abram split the Jordan 

range in halves, 

Just to fix it so their punchers wouldn't fight, 

1 80 

Ridin* Up the Rocky Trail from Town 

Since old Jacob skinned his dad-in-law of six years' 

crop of calves 

And then hit the trail for Canaan in the night, 
There has been a taste for battle 'mong the men 

that follow cattle 

And a love of doin 1 things that's wild and strange, 
And the warmth of Laban's words when he missed 

his speckled herds 
Still is useful in the language of the range. 

Sing 'er out, my bold coyotes! leather fists and 

leather throats, 

For we wear the brand of Ishm'el like a crown. 
We're the sons o y desolation, we're the outlaws of 

Ee-Yow! a-ridin } up the rocky trail from town! 



HE reached the West in a palace car where the 
writers tell us the cowboys are, 
With the redskin bold and the centipede and the 

rattlesnake and the loco weed. 
He looked around for the Buckskin Joes and the 

things he'd seen in the Wild West shows 
The cowgirls gay and the bronchos wild and the 

painted face of the Injun child. 
He listened close for the fierce war-whoop, and his 

pent-up spirits began to droop, 
And he wondered then if the hills and nooks held 

none of the sights of the story books. 

He'd hoped he would see the marshal pot some 
bold bad man with a pistol shot, 

And entered a low saloon by chance, where the ten- 
derfoot is supposed to dance 

While the cowboy shoots at his bootheels there and 
the smoke of powder begrims the air, 

But all was quiet as if he'd strayed to that silent 
spot where the dead are laid. 

Not even a faro game was seen, and none flaunted 
the long, long green. 

'Twas a blow for him who had come in quest of a 
touch of the real wild woolly West. 

The Disappointed Tenderfoot 

He vainly sought for a bad cayuse and the swirl and 

swish of the flying noose, 
And the cowboy's yell as he roped a steer, but nothing 

of this fell on his ear. 
Not even a wide-brimmed hat he spied, but derbies 

flourished on every side, 
And the spurs and the " chaps " and the flannel 

shirts, the high-heeled boots and the guns and 

the quirts, 
The cowboy saddles and silver bits and fancy bridles 

and swell outfits 
He'd read about in the novels grim, were not on 

hand for the likes of him. 

He peered about for a stagecoach old, and a miner- 
man with a bag of gold, 

And a burro train with its pack-loads which he'd 
read they tie with the diamond hitch. 

The rattler's whir and the coyote's wail ne'er 
sounded out as he hit the trail; 

And no one knew of a branding bee or a steer 
roundup that he longed to see. 

But the oldest settler named Six-Gun Sim rolled a 
cigarette and remarked to him: 

" The West hez gone to the East, my son, and it's 
only in tents sich things is done." 

E. A. Brinninstool. 



WHEN I ride into the mountains on my little 
broncho bird, 
Whar my ears are never pelted with the bawlin' o' 

the herd, 
An' a sort o' dreamy quiet hangs upon the western 


An' thar ain't no animation to be noticed anywhere; 
Then I sort o' feel oneasy, git a notion in my head 
I'm the only livin' mortal everybody else is 

An' I feel a queer sensation, rather skeery like, an' 

When thar ain't nobody near me, 'ceptin' God. 

Every rabbit that I startle from its shaded restin' 

Seems a furry shaft o' silence shootin' into noise- 
less space, 

An' a rattlesnake a crawlin' through the rocks so 
old an' gray 

Helps along the ghostly feelin' in a rather startlin' 

Every breeze that dares to whisper does it with a 
bated breath, 


A Cowboy Alone With His Conscience 

Every bush stands grim an' silent in a sort o' livin' 

Tell you what, a feller's feelin's give him many an 

icy prod, 
When thar ain't nobody near him, 'ceptin' God. 

Somehow allus git to thinkin' o' the error o' my 

An' my memory goes wingin' back to childhood's 

happy days, 
When a mother, now a restin' in the grave so dark 

an' deep, 
Used to listen while I'd whisper, " Now I lay me 

down to sleep." 
Then a sort o' guilty feelin' gits a surgin' in my 


An' I wonder how I'll stack up at the final judg- 
ment test, 
Conscience allus welts it to me with a mighty cuttin' 

When thar ain't nobody near me, 'ceptin' God. 

Take the very meanest sinner that the nation ever 

One that don't respect religion more'n he respects the 

One that never does an action that's commendable 
or good, 

An' immerse him fur a season out in Nature's soli- 


A Cowboy Alone With His Conscience 

An' the cog-wheels o' his conscience '11 be rattled 

out o' gear, 
More'n if he 'tended preachin' every Sunday in the 

Fur his sins 'ill come a ridin' through his cranium 

rough shod, 

When thar ain't nobody near him, 'ceptin' God. 

James Barton Adams. 

1 86 


OH, for me a horse and saddle 
Every day without a change; 
With the desert sun a-blazin 1 
On a hundred miles o' range, 

Just a-ridin\ just a-ridin', 
Desert ripplin' in the sun, 
Mountains blue along the skyline,- 
I don't envy anyone. 

When my feet are in the stirrups 

And my horse is on the bust; 

When his hoofs are flashin' lightnin' 

From a golden cloud o' dust; 

And the bawlin' of the cattle 

Is a-comin' down the wind, 

Oh, a finer life than ridin' 

Would be mighty hard to find, 

Just a-ridin', just a-ridin\ 
Splittin' long cracks in the air, 
Stirrin' up a baby cyclone, 
Rootin' up the prickly pear. 

I don't need no art exhibits 
When the sunset does his best, 

Just A-Ridin'! 

Paintin' everlastin' glories 
On the mountains of the west. 
And your operas look foolish 
When the night bird starts his tune 
And the desert's silver-mounted 
By the kisses of the moon, 

Just a-ridin', just a-ridin', 
I don't envy kings nor czars 
When the coyotes down the valley 
Are a-singin' to the stars. 

When my earthly trail is ended 
And my final bacon curled, 
And the last great round up's finished 
At the Home Ranch of the world, 
I don't want no harps or haloes, 
Robes or other dress-up things, 
Let me ride the starry ranges 
On a pinto horse with wings, 

Just a-ridin', just a-ridin', 
Splittin' chunks o' wintry air, 
With your feet froze to your stirrups 
And a snowdrift in your hair. 
(As sent by Elwood Adams, a Colorado 
cowpuncher.} See "Sun and Saddle 
Leather" by Charles Badger Clark, Jr. 

1 88 


SOH, Bossie, soh! 
The water's handy heah, 
The grass is plenty neah, 
An' all the stars a-sparkle 
Bekaze we drive no mo' 
We drive no mo'. 

The long trail ends today, 
The long trail ends today, 
The punchers go to play 
And all you weary cattle 
May sleep in peace for sure, 
May sleep in peace for sure, 
Sleep, sleep for sure. 

The moon can't bite you heah, 
Nor punchers fright you heah. 
An' you-all will be beef befo' 
We need you any mo', 
We need you any mo' ! 

From Pocock's " Curley." 




This book is 

'D Li 

NOV 7 '63 -HAM 

JAN 1 2 1995 

NOM 0* 

MAY 1 9 1969 

LD 21 

VD j ! 

D I J