George Pope Morris

(1802-1864 / USA)

Life In The West. - Poem by George Pope Morris

Ho! brothers--come hither and list to my story--
Merry and brief will the narrative be.
Here, like a monarch, I reign in my glory--
Master am I, boys, of all that I see!
Where once frowned a forest, a garden is smiling--
The meadow and moorland are marshes no more;
And there curls the smoke of my cottage, beguiling
The children who cluster like grapes round my door.
Then enter, boys; cheerly, boys, enter and rest;
The land of the heart is the land of the West!
Oho, boys!--oho, boys!--oho!

Talk not of the town, boys--give me the broad prairie,
Where man, like the wind, roams impulsive and free:
Behold how its beautiful colors all vary,
Like those of the clouds, or the deep-rolling sea!
A life in the woods, boys, is even as changing;
With proud independence we season our cheer,
And those who the world are for happiness ranging,
Won't find it at all if they don't find it here.
Then enter, boys; cheerly, boys, enter and rest!
I'll show you the life, boys, we live in the West!
Oho, boys!--oho, boys!--oho!


Here, brothers, secure from all turmoil and danger,
We reap what we sow, for the soil is our own;
We spread hospitality's board for the stranger,
And care not a jot for the king on his throne.
We never know want, for we live by our labor,
And in it contentment and happiness find;
We do what we can for a friend or a neighbor,
And die, boys, in peace and good-will to mankind.
Then enter, boys; cheerly, boys, enter and rest;
You know how we live, boys, and die in the West!
Oho, boys!--oho, boys!--oho!


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, October 6, 2010



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