Treasure Island

Karle Wilson Baker

(1878 - 1960 / United States)

Texas Cowboy


From garden-beds I tend, it is not far
To those great ranges where he used to ride;
Time’s shadowy Door still stands a rift ajar,
And Fancy, glancing backward and aside,
May glimpse him whirling in a storm, of dust,
A flashing bronze against a burning sky,
Before a sea of tossing horns up-thrust,
A peril thousand-pronged, to breast or die;
Or lying with locked hands beneath his head,
Watching the stars beside a lonely fire,
About him dim immensity outspread
Within, dim gulfs of question and desire.
He is a Thought; he is not flesh-and-bone;
He is immortal Youth astride a Dream:
The hungry flame that eats to ash and stone
The gorgeous fruitage of the things that seem;
And I (who sand, with pang and toil enough,
My roots at last down to the nether springs,
Yet, born to coax the shapely from the rough,
Have shunned the red and jagged edge of things),
A Woman with a bird, a book , a flower,
Who, sifting life, has kept the quiet part,
Whose days like pearls are sorted, hour by hour -
Why is it that he gallops through my heart?

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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