Emily Pauline Johnson

(10 March 1861 – 7 March 1913 / Chiefswood, Ontario)

The cattle country


Up the dusk-enfolded prairie,
Foot-falls, soft and sly,
Velvet cushioned, wild and wary,
Then--the coyote's cry.

Rush of hoofs, and roar and rattle,
Beasts of blood and breed,
Twenty thousand frightened cattle,
Then--the wild stampede.

Pliant lasso circling wider
In the frenzied flight--
Loping horse and cursing rider,
Plunging through the night.

Rim of dawn the darkness losing
Trail of blackened soil;
Perfume of the sage brush oozing
On the air like oil.

Foothills to the Rockies lifting
Brown, and blue, and green,
Warm Alberta sunlight drifting
Over leagues between.

That's the country of the ranges,
Plain and prairie land,
And the God who never changes
Holds it in His hand.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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