Cicely Fox Smith

(1882-1954 / England)

The Old-Timer

Times, they say, must change, and folks must change with 'em too:
That's how it is in the West, now the old lights seem to fail:
The prairie that was is passing, and giving place to new, -
Give me again the old times, and the buffalo trail!

Give me again the great days between earth and sky,
The red roaring nights, the blood that leapt like a flame,
Men that were men, friends that were friends in the years gone by,
Life that held more than dollars to make it worthy the name.

Give me again the hot hours by the old corral, -
Bill on the pinto, and Pat on the buckskin, and me on the bay, -
The flurry of unshod hoofs, the voices, - where are they all,
Horses and men, and the good glad hours that were yesterday?

Do you remember? - but only the prairie wind replies:
'Yesterday's gone like a gleam, and here is To-day with its change:
Here with its new towns growing from nothing under your eyes,
And the scar of the settler's plough on the last of the cattle range.'

'Yesterday's gone, with all that was in it of good and of bad,
Gone like the hunt that's over, a song that's sung:
Give me again laughter and life and the heart of a lad,
Give me again the old times . . . when the world was young!'

Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010

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