Charles Badger Clark (January 1, 1883 – September 26, 1957) was an American poet.
Charles Badger Clark was born on January 1, 1883 in Albia, Iowa. His family moved to Dakota Territory, where his father served as a Methodist preacher in Huron, Mitchell, Deadwood and Hot Springs. He dropped out of Dakota Wesleyan University after he clashed with one of its founders, C.B. Clark. He travelled to Cuba, returned to Deadwood, South Dakota, where he contracted tuberculosis, then moved to Tombstone, Arizona to assuage his illness with the dry weather. He returned again to South Dakota in 1910 to take care of his ailing father. There, he contracted tuberculosis. In 1925, he moved to a cabin in Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota, where he lived for thirty years.
In 1937, he was named the Poet Laureate of South Dakota by Governor Leslie Jensen. His work was published in Sunset Magazine, Pacific Monthly, Arizona Highways, Colliers, Century Magazine, the Rotarian, and Scribner's.
He died on September 26, 1957.
His poem entitled 'Lead by America' was performed by the Fred Waring Chorus in 1957. In 1969, Bob Dylan recorded 'Spanish is the Loving Tongue'. In America by Heart, Sarah Palin quotes his poem entitled 'A Cowboy's Prayer' as one of the prayers she likes to say.
The daybreak comes so pure and still.
He said that I was pure as dawn,
That day we climbed to Signal Hill.
Spanish is the lovin' tongue,
Soft as music, lights as spray.
'Twas a girl I learnt it from,
Livin' down Sonora way.
My fathers sleep on the sunrise plains,
And each one sleeps alone.
Their trails may dim to the grass and rains,
For I choose to make my own.
Men of the older, gentler soil,
Loving the things that their fathers wrought-
Worn old fields of their father's toil,
Scarred old hills where their fathers fought-