Wrangle up your mouth-harps, drag your banjo out,
Tune your old guitarra till she twangs right stout,
For the snow is on the mountains and the wind is on the plain,
But we'll cut the chimney's ...... more »
Wonder why I feel so restless;
Moon is shinin' still and bright,
Cattle all is restin' easy,
But I just kain't sleep tonight.... more »
God of the open, though I am so simple
Out in the wind I can travel with you,
noons when the hot mesas ripple and dimple,
Nights when the stars glitter cool in the blue.... more »
When the dreamers of old Coronado,
From the hills where the heat ripples run,
Made a dust to the far Colorado
And wagged their steel caps in the sun,... more »
There was a sunny, savage land
Beneath the eagle's wings,
And there, across the thorns and sand,
Wild rovers rode as kings.... more »
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.... more »
'Twas a hold called Red's Saloon
In La Vaca Town;
'Twas an old piano there,
Blistered, marred and brown,... more »
Cut loose a hundred rivers,
Roaring across my trail,
Swift as the lightning quivers,
Loud as a mountain gale.... more »
Our lives are hid; our trails are strange;
We're scattered through the West
In canyon cool, on blistered range
Or windy mountain crest.... more »
I went and worked in a drippin' mine
'Mong the rock and the oozin' wood,
For the dark it seemed lit with a dollar sign
And they told me money's good.... more »
When my rope takes hold on a two-year-old,
By the foot or the neck or the horn,
He kin plunge and fight till his eyes go white
But I'll throw him as sure as you're born.... more »
'Way high up the Mogollons,
Among the mountain tops,
A lion cleaned a yearlin's bones... more »
I ride alone and hate the boys I meet.
Today, some way, their laughin' hurts me so.
I hate the mockin'-birds in the mesquite-
And yet I liked 'em just a week ago.... more »
Jeff Hart rode out of the gulch to war
When the low sun yellowed the pines.
He waved to his folks in the cabin door... more »
Out from the ranch on a Saturday night,
Ridin' a hawse that's a shootin' star,... more »
We're the children of the open and we hate the haunts o' men,
But we had to come to town to get the mail.... more »
Kissed me from the saddle, and I still can feel it burning,
But he must have felt it cold, for ice was in my veins.
I shall always see him as he waved above the turning,... more »
I reared your fathers long ago —
Big, savage children — from the breast,
But in the circle of my glow... more »
There's an old pard of mine that sits by his door
And watches the evenin' skies.
He's sat there a thousand evenin's before... more »
There's a song in the canyon below me
And a song in the pines overhead,
As the sunlight crawls down from the snowline... more »
'The trail is long to the bison herd,
The prairie rotten with rain,
And look! the wings of the thunder bird... more »
By the rim rocks on the hill
The canyon side is rifted
Where Grasping Gabe, with pick and drill.... more »
My love was swift and slender
As an antelope at play,
And her eyes were gray and tender... more »
Lay on the iron! the tie holds fast
And my wild record closes.
This maverick is down at last
Just roped and tied with roses.... more »
Heart of me, are you hearing
The drum of hoofs in the rains?
Over the Springtime plains I ride... more »
All day across the sagebrush flat
Beneath the sun of June,
My sheep they loaf and feed and blat... more »
Old camp-mate, black and rough to see,
A hard-worked aid and ally you
In all my single-handed wars... more »
I laughed when the dawn was a-peepin'
And swore in the blaze of the noon,
But down from the stars is a-creepin'... more »
Two miles of ridin' from the school, without a bit of trouble—
The main road hit her father's ranch as straight as you could fall.
I led her by a shorter cut that made the distance double... more »
As I was ridin' all alone
And winkin' in the noontime glare,
I seen a hawse all hide and bone... more »
Red is the arch of the nightmare sky,
Red are the mountains beneath,
Bright where a million red imps leap high,... more »
Once again the regiments marching down the street,
Shoulders, legs and rifle barrels swinging all in time.
Let the slack civilian plod; ours the gayer feet,... more »
Deeply the buffalo trod it
Beating it barren as brass;
Now the soft rain-fingers sod it,... more »
I've tracked you up the wind, my buck;
You're lying plain in sight.
No need of hasty trigger-pluck—... more »
No fresh green things in the Bad Lands bide;
It is all stark red and gray,
And strewn with bones that had lived and died... more »
We're the prairie pilgrim crew,
Sailin' with the sun,
Lookin' West to meet a great reward,... more »
Oh, days whoop by with swingin' lope
And days slip by a-sleepin',
And days must drag, with lazy rope,... more »
This I declare: As I trudge the road
Of pain-filled souls with a heavy load—
A pilgrim lad, with staff in hand, plodding along through the shifting sand;... more »
My father prayed as he drew a bead on the graycoats,
Back in those blazing years when the house was divided.
Bless his old heart! There never was truer or kinder;... more »
The daybreak comes so pure and still.
He said that I was pure as dawn,
That day we climbed to Signal Hill.
Back there before the war came on.
God keep me pure as he is brave,
And fit to take his name.
I let him go and fight to save
Some other girl from shame.
Across the gulch it glimmers white,
The little house we plotted for.
We would be sitting here tonight
If he had never gone to war—
The firelight and the cricket's cheep,
My arm around his neck—
I let him go and fight to keep
Some other home from wreck.
And every day I ride to ...
Trailing the last gleam after,
In the valleys emptied of light,
Ripples a whimsical laughter
Under the wings of the night.
Mocking the faded west airily,
Meeting the little bats merrily,
Over the mesas it shrills
To the red moon on the hills.