Bronco Shod With Wings Poem by Henry Herbert Knibbs

Bronco Shod With Wings

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Sing me a home beyond the stars, and if the song be fair,
I'll dwell awhile with melody--as long as mortal dare.
But sing me to the earth again on wide, descending wings,
That I may not forget the touch of homely human things.

Nor let my heart forget a friend, or turn from daily toil,
Though scant the measured recompense, the mean, the wine, the oil;
Nor scorn the rugged way I came with hunger pressing hard,
Before I knew the narrow gate or feared the breaking-yard.

The ragged coat, the grinning shoe, the glance bereft of pride,
And would I dare, who trod the mire, to thrust their plaint aside?
My dog's affection chides my soul for that I may not be
One half the loyal gentleman his eyes have mirrored me.

The homely things, the human things, the things begat of earth,
And least among them he who scorns the clay that gave him birth:
My horse that nickers in the field and points his slender ears,
Has taught me more of gratitude than all the singing years.

What friend the trees, the soil, the stone, the turning grain, the flower!
House timber, garden, portal-step, bread, fruit, and fragrant hour
When shred, the leaf is touched by fire, draws cool and clear and clean,
And smoky spirals sing the praise of soothing nicotine!

The intimate companionship of saddle, spur, and gun,
The joy of leather, smooth and strong, of silver in the sun,
The grip of trout-rod to the hand, the play of jeweled reel,
The stock that fits the shoulder-curve--the potency of steel.

Forgetting not the rope and hitch, the steaming pack-horse train,
The sliding shale, the ragged pitch, the thunder and the rain,
The smell of coffee in the dawn that gilds the far divide;
Sing me a home beyond the start--but give me trails to ride.

And so my friend, because, my friend, our ways lie far apart,
And I may never grip your hand, yet I may reach your heart:
I'll drop the reins and slip the cinch, untie the saddle-strings,
And carve a picture on the rock--a bronco shod with wings.

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