Charles Badger Clark

(1883 - 1957 / Albia, Iowa)

Roundup Lullaby - Poem by Charles Badger Clark

Desert blue and silver in the still moonshine,
Coyote yappin' lazy on the hill,
Sleepy winks of lightnin' down the far sky line,
Time for millin' cattle to be still.
So- o, now, the lightnin's far away,
The coyote's nothing skeery;
He's singin' to his dearie -
Hee- ya, tammalalleday!
Settle down, you cattle, till the mornin'.

Nothin' out on the hazy range that you folks need,
Nothin' we can see to take your eye.
Yet we got to watch you or you'd all stampede,
Plungin' down some royo bank to die.
So- o, now, for still the shadows stay;
The moon is slow and steady;
The sun comes when he's ready.
Hee- ya, tammalalleday!
No use runnin' out to meet the mornin'.

Cows and men are foolish when the light grows dim,
Dreamin' of a land too far to see.
There, you dream, is wavin' grass and streams that brim
And it often seems that way to me.
So- o, now, for dreams they never pay.
The dust it keeps you blinkin'.
We're seven miles from drinkin'.
Hee- ya, tammalalleday!
But we got to stand it till the mornin'.

Mostly it's a moonlight world our trail winds through.
Kain't see much beyond our saddle horns.
Always far away is misty silver-blue;
Always underfoot it's rocks and thorns.
So- o, now. It must be this away-
The lonesome owl a-callin',
The mournful coyote squallin'.
Hee- ya, tammalalleday!
Mocking-birds don't sing until the mornin'.

Always seein' 'wayoff dreams of silver-blue
Always feelin' thorns that stab and sting
Yet stampedin' never made a dream come true,
So I ride around myself and sing,
So- o, now, a man has got to stay,
A-likin' or a-hatin',
But workin' on and waitin'
Hee- ya, tammalalleday!
All of us are waitin' for the mornin'.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, March 12, 2016

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