Herbert Bashford

(1871-1928 / USA)

The Arid Lands - Poem by Herbert Bashford

THESE lands are clothed in burning weather,
These parched lands pant for God’s cool rain;
I look away where strike together
The burnished sky and barren plain.

I look away; no green thing gladdens
My weary eye—no flower, no tree,
Naught save the earth, the sage-brush saddens
The scorched, gray earth that sickens me.

Oh for the pines, where the sweet wind revels!
The ringing laugh of the crystal creek!
Alas, gaunt Hunger haunts these levels,
And Thirst goes wandering wan and weak.

No shadow falls where swiftly passes
The gray coyote’s noiseless feet,
No song of bird, no hint of grasses—
The home of Silence and of Heat!

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, October 9, 2010

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