I've ridden nigh a thousand leagues upon two bands of steel,
And it takes a grizzled Westerner to know just how I feel;
The ranches dot the strongholds of the old-time saddlemen,
And the glory of the cattle days can ne'er come back again.
Oh, the creak of saddle leather--
Oh, the sting of upland weather
When the cowmen roamed the foothills and drove in ten thousand steers;
Through the years, back in the dreaming,
I can see the camp-fires gleaming,
And the lowing of the night-herd sounds, all faintly, in my ears.
There's a checkerboard of fences on the vast and wind-swept range;