The Forest Rangers

Red is the arch of the nightmare sky,
Red are the mountains beneath,
Bright where a million red imps leap high,
Dancing and snapping their teeth.

A keen fight! a clean fight!
Shoulder your shovels and follow
Up, while they stop in the pines at the top,
Shooting their sparks in showers.
Up, with your hats ducking under the smoke of it,
Next to the scorch of it, into the choke of it!
Fight for the ranch in the hollow.
Fight! for it is not ours.

Why are we fighting from dark to day,
From summit to canyon wall?
Twice for the Service, and once the pay—
Most, the hot fun of it all!

A stand fight! a grand fight!
Into the smother we wallow,
Stopping their march where the ridge pines parch
Over the shriveling flowers.
Stick! with the smoke steaming out of the coats of you,
Sweat in the eyes of you, fire in the throats of you!
Fight for the ranch in the hollow.
Fight! for it is not ours.

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