Amid the cracking of long-lashed bullwhips
And shouted orders of the wagon boss,
The wagon train sets out, as gallant ships
Within a convoy, wide, wild plains to cross.
Close up the line," the grizzled leaders plead;
The man that lags behind invites a flight
Of Indian arrows! And the train has need
Of every man to stand on guard at night.
Ho! You that drives the wagon in the van,
slow up a bit. Our teams will never last
to trail's end at such a pace, nor can
they climb the hills when far Fort Bent is passed
if jaded now. The trail is long, the way
Is dangerous and rough to Santa Fe."
The Indian and the Trapper trails
Have been replaced by shining rails;
No living buffalo remains
To wander free o'er Kansas plains.
What could resist the onward flow
Of men whose word was, "Westward Ho!"
All honor to the Pioneer,
Who caught a vision, shining clear,
Of fertile fields, of growing grain,
And thrifty towns upon the plain;
To men who would not know defeat,
Who found the fruits of labor sweet.
How well they planned, their deeds attest;
Behold the Empire of the West!
-Tessa V. Miller
The memories of this sunny historical region of adventure [ways be nourished and
kept green by oft relating and incidents, anecdotes, and doings of our courageous
-O. H. Simpson
The sumac flashes crimson
In valleys here and there.
The blazing stars are purpling And create a vista rare.
All the sloughs and valleys
Are beds of pink and white
With ladies' thumbs and milkweed-A really charming sight.
There's a fresh and frosty fragrance
Fills dales and dips at eve,
While the insect world is thrumming In a peace song, I believe.
The bird world's winging southward
'Thwart skies bedimmed with haze;
While at autumn's shrine we worship
On these mellow, magic days.
-Kate Warner Krumrey
What of the coyotes
That each night howl,
On the rimrock banks
'Neath the mesquite's sway;
As the moon swings high
They steal and prowl,
Each calling to other
From far away.
Where do they go
As their voices hush,
When the rising sun
Fills the sky with light;
Back to their dens,
Near rock and bush
To scheme and plan
In Nature's fight?
THE COTTONWOOD TREE
It was only a tender sapling
That had close by the river stood.
But he tenderly dug up the roots with care
And brought home the cottonwood.
Mother, he said, with eyes aglow,
I shall plant this tree for you.
And some day together beneath its shade,
We'll watch the clouds in the heavens so blue.
But God wanted another angel
And took my boy from me.
And now I watch the clouds alone
And I sit beneath the cottonwood tree.
-Fannie Morrow Hendricks
To MARJORIE LOUISE
For ten years, we wandered, hand in hand
Down Magic Paths of Fairy Land,
Where Roses bloom and Violets sleep
In scented beds, the Fairies keep;
Where spiders weave the silken gowns
And dew-drops deck the glistening crowns
Of Fairy Queens, who sometimes hide
Within the Morning Glorys Deep inside!
Where Butterflies and Birds and Bees
Are messengers who bear the keys
Each morn; to open wide each flowered cup
And when Night comes-to lock them up!
For ten sweet years ! God's will be done !
The Fairies leave the shining sun
The Day grows dark and Night appears
With breaking hearts and bitter tears
To wreck the Dream that once was ours
O Little Fairy of the Flowers!
-Lester H. School
A PRAIRIE WOMAN'S PRAYER
Beyond the tops of cottonwoods
My drouth-burned eyes can see
The old storm-woman of the clouds
Brewing her cup of tea.
Her campfire trails a smudge of gray,
Her kettle's snout steams white,
The dress she wears is somber blue
Her hair is black as night.
The old storm-woman of the clouds
Is brewing her cup of tea;
Oh, Lord, I am so starved for drink
Let a few drops fall on me
-Pauline Winkler Grey
THE SOLID GHOSTS
These solid ghosts with dreams remain
Jed Smith searching up for rain,
The wagon-box to, bubble Cimarron Springs
On the de Muerti route where the sage still clings;
Carson mushing out through smothering snow,
Out from Taos because Fremont didn't know
the cedars under shaggy bark,
could be pyres across the dark.
Bill Hickok standing by a ballot box ...
Caravans wheeling away from Point of Rocks;
The Wagoneers dreaming while camp fires burn,
Dreaming of home and what they learn
through the grass and the sage and the tang
of a new world with waves that hang
in the air, and not a stone
to shatter the dream they're not alone.
He who hid in a buffalo's belly . . .
He who called out, "Have faith, Nelly!"
So while those solid ghosts remain
The furrows, the scars are not in vain.