Reverie of a Pioneer
By CLAUDE D. HAYDEN
As I sit by my hearth at twilight and vision of yore appear|
I'm a boy again on the prairie, out on the old frontier.
I dream of the waving blue-stem of gama and buffalo green
And the blaze of Indian summer softened by falls moonbeam.
Again from the door of our soddy I gaze o'er the rolling plain,
To where the covered wagon, like a ship on the ocean main,
Lumbers and rolls to westward on toward the setting sun,
Bound for the land of promise, hopes for the new life begun.
As I sit and look in the embers, phantom forms appear
Horses and long horned cattle coming from far and near,
Over the hills from the valley and across the plum creek flats,
I fancy McPherson troopers, down from the fort on the Platte.
There the stage coach driver, stops with the settlers mail
On again to the southward, down the Arapahoe trail.
Here a band of redmen mounted on ponies true,
Urge their tired steeds northward on toward the haunts of the Sioux.
Again I saddle my pony and speed across the divide,
Across the Deer creek valley, out on the other side,
Over the ridge to Plum creek, on to the hills afar,
Searching for cows and yearlings branded the circle bar.
I hear the tramp of bison and see the flight of deer
While out on the boundless prairie, cattle roam far and near,
Up from the hills to windward booms the voice of prairie hen,
While the wild goose wings on northward, beyond the abodes of men.
Time has marched steadily onward and the longhorn roams no more
And the rollicking song of the cowboy is lost in the motor's roar.
The winding trail of cattle and the ruts of wagon wheels
Are replaced with gravel and concrete-cross ties and ribbons of steel.
But Oh! how I long for the prairie, the bountiful gift to men
But it's gone with the deer and bison to never return again
If perchance time could turn backward as thought by a fairy hand
I would live again with my homefolks, out on the prairie land.
Copyright © 1997
Web Publisher: Weldon Hoppe