Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE COWBOY'S DANCE SONG, by JAMES BARTON ADAMS

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE COWBOY'S DANCE SONG, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: Now you can't expect a cowboy to agitate
Last Line: When I put the cowboy trimmings on that high-toned dance.
Subject(s): Cowboys; Dancing & Dancers; Ranch Life; West (u.s.); Southwest; Pacific States

YOU can't expect a cowboy to agitate his shanks
In etiquettish manner in aristocratic ranks
When he's always been accustomed to shake the heel and toe
At the rattling rancher dances where much etiquet don't go.
You can bet I set them laughing in quite an excited way,
A-giving of their squinters an astonished sort of play,
When I happened into Denver and was asked to take a prance
In the smooth and easy mazes of a high-toned dance.

When I got among the ladies in their frocks of fleecy white,
And the dudes togged out in wrappings that were simply out of sight,
Tell you what, I was embarrassed, and somehow I couldn't keep
From feeling like a burro in a pretty flock of sheep.
Every step I made was awkward and I blushed a fiery red
Like the principal adornment of a turkey gobbler's head.
The ladies said 'twas seldom that they had had the chance
To see an old-time puncher at a high-toned dance.

I cut me out a heifer from a bunch of pretty girls
And yanked her to the center to dance the dreamy whirls.
She laid her head upon my bosom in a loving sort of way
And we drifted into heaven as the band began to play.
I could feel my neck a-burning from her nose's breathing heat,
And she do-ce-doed around me, half the time upon my feet;
She peered up in my blinkers with a soul-dissolving glance
Quite conducive to the pleasures of a high-toned dance.

Every nerve just got a-dancing to the music of delight
As I hugged the little sagehen uncomfortably tight;
But she never made a bellow and the glances of her eyes
Seemed to thank me for the pleasure of a genuine surprise.
She snuggled up against me in a loving sort of way,
And I hugged her all the tighter for her trustifying play,—
Tell you what the joys of heaven ain't a cussed circumstance
To the hug-a-mania pleasures of a high-toned dance.

When they struck the old cotillion on the music bill of fare,
Every bit of devil in me seemed to burst out on a tear.
I fetched a cowboy whoop and started in to rag,
And cut her with my trotters till the floor began to sag;
Swung my pardner till she got sea-sick and rushed for a seat;
I balanced to the next one but she dodged me slick and neat.—
Tell you what, I shook the creases from my go-to-meeting pants
When I put the cowboy trimmings on that high-toned dance.

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