Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE PIONEERS, by HERBERT BATES

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THE PIONEERS, by            
First Line: Pale in the east a filmy moon
Last Line: Where over the sombre pine trees the sea shines blue.
Subject(s): Pioneers

PALE in the east a filmy moon
Creeps up the empty sky,
And the pallid prairie rounds bleak below,
And we wonder that we are here; and the thin winds sigh
Through the broken stalks of the sunflowers that wait to die,
And the sun is gone, and the darkness begins to grow,
And out on the shadowy plains we hear the coyote's cry.

Out of the dark of the prairie plains —
What lurks in the darkened plains?
It is there that the coyote howls,
It is there that the Indian prowls,
Sinewy-footed, alert,
Watching to do us hurt;
And the sombre buffalo
Pace, ominous and slow,
With their black beards trailing low
Over the sifting snow.
And we, we cower and shake,
Lying all night awake, —
We in our little sod-built hut in the heart of the plain.

God guard us, and make vain
The wiles of the Indian foe;
God show us how to go,
And lead us in again
Out of the dread of the plain,
Home to the mountains and hills that our childhood knew,
Where over the sombre pine trees the sea shines blue.

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