Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE HABIT, by BERTON BRALEY



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THE HABIT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I've beat my way wherever any winds have blown
Last Line: For, once you git the habit, why, you can't keep still.
Subject(s): Cowboys; Ranch Life; Wandering & Wanderers; West (U.s.); Wanderlust; Vagabonds; Tramps; Hoboes; Southwest; Pacific States


I'VE beat my way wherever any winds have blown;
I've bummed along from Portland down to San Antone;
From Sandy Hook to Frisco, over gulch and hill,—
For once you git the habit, why, you can't keep still.

I settled down quite frequent, and I says, says I,
"I'll never wander further till I come to die."
But the wind it sorter chuckles, "Why, o' course you will."
An' sure enough I does it 'cause I can't keep still.

I've seen a lot o' places where I'd like to stay,
But I gets a-feelin' restless an' I'm on my way.
I was never meant for settin' on my own door sill,
An', once you git the habit, why, you can't keep still.

I've been in rich men's houses an' I've been in jail,
But when it's time for leavin' I jes hits the trail.
I'm a human bird of passage and the song I trill
Is, "Once you git the habit, why, you can't keep still."

The sun is sorter coaxin', an' the road is clear,
An' the wind is singin' ballads that I got to hear.
It ain't no use to argue when you feel the thrill;
For, once you git the habit, why, you can't keep still.





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