Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE PERMANENT BRAND, by BERTON BRALEY



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THE PERMANENT BRAND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When I was a maverick runnin' free
Last Line: The first class lot from the mavericks!
Subject(s): Love; Travel; Wandering & Wanderers; Journeys; Trips; Wanderlust; Vagabonds; Tramps; Hoboes


When I was a maverick runnin' free
The West she took an' she branded me,
Marked me deep with that special brand
That she puts on sure in that western land,
An' after that christenin' occurred
She turned me loose with her own big herd.

But I was allus a stray at heart
An' I roamed all over the bloomin' chart
From North to South an' from West to East—
I sure was kind of a restless beast,
An' I mixed with herds of a hundred kinds,
—The sorts that a maverick critter finds,
But wherever I chanced to take my stand
They piped me off by my western brand!

I've tried to hide it—but what's the use?
I've tried to beat it an' wander loose,
But somethin' gets me an' brings me back
To the old-time herd on the old-time track;
Fer that brand ain't one you twist an' change
To suit each rancho you want to range,
Fer it's burnt deep down in your heart an' soul
An' it won't come out till you join the roll
Of them that's finished, as all things shall,
By findin' a place in the last corral!

—An' I ain't sure but the western brand
Won't still show plain when we come to stand
Where the Boss of the Final Round Up picks
The first class lot from the mavericks!





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