Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MEMORIES OF PIONEER DAYS, by LUCY BURGMAN

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First Line: Do you remember the blizzard, brother?
Last Line: As I think of faithful old riley and wise old bill.
Subject(s): Pioneers; Roads; Travel; Paths; Trails; Journeys; Trips

Do you remember the blizzard, brother? Away back when
I was twelve and a half, and you 'bout half past ten?
We had gone with father, back to his job at the mill
To drive the team home next day: Old Riley and Old Bill.

The morning was bright and warm when father bid us good-bye,
As we started for home, just you and I.
We felt mighty big, important and gay.
As in the farm wagon we jogged along our way.

On the river road, up the bluff, across the prairie on the angling trail
We saw the coyote slinking away, reluctant to leave his kill;
The jack rabbit hunched in his burrow, by a tuft of grass,
And other rodents that seemed afraid as they saw us pass.

We watched the flight of the crow to her home and shelter,
Weather signs, for the wise, that you and I didn't know,
When we reached the twin mounds, where half our journey
Behind us lay, with ten miles more to go.

The sky grew dark, the wind got higher, it began to snow
That hard, stinging, blinding, drifting snow.
We didn't think of danger, nor our parents' hours of worry
As they thought of their boy and girl alone on the prairie.

But those wise old horses hurried on with a right good will
Old Riley, the white faced sorrel and the roan Old Bill.
While we took turns running beside them to warm our feet,
Or sit, wrapped in the wagon robes, upon the seat.

We were homeward bound; they knew the way we should go,
And followed the trail through that blinding, drifting snow,
Until at last, an anxious, worried, but thankful mother
Greeted us at the farmhouse door.

Say! Can't you see them "bucking" that snow,
And feel that cold wind yet?
The memory of that day thrills me still.
As I think of faithful Old Riley and wise Old Bill.

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