Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, FROM TOWN, by CHARLES BADGER CLARK JR.



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FROM TOWN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: We're the children of the open and we hate / the haunts o' men
Last Line: Ee—yow! A-ridin' up the rocky trail from town!
Alternate Author Name(s): Clark, Badger
Variant Title(s): Ridin' Up The Rocky Trail From Town
Subject(s): City & Town Life; Cowboys; Ranch Life; Roads; West (U.s.); Paths; Trails; Southwest; Pacific States


We're the children of the open and we hate the haunts o' men,
But we had to come to town to get the mail.
And we're ridin' home at daybreak—'cause the air is cooler then—
All 'cept one of us that stopped behind in jail.
Shorty's nose won't bear paradin', Bill's off eye is darkly fadin',
All our toilets show a touch of disarray,
For we found that city life is a constant round of strife
And we ain't the breed for shyin' from a fray.

Chant your warwhoop, pardners dear, while the east turns pale with fear
And the chaparral is tremblin' all aroun'
For we're wicked to the marrer; we're a midnight dream of terror
When we're ridin' up the rocky trail from town!

We acquired our hasty temper from our friend, the centipede.
From the rattlesnake we learnt to guard our rights.
We have gathered fightin' pointers from the famous bronco steed
And the bobcat teached us reppertee that bites.
So when some high-collared herrin' jeered the garb that I was wearin'
'Twasn't long till we had got where talkin' ends,
And he et his illbred chat, with a sauce of derby hat,
While my merry pardners entertained his friends.

Sing'er out, my buckeroos! Let the desert hear the news.
Tell the stars the way we rubbed the haughty down.
We're the fiercest wolves a-prowlin' and it's just our night for howlin'
When we're ridin' up the rocky trail from town.

Since the days that Lot and Abram split the Jordan range in halves,
Just to fix it so their punchers wouldn't fight,
Since old Jacob skinned his dad-in-law for six years' crop of calves
And then hit the trail for Canaan in the night,
There has been a taste for battle 'mong the men that follow cattle
And a love of doin' things that's wild and strange,
And the warmth of Laban's words when he missed his speckled herds
Still is useful in the language of the range.

Sing 'er out, my bold coyotes! leather fists and leather throats,
For we wear the brand of Ishm'el like a crown.
We're the sons o' desolation, we're the outlaws of creation—
Ee—yow! a-ridin' up the rocky trail from town!





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