Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FREE WIND, by CHARLES BADGER CLARK JR.



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THE FREE WIND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I went and worked in a drippin' mine
Last Line: And my hawse and me was young.
Alternate Author Name(s): Clark, Badger
Subject(s): Cowboys; Prairies; Plains


I went and worked in a drippin' mine
'Mong the rock and the oozin' wood,
For the dark seemed lit with a dollar sign
And they told me money's good.
So I jumped and sweat for a flat-foot boss
Till my pocket bulged with pay,
But my heart it fought like a led bronc' hawse
Till I flung my drill away.

For the wind, the wind, the good free wind,
She sang from the pine divide
That the sky was blue and the young years few
And the world was big and wide!
From the poor, bare hills all gashed with scars
I rode till the range was crossed;
Then I watched the gold of sunset bars
And my camp-sparks glintin' toward the stars
And laughed at the pay I'd lost

I went and walked in the city way
Down a glitterin' canyon street,
For the thousand lights looked good and gay
And they said life there was sweet.
So the wimmen laughed while night reeled by
And the wine ran red and gold,
But their laugh was the starved wolf's huntin' cry
And their eyes were hard and old.

And the wind, the wind, the clean free wind,
She laughed through the April rains:
"Come out and live by the wine I give
In the smell of the greenin' plains!"
And I looked back once to the smoky towers
Where my face had bleached so pale,
Then loped through the lash of drivin' showers
To the uncut sod and the prairie flowers
And the old wide life o' the trail.

I went and camped in the valley trees
Where the thick leaves whispered rest,
For love lived there 'mong the honey bees,
And they told me love was best.
There the twilight lanes were cool and dim
And the orchards pink with May,
Yet my eyes they'd lift to the valley's rim
Where the desert reached away.

And the wind, the wind, the wild free wind,
She called from the web love spun
To the unbought sand of the lone trail land
And the sweet hot kiss o' the sun!
Oh, I looked back twice to the valley lass,
Then I set my spurs and sung,
For the sun sailed up above the pass
And the mornin' wind was in the grass
And my hawse and me was young.





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