Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SONG OF THE LEATHER, by CHARLES BADGER CLARK JR.

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THE SONG OF THE LEATHER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When my trail stretches out to the edge of the sky
Last Line: "go to sleep, pardner mine, go to sleep."
Alternate Author Name(s): Clark, Badger
Subject(s): Animals; Cowboys; Horses

When my trail stretches out to the edge of the sky
Through the desert so empty and bright,
When I'm watchin' the miles as they go crawlin' by
And a-hopin' I'll get there by night,
Then my hawse never speaks through the long sunny day,
But my saddle he sings in his creaky old way:

For a temperit pace ain't a crime.
Let your mount hit it steady, but give him his ease,
For the sun hammers hard and there's never a breeze.
We kin get there in plenty of time."

When I'm after some critter that's hit the high lope,
And a-spurrin' my hawse till he flies,
When I'm watchin' the chances for throwin' my rope
And a-winkin' the sweat from my eyes,
Then the leathers they squeal with the lunge and the swing
And I work to the livelier tune that they sing:
"Reach 'im! reach 'im! reach 'im!
If you lather your hawse to the heel!
There's a time to be slow and a time to be quick;
Never mind if it's rough and the bushes are thick—
Pull your hat down and fling in the steel!"

When I've rustled all day till I'm achin' for rest
And I'm ordered a night-guard to ride,
With the tired little moon hangin' low in the west
And my sleepiness fightin' my pride,
Then I nod and I blink at the dark herd below
And the saddle he sings as my hawse paces slow:

We was ordered a close watch to keep,
But I'll sing you a song in a drowsy old key;
All the world is a-snoozin' so why shouldn't we?
Go to sleep, pardner mine, go to sleep."

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