Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, IT WAS OVERLAND THE RED, by HENRY (HARRY) HERBERT KNIBBS

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IT WAS OVERLAND THE RED, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: If you're askin' my opinion, well, said overland the red
Last Line: "... In concludin' ... We'll stand up and drink again."
Subject(s): California; Toasts

"If you're askin' my opinion, well," said Overland the Red,
As he rose to do the honors, "I might say
You are takin' lengthy chances on what's goin' to be said;
It's nothin' new—but put a different way.

"So I drink to California, the loved, the last, the best;
To her women and her horses and her men;
To old El Camino Real windin' gray and lazy to the west,
Loafin' up the range and loafin' down again.

"I drink to California, the land of light and gold;
To the poppies noddin' happy in the sun;
To the snow upon the mountains layin' bright and white and cold;
To the old trails and the trails that's just begun.

"To the buckaroos a-ridin' out across the old Tejon;
To the mules a-jinglin' lively down the grade;
To the herder squatted smokin' by his little shack alone;
And the mockin'-birds a-dreamin' in the shade.

"To the girls that know a saddle from a pancake, on a hoss;
To the desert-rat with 'color' on the brain;
To the rushin' of the rivers that no man has learned to boss
When the ridges shed the roarin' winter rain.

"I drink to California, the darling of the West;
To her women and her horses and her men;
A blessin' on those livin' here and God help all the rest;
... In concludin' ... we'll stand up and drink again."

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