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Best Famous Cowboy Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Cowboy poems. This is a select list of the best famous Cowboy poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Cowboy poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of cowboy poems.

Search for the best famous Cowboy poems, articles about Cowboy poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Cowboy poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

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by Ellis Parker Butler |

When Ida Puts Her Armor On

 The Cowboy had a sterling heart,
The Maiden was from Boston,
The Rancher saw his wealth depart—
The Steers were what he lost on.
The Villain was a banker’s limb, His spats and cane were nifty; The Maiden needs must marry him— Her father was not thrifty.
The Sheepmen were as foul as pitch, The Cowboy was a hero, The gold mine made the hero rich, The Villain’s score was zero.
The Sheepmen tried to steal the maid, The Villain sought the attic, The Hero fifteen bad men slayed With his blue automatic.
The Hero kissed the willing lass, The final scene was snappy; The Villain went to Boston, Mass.
, And everyone was happy.


by Robert William Service |

Kings Must Die

 Alphonso Rex who died in Rome
Was quite a fistful as a kid;
For when I visited his home,
That gorgeous palace in Madrid,
The grinning guide-chap showed me where
He rode his bronco up the stair.
That stairway grand of marbled might, The most majestic in the land, In statured splendour, flight on flight, He urged his steed with whip in hand.
No lackey could restrain him for He gained the gilded corridor.
He burst into the Royal suite, And like a cowboy whooped with glee; Dodging the charger's flying feet The Chamberlain was shocked to see: Imagine how it must have been a Grief to Mother Queen Christina! And so through sheer magnificence I roamed from stately room to room, Yet haunted ever by the sense Of tragical dynastic doom.
The walls were wailing: Kings must die, Being plain blokes like you and I.
Well, here's the moral to my rhyme: When memories more worthy fade We find that whimsically Time Conserves some crazy escapade.
So as I left I stood to stare With humorous enjoyment where Alphonso crashed the Palace stair.


by Edward Taylor |

Non-Stop

 It seemed as if the enormous journey 
was finally approaching its conclusion.
From the window of the train the last trees were dissipating, a child-like sailor waved once, a seal-like dog barked and died.
The conductor entered the lavatory and was not seen again, although his harmonica-playing was appreciated.
He was not without talent, some said.
A botanist with whom I had become acquainted actually suggested we form a group or something.
I was looking for a familiar signpost in his face, or a landmark that would indicate the true colors of his tribe.
But, alas, there was not a glass of water anywhere or even the remains of a trail.
I got a bewildered expression of my own and slinked to the back of the car where a nun started to tickle me.
She confided to me that it was her cowboy pride that got her through .
.
.
Through what? I thought, but drew my hand close to my imaginary vest.
"That's a beautiful vest," she said, as I began crawling down the aisle.
At last, I pressed my face against the window: A little fog was licking its chop, as was the stationmaster licking something.
We didn't stop.
We didn't appear to be arriving, and yet we were almost out of landscape.
No creeks or rivers.
Nothing even remotely reminding one of a mound.
O mound! Thou ain't around no more.
A heap of abstract geometrical symbols, that's what it's coming to, I thought.
A nothing you could sink your teeth into.
"Relief's on the way," a little know-nothing boy said to me.
"Imagine my surprise," I said and reached out to muss his hair.
But he had no hair and it felt unlucky touching his skull like that.
"Forget what I said," he said.
"What did you say?" I asked in automatic compliance.
And then it got very dark and quiet.
I closed my eyes and dreamed of an emu I once loved.


by James Tate |

Non-Stop

 It seemed as if the enormous journey 
was finally approaching its conclusion.
From the window of the train the last trees were dissipating, a child-like sailor waved once, a seal-like dog barked and died.
The conductor entered the lavatory and was not seen again, although his harmonica-playing was appreciated.
He was not without talent, some said.
A botanist with whom I had become acquainted actually suggested we form a group or something.
I was looking for a familiar signpost in his face, or a landmark that would indicate the true colors of his tribe.
But, alas, there was not a glass of water anywhere or even the remains of a trail.
I got a bewildered expression of my own and slinked to the back of the car where a nun started to tickle me.
She confided to me that it was her cowboy pride that got her through .
.
.
Through what? I thought, but drew my hand close to my imaginary vest.
"That's a beautiful vest," she said, as I began crawling down the aisle.
At last, I pressed my face against the window: A little fog was licking its chop, as was the stationmaster licking something.
We didn't stop.
We didn't appear to be arriving, and yet we were almost out of landscape.
No creeks or rivers.
Nothing even remotely reminding one of a mound.
O mound! Thou ain't around no more.
A heap of abstract geometrical symbols, that's what it's coming to, I thought.
A nothing you could sink your teeth into.
"Relief's on the way," a little know-nothing boy said to me.
"Imagine my surprise," I said and reached out to muss his hair.
But he had no hair and it felt unlucky touching his skull like that.
"Forget what I said," he said.
"What did you say?" I asked in automatic compliance.
And then it got very dark and quiet.
I closed my eyes and dreamed of an emu I once loved.


by Vachel Lindsay |

To Mary Pickford

 MOVING-PICTURE ACTRESS

(On hearing she was leaving the moving-pictures for the stage.
) Mary Pickford, doll divine, Year by year, and every day At the movmg-picture play, You have been my valentine.
Once a free-limbed page in hose, Baby-Rosalind in flower, Cloakless, shrinking, in that hour How our reverent passion rose, How our fine desire you won.
Kitchen-wench another day, Shapeless, wooden every way.
Next, a fairy from the sun.
Once you walked a grown-up strand Fish-wife siren, full of lure, Snaring with devices sure Lads who murdered on the sand.
But on most days just a child Dimpled as no grown-folk are, Cold of kiss as some north star, Violet from the valleys wild.
Snared as innocence must be, Fleeing, prisoned, chained, half-dead— At the end of tortures dread Roaring Cowboys set you free.
Fly, O song, to her to-day, Like a cowboy cross the land.
Snatch her from Belasco's hand And that prison called Broadway.
All the village swains await One dear lily-girl demure, Saucy, dancing, cold and pure, Elf who must return in state.


by Vachel Lindsay |

The Knight in Disguise

 [Concerning O.
Henry (Sidney Porter)] "He could not forget that he was a Sidney.
" Is this Sir Philip Sidney, this loud clown, The darling of the glad and gaping town? This is that dubious hero of the press Whose slangy tongue and insolent address Were spiced to rouse on Sunday afternoon The man with yellow journals round him strewn.
We laughed and dozed, then roused and read again, And vowed O.
Henry funniest of men.
He always worked a triple-hinged surprise To end the scene and make one rub his eyes.
He comes with vaudeville, with stare and leer.
He comes with megaphone and specious cheer.
His troupe, too fat or short or long or lean, Step from the pages of the magazine With slapstick or sombrero or with cane: The rube, the cowboy or the masher vain.
They over-act each part.
But at the height Of banter and of canter and delight The masks fall off for one queer instant there And show real faces: faces full of care And desperate longing: love that's hot or cold; And subtle thoughts, and countenances bold.
The masks go back.
'Tis one more joke.
Laugh on! The goodly grown-up company is gone.
No doubt had he occasion to address The brilliant court of purple-clad Queen Bess, He would have wrought for them the best he knew And led more loftily his actor-crew.
How coolly he misquoted.
'Twas his art — Slave-scholar, who misquoted — from the heart.
So when we slapped his back with friendly roar Æsop awaited him without the door, — Æsop the Greek, who made dull masters laugh With little tales of fox and dog and calf .
And be it said, mid these his pranks so odd With something nigh to chivalry he trod And oft the drear and driven would defend — The little shopgirls' knight unto the end.
Yea, he had passed, ere we could understand The blade of Sidney glimmered in his hand.
Yea, ere we knew, Sir Philip's sword was drawn With valiant cut and thrust, and he was gone.


by Anthony Hecht |

The End Of The Weekend

 A dying firelight slides along the quirt
Of the cast iron cowboy where he leans
Against my father's books.
The lariat Whirls into darkness.
My girl in skin tight jeans Fingers a page of Captain Marriat Inviting insolent shadows to her shirt.
We rise together to the second floor.
Outside, across the lake, an endless wind Whips against the headstones of the dead and wails In the trees for all who have and have not sinned.
She rubs against me and I feel her nails.
Although we are alone, I lock the door.
The eventual shapes of all our formless prayers: This dark, this cabin of loose imaginings, Wind, lip, lake, everything awaits The slow unloosening of her underthings And then the noise.
Something is dropped.
It grates against the attic beams.
I climb the stairs Armed with a belt.
A long magnesium shaft Of moonlight from the dormer cuts a path Among the shattered skeletons of mice.
A great black presence beats its wings in wrath.
Above the boneyard burn its golden eyes.
Some small grey fur is pulsing in its grip.


by Lawrence Ferlinghetti |

Bird With Two Right Wings

 And now our government
a bird with two right wings
flies on from zone to zone
while we go on having our little fun & games
at each election
as if it really mattered who the pilot is
of Air Force One
(They're interchangeable, stupid!)
While this bird with two right wings
flies right on with its corporate flight crew
And this year its the Great Movie Cowboy in the cockpit
And next year its the great Bush pilot
And now its the Chameleon Kid
and he keeps changing the logo on his captains cap
and now its a donkey and now an elephant
and now some kind of donkephant
And now we recognize two of the crew
who took out a contract on America
and one is a certain gringo wretch
who's busy monkeywrenching
crucial parts of the engine
and its life-support systems
and they got a big fat hose
to siphon off the fuel to privatized tanks
And all the while we just sit there
in the passenger seats
without parachutes
listening to all the news that's fit to air
over the one-way PA system
about how the contract on America
is really good for us etcetera
As all the while the plane lumbers on
into its postmodern
manifest destiny


by William Allingham |

Lepracaun or Fairy Shoemaker The

 Little Cowboy, what have you heard,
Up on the lonely rath's green mound?
Only the plaintive yellow bird
Sighing in sultry fields around,
Chary, chary, chary, chee-ee! -
Only the grasshopper and the bee? -
"Tip-tap, rip-rap,
Tick-a-tack-too!
Scarlet leather, sewn together,
This will make a shoe.
Left, right, pull it tight; Summer days are warm; Underground in winter, Laughing at the storm!" Lay your ear close to the hill.
Do you not catch th etiny clamour, Busy click of an elfin hammer.
Voice of the Lepracaun singing shrill As he merrily plies his trade? He's a span And a quarter in height, Get him in sight, hold him tight, And you're a made Man! You watch your cattle the summerday, Sup on potatoes, sleep in the hay; how would you like to roll in your carriage, Look for a duchess's daughter in marriage? Seize the shoemaker - then you may! "Big boots a -hunting, Sandals in the hall, White for a wedding feast, Pink for a ball.
This way, that way, So we makea shoe; Getting rich every stitch, Tick-a-tack too!" Nine and ninety treasure crocks This keen miser fairy hath, Hid in the mountains, woods and rocks, Ruin and round-tow'r, cave and rath, And where cormorants build; From times of old Guarded by him; Each of them fill'd Full to the brim With gold! I caught him at work one day, myself, In the castle ditch where fox-glove grows, - A wrinkled, wizen'd and bearded Elf, Spectacles stuck on his pointed nose, Silver buckles to his hose, Leather apron - shoe in his lap - 'Rip-rap, tip-tap, Tick-tack-too! (A grasshopper on my cap! Away the moth flew!) Buskins for a fairy prince, Brogues for his son - Pay me well, pay me well, When the job is done!" The rogue was mine, beyond a doubt.
I stared at him, he stared at me; "Servant Sir!" "Humph" says he, And pull'd a snuff-box out.
He took a long pinch, look'd better pleased, The queer little Lepracaun; Offer'd the box with a whimsical grace, - Pouf! He flung the dust in my face, And while I sneezed, Was gone!


by Carl Sandburg |

Band Concert

 BAND concert public square Nebraska city.
Flowing and circling dresses, summer-white dresses.
Faces, flesh tints flung like sprays of cherry blossoms.
And gigglers, God knows, gigglers, rivaling the pony whinnies of the Livery Stable Blues.
Cowboy rags and nigger rags.
And boys driving sorrel horses hurl a cornfield laughter at the girls in dresses, summer-white dresses.
Amid the cornet staccato and the tuba oompa, gigglers, God knows, gigglers daffy with life’s razzle dazzle.
Slow good-night melodies and Home Sweet Home.
And the snare drummer bookkeeper in a hardware store nods hello to the daughter of a railroad conductor—a giggler, God knows, a giggler—and the summer-white dresses filter fanwise out of the public square.
The crushed strawberries of ice cream soda places, the night wind in cottonwoods and willows, the lattice shadows of doorsteps and porches, these know more of the story.