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A BAD HALF HOUR

  Wonder why I feel so restless;
    Moon is shinin' still and bright,
  Cattle all is restin' easy,
    But I just kaint sleep tonight.
  Ain't no cactus in my blankets,
    Don't know why they feel so hard--
  'Less it's Warblin' Jim a-singin'
    "Annie Laurie" out on guard.

  "Annie Laurie"--wish he'd quit it!
    Couldn't sleep now if I tried.
  Makes the night seem big and lonesome,
    And my throat feels sore inside.
  How _my_ Annie used to sing it!
    And it sounded good and gay
  Nights I drove her home from dances
    When the east was turnin' gray.

  Yes, "her brow was like the snowdrift"
    And her eyes like quiet streams,
  "And her face"--I still kin see it
    Much too frequent in my dreams;
  And her hand was soft and trembly
    That night underneath the tree,
  When I couldn't help but tell her
    She was "all the world to me."

  But her folks said I was "shif'less,"
    "Wild," "unsettled,"--they was right,
  For I leaned to punchin' cattle
    And I'm at it still tonight.
  And she married young Doc Wilkins--
    Oh my Lord! but that was hard!
  Wish that fool would quit his singin'
    "Annie Laurie" out on guard!

  Oh, I just kaint stand it thinkin'
    Of the things that happened then.
  Good old times, and all apast me!
    Never seem to come again--
  My turn? Sure. I'll come a-runnin'.
    Warm me up some coffee, pard--
  But I'll stop that Jim from singin'
    "Annie Laurie" out on guard.

Poem by Badger Clark
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