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The Christmas Trail

  The wind is blowin' cold down the mountain tips of snow
    And 'cross the ranges layin' brown and dead;
  It's cryin' through the valley trees that wear the mistletoe
    And mournin' with the gray clouds overhead.
  Yet it's sweet with the beat of my little hawse's feet
    And I whistle like the air was warm and blue,
  For I'm ridin' up the Christmas trail to you, Old folks,
    I'm a-ridin' up the Christmas trail to you.

  Oh, mebbe it was good when the whinny of the Spring
    Had wheedled me to hoppin' of the bars,
  And livin' in the shadow of a sailin' buzzard's wing
    And sleepin' underneath a roof of stars.
  But the bright campfire light only dances for a night,
    While the home-fire burns forever clear and true,
  So 'round the year I circle back to you, Old folks,
    'Round the rovin' year I circle back to you.

  Oh, mebbe it was good when the reckless Summer sun
    Had shot a charge of fire through my veins,
  And I milled around the whiskey and the fightin' and the fun
    'Mong the other mav'ricks drifted from the plains.
  Ay! the pot bubbled hot, while you reckoned I'd forgot,
    And the devil smacked the young blood in his stew,
  Yet I'm lovin' every mile that's nearer you,  Good folks,
    Lovin' every blessed mile that's nearer you.

  Oh, mebbe it was good at the roundup in the Fall
    When the clouds of bawlin' dust before us ran,
  And the pride of rope and saddle was a-drivin' of us all
    To a stretch of nerve and muscle, man and man.
  But the pride sort of died when the man got weary eyed;
    'Twas a sleepy boy that rode the night-guard through,
  And he dreamed himself along a trail to you, Old folks,
    Dreamed himself along a happy trail to you.

  The coyote's Winter howl cuts the dusk behind the hill,
    But the ranch's shinin' window I kin see,
  And though I don't deserve it and, I reckon, never will,
    There'll be room beside the fire kep' for me.
  Skimp my plate 'cause I'm late. Let me hit the old kid gait,
    For tonight I'm stumblin' tired of the new
  And I'm ridin' up the Christmas trail to you, Old folks,
    I'm a-ridin' up the Christmas trail to you.

Poem by Badger Clark
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Book: Shattered Sighs