The Legend Of Boastful Bill
At a roundup on the Gily,
One sweet mornin' long ago,
Ten of us was throwed right freely
By a hawse from Idaho.
And we thought he'd go-a-beggin'
For a man to break his pride
Till, a-hitchin' up one leggin,
Boastful Bill cut loose and cried--
"_I'm a on'ry proposition for to hurt;_
_I fulfil my earthly mission with a quirt;_
_I kin ride the highest liver_
_'Tween the Gulf and Powder River,_
_And I'll break this thing as easy as I'd flirt._"
So Bill climbed the Northern Fury
And they mangled up the air
Till a native of Missouri
Would have owned his brag was fair.
Though the plunges kep' him reelin'
And the wind it flapped his shirt,
Loud above the hawse's squealin'
We could hear our friend assert
"_I'm the one to take such rakin's as a joke._
_Some one hand me up the makin's of a smoke!_
_If you think my fame needs bright'nin'_
_W'y, I'll rope a streak of lightnin'_
_And I'll cinch 'im up and spur 'im till he's broke._"
Then one caper of repulsion
Broke that hawse's back in two.
Cinches snapped in the convulsion;
Skyward man and saddle flew.
Up he mounted, never laggin',
While we watched him through our tears,
And his last thin bit of braggin'
Came a-droppin' to our ears.
"_If you'd ever watched my habits very close_
_You would know I've broke such rabbits by the gross._
_I have kep' my talent hidin';_
_I'm too good for earthly ridin'_
_And I'm off to bust the lightnin's,--Adios!_"
Years have gone since that ascension.
Boastful Bill ain't never lit,
So we reckon that he's wrenchin'
Some celestial outlaw's bit.
When the night rain beats our slickers
And the wind is swift and stout
And the lightnin' flares and flickers,
We kin sometimes hear him shout--
"_I'm a bronco-twistin' wonder on the fly;_
_I'm the ridin' son-of-thunder of the sky._
_Hi! you earthlin's, shut your winders_
_While we're rippin' clouds to flinders._
_If this blue-eyed darlin' kicks at you, you die!_"
Stardust on his chaps and saddle,
Scornful still of jar and jolt,
He'll come back some day, astraddle
Of a bald-faced thunderbolt.
And the thin-skinned generation
Of that dim and distant day
Sure will stare with admiration
When they hear old Boastful say--
"_I was first, as old rawhiders all confessed._
_Now I'm last of all rough riders, and the best._
_Huh! you soft and dainty floaters,_
_With your a'roplanes and motors--_
_Huh! are you the great grandchildren of the West!_"
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