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The Outlaw

  When my rope takes hold on a two-year-old,
    By the foot or the neck or the horn,
  He kin plunge and fight till his eyes go white
    But I'll throw him as sure as you're born.
  Though the taut ropes sing like a banjo string
    And the latigoes creak and strain,
  Yet I got no fear of an outlaw steer
    And I'll tumble him on the plain.

    _For a man is a man, but a steer is a beast,_
      _And the man is the boss of the herd,_
    _And each of the bunch, from the biggest to least,_
      _Must come down when he says the word._

  When my leg swings 'cross on an outlaw hawse
    And my spurs clinch into his hide,
  He kin r'ar and pitch over hill and ditch,
    But wherever he goes I'll ride.
  Let 'im spin and flop like a crazy top
    Or flit like a wind-whipped smoke,
  But he'll know the feel of my rowelled heel
    Till he's happy to own he's broke.

    _For a man is a man and a hawse is a brute,_
      _And the hawse may be prince of his clan_
    _But he'll bow to the bit and the steel-shod boot_
       _And own that his boss is the man._

  When the devil at rest underneath my vest
    Gets up and begins to paw
  And my hot tongue strains at its bridle reins,
    Then I tackle the real outlaw.
  When I get plumb riled and my sense goes wild
    And my temper is fractious growed,
  If he'll hump his neck just a triflin' speck,
    Then it's dollars to dimes I'm throwed.

    _For a man is a man, but he's partly a beast._
      _He kin brag till he makes you deaf,_
    _But the one lone brute, from the west to the east,_
      _That he kaint quite break is himse'f._

Poem by Badger Clark
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