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The Song of the Leather

  There is some that likes the city--
    Grass that's curried smooth and green,
  Theaytres and stranglin' collars,
    Wagons run by gasoline--
  But for me it's hawse and saddle
    Every day without a change,
  And a desert sun a-blazin'
    On a hundred miles of range.

  _Just a-ridin', a-ridin'--_
    _Desert ripplin' in the sun,_
  _Mountains blue along the skyline--_
    _I don't envy anyone_
        _When I'm ridin'._

  When my feet is in the stirrups
    And my hawse is on the bust,
  With his hoofs a-flashin' lightnin'
    From a cloud of golden dust,
  And the bawlin' of the cattle
    Is a-coming' down the wind
  Then a finer life than ridin'
    Would be mighty hard to find.

  _Just a-ridin, a-ridin'--_
    _Splittin' long cracks through the air,_
  _Stirrin' up a baby cyclone,_
    _Rippin' up the prickly pear_
        _As I'm ridin'._

  I don't need no art exhibits
    When the sunset does her best,
  Paintin' everlastin' glory
    On the mountains to the west
  And your opery looks foolish
    When the night-bird starts his tune
  And the desert's silver mounted
    By the touches of the moon.

  _Just a-ridin', a-ridin',_
    _Who kin envy kings and czars_
  _When the coyotes down the valley_
    _Are a-singin' to the stars,_
        _If he's ridin'?_

  When my earthly trail is ended
    And my final bacon curled
  And the last great roundup's finished
    At the Home Ranch of the world
  I don't want no harps nor haloes,
    Robes nor other dressed up things--
  Let me ride the starry ranges
    On a pinto hawse with wings!

  _Just a-ridin', a-ridin'--_
    _Nothin' I'd like half so well_
  _As a-roundin' up the sinners_
    _That have wandered out of Hell,_
        _And a-ridin'._

Poem by Badger Clark
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