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Famous Cowboy Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Cowboy poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous cowboy poems. These examples illustrate what a famous cowboy poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Clark, Badger
...Spanish is the lovin' tongue,
    Soft as music, light as spray.
  'Twas a girl I learnt it from,
    Livin' down Sonora way.
  I don't look much like a lover,
  Yet I say her love words over
    Often when I'm all alone--
    "Mi amor, mi corazon."

  Nights when she knew where I'd ride
    She would listen for my spurs,
  Fling the big door o...Read more of this...



by Clark, Badger
...(_Written for Mother_)


  Oh Lord. I've never lived where churches grow.
    I love creation better as it stood
  That day You finished it so long ago
    And looked upon Your work and called it good.
  I know that others find You in the light
    That's sifted down through tinted window panes,
  And yet I seem to feel You near tonight
    In thi...Read more of this...

by Atwood, Margaret
...Starspangled cowboy 
sauntering out of the almost-
silly West, on your face 
a porcelain grin, 
tugging a papier-mache cactus 
on wheels behind you with a string, 


you are innocent as a bathtub
full of bullets.


Your righteous eyes, your laconic 
trigger-fingers
people the streets with villains: 
as you move, the air in front of you 
blossoms with targets


and yo...Read more of this...

by Clark, Badger
...You're salty and greasy and smoky as sin
    But of all grub we love you the best.
  You stuck to us closer than nighest of kin
    And helped us win out in the West,
  You froze with us up on the Laramie trail;
    You sweat with us down at Tucson;
  When Injun was painted and white man was pale
  You nerved us to grip our last chance by the tail
...Read more of this...

by Sandburg, Carl
...of cherry blossoms. And gigglers, God knows, gigglers, rivaling the pony whinnies of the Livery Stable Blues.

Cowboy rags and ****** rags. And boys driving sorrel horses hurl a cornfield laughter at the girls in dresses, summer-white dresses. Amid the cornet staccato and the tuba oompa, gigglers, God knows, gigglers daffy with life’s razzle dazzle.

Slow good-night melodies and Home Sweet Home. And the snare drummer bookkeeper in a hardware store nod...Read more of this...



by Ferlinghetti, Lawrence
...!)
While this bird with two right wings
flies right on with its corporate flight crew
And this year its the Great Movie Cowboy in the cockpit
And next year its the great Bush pilot
And now its the Chameleon Kid
and he keeps changing the logo on his captains cap
and now its a donkey and now an elephant
and now some kind of donkephant
And now we recognize two of the crew
who took out a contract on America
and one is a certain gringo wretch
who's busy monkeywrenching
crucial par...Read more of this...

by Clark, Badger
...One time, 'way back where the year marks fade,
    God said: "I see I must lose my West,
  The prettiest part of the world I made,
    The place where I've always come to rest,
  For the White Man grows till he fights for bread
  And he begs and prays for a chance to spread.

  "Yet I won't give all of my last retreat;
    I'll help him to fight h...Read more of this...

by Service, Robert William
...and.
No lackey could restrain him for
He gained the gilded corridor.

He burst into the Royal suite,
And like a cowboy whooped with glee;
Dodging the charger's flying feet
The Chamberlain was shocked to see:
Imagine how it must have been a
Grief to Mother Queen Christina!

And so through sheer magnificence
I roamed from stately room to room,
Yet haunted ever by the sense
Of tragical dynastic doom.
The walls were wailing: Kings must die,
Being plain blokes like you...Read more of this...

by Allingham, William
...Little Cowboy, what have you heard,
Up on the lonely rath's green mound?
Only the plaintive yellow bird
Sighing in sultry fields around,
Chary, chary, chary, chee-ee! -
Only the grasshopper and the bee? -
"Tip-tap, rip-rap,
Tick-a-tack-too!
Scarlet leather, sewn together,
This will make a shoe.
Left, right, pull it tight;
Summer days are warm;
Underground in wi...Read more of this...

by Taylor, Edward
...f my own 
and slinked to the back of the car 
where a nun started to tickle me. 
She confided to me that it was her
cowboy pride that got her through . . .
Through what? I thought, but drew my hand
close to my imaginary vest.
"That's a beautiful vest," she said,
as I began crawling down the aisle.
At last, I pressed my face against 
the window: A little fog was licking
its chop, as was the stationmaster 
licking something. We didn't stop.
We di...Read more of this...

by Tate, James
...f my own 
and slinked to the back of the car 
where a nun started to tickle me. 
She confided to me that it was her
cowboy pride that got her through . . .
Through what? I thought, but drew my hand
close to my imaginary vest.
"That's a beautiful vest," she said,
as I began crawling down the aisle.
At last, I pressed my face against 
the window: A little fog was licking
its chop, as was the stationmaster 
licking something. We didn't stop.
We di...Read more of this...

by Hecht, Anthony
...A dying firelight slides along the quirt
Of the cast iron cowboy where he leans
Against my father's books. The lariat
Whirls into darkness. My girl in skin tight jeans
Fingers a page of Captain Marriat
Inviting insolent shadows to her shirt.

We rise together to the second floor.
Outside, across the lake, an endless wind
Whips against the headstones of the dead and wails
In the trees for all who hav...Read more of this...

by Clark, Badger
...'Way high up the Mogollons,
    Among the mountain tops,
  A lion cleaned a yearlin's bones
    And licked his thankful chops,
  When on the picture who should ride,
    A-trippin' down a slope,
  But High-Chin Bob, with sinful pride
    And mav'rick-hungry rope.

    "_Oh, glory be to me," says he,_
      "_And fame's unfadin' flowers!_
    _A...Read more of this...

by Lindsay, Vachel
...or short or long or lean, 
Step from the pages of the magazine 
With slapstick or sombrero or with cane: 
The rube, the cowboy or the masher vain. 
They over-act each part. But at the height 
Of banter and of canter and delight 
The masks fall off for one ***** instant there 
And show real faces: faces full of care 
And desperate longing: love that's hot or cold; 
And subtle thoughts, and countenances bold. 
The masks go back. 'Tis one more joke. Laugh on!...Read more of this...

by Clark, Badger
...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 ...Read more of this...

by Field, Eugene
...I'd like to be a cowboy an' ride a fiery hoss
Way out into the big an' boundless west;
I'd kill the bears an' catamounts an' wolves I come across,
An' I'd pluck the bal' head eagle from his nest!
With my pistols at my side,
I would roam the prarers wide,
An' to scalp the savage Injun in his wigwam would I ride--
If I darst; but I darsen't!

I'd like to go to Afriky an' hunt ...Read more of this...

by Clark, Badger
...I rode across a valley range
    I hadn't seen for years.
  The trail was all so spoilt and strange
    It nearly fetched the tears.
  I had to let ten fences down
    (The fussy lanes ran wrong)
  And each new line would make me frown
    And hum a mournin' song.

    _Oh, it's squeak! squeak! squeak!_
      _Hear 'em stretchin' of the wire!_
...Read more of this...

by Rexford, Eben E.
...1. Paul Venarez heard them say, in the frontier town that day,
That a band of Red Plume's warriors was upon the trail of death;
Heard them tell of a murder done: Three men killed at Rocky Run.
"They're in danger up at Crawford's," said Venarez, under breath.

2. "Crawford's"—thirty miles away—was a settlement, that lay
In a green and pleasant valley o...Read more of this...

by Lindsay, Vachel
...leys wild.
Snared as innocence must be,
Fleeing, prisoned, chained, half-dead—
At the end of tortures dread
Roaring Cowboys set you free.

Fly, O song, to her to-day, 
Like a cowboy cross the land. 
Snatch her from Belasco's hand 
And that prison called Broadway. 

All the village swains await
One dear lily-girl demure,
Saucy, dancing, cold and pure, 
Elf who must return in state....Read more of this...

by Butler, Ellis Parker
...The Cowboy had a sterling heart,
The Maiden was from Boston,
The Rancher saw his wealth depart—
The Steers were what he lost on.

The Villain was a banker’s limb,
His spats and cane were nifty;
The Maiden needs must marry him—
Her father was not thrifty.

The Sheepmen were as foul as pitch,
The Cowboy was a hero,
The gold mine made the hero rich,
The Vil...Read more of this...

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