My friend Randy has been blessed to make a living as a cowboy. A hobby that has turned into much more is reciting cowboy poetry at gatherings near and far. This poem is on his first album. I can almost hear his melodic voice now…
by Charles Badger Clark
There is some that like 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-comin’ 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 foolist 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-rounin’ up the sinners That have wandered out of Hell,