The Trail Herd

Clouded sun on coolin' morn,
Squeakin' taps and spurs a-rattle,
Loungin' 'cross my saddle horn,
Trailin' dull-eyed bawlin' cattle.
Chokin' dust clouds in the air,
Off across the range a-driftin',
Punchers cussin' stragglers there
As the mornin' mist is liftin'.

Wild-eyed mavericks on the prod,
Plungin' ponies, buckin', snortin',
On across the sun baked sod
Full o' ginger, a-cavortin'.
Ol' chuck wagon on ahead
Fer to get the grub pile ready,
Sun a-blazin' fiery red,
Calves a-wobblin' or unsteady.

Summer day a-growin' old
As the crimson sun is sinkin',
River sparklin' just like gold
Where the thirsty herd is drinkin'.
Cook a-yellin', “Grub pile, boys!”
Cups on ol' tin plates a-rattle,
Punchers makin' lots o' noise
On the bed ground with the cattle.

Silence on the midnight air,
Me on night herd slowly moggin'
Round the bedded cattle there,
Singin' to 'em as I'm joggin'.
Camp fire twinklin' down below,
River sort o' lullabyin'
To the sleepers soft an' low
On their blanket beds a-lyin'.

Second watch a-rollin' out,
Sleepy-eyed with grimy faces,
At the foreman's lusty shout,
Saddlin' up to take our places.
Me a-drowsin' off to rest
With the starry sky above me,
Thoughts of you within my breast,
Dreamin', dreamin' that you love me.
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