The centipede runs across my head,The vinegaroon crawls in my bed,Tarantulas jump and scorpions play,The broncs are grazing far away,The rattlesnake gives his warning cry,And the coyotes sing their lullaby,While I sleep soundly beneath the sky.
OUT WHERE THE WEST BEGINS OUT where the handclasp's a little stronger,Out where the smile dwells a little longer,That's where the West begins;Out where the sun is a little brighter,Where the snows that fall are a trifle whiter,Where the bonds of home are a wee bit tighter,That's where the West begins. Out where the skies are a trifle bluer,Out where friendship's a little truer,That's where the West begins;Out where a fresher breeze is blowing,Where there's laughter in every streamlet flowing,Where there's more of reaping and less of sowing,That's where the West begins. Out where the world is in the making,Where fewer hearts in despair are aching,That's where the West begins;Where there's more of singing and less of sighing,Where there's more of giving and less of buying,And a man makes friends without half trying,That's where the West begins.Arthur Chapman.
THE SHALLOWS OF THE FORD DID you ever wait for daylight when the stars along the riverFloated thick and white as snowflakes in the water deep and strange,Till a whisper through the aspens made the current break and shiverAs the frosty edge of morning seemed to melt and spread and change? Once I waited, almost wishing that the dawn would never find me;Saw the sun roll up the ranges like the glory of the Lord;Was about to wake my pardner who was sleeping close behind me,When I saw the man we wanted spur his pony to the ford. Saw the ripples of the shallows and the muddy streaks that followed,As the pony stumbled toward me in the narrows of the bend;Saw the face I used to welcome, wild and watchful, lined and hollowed;And God knows I wished to warn him, for I once had called him friend. But an oath had come between us — I was paid by Law and Order;He was outlaw, rustler, killer — so the border whisper ran;Left his word in Caliente that he'd cross the Rio border —Call me coward? But I hailed him — "Riding close to daylight, Dan!" Just a hair and he'd have got me, but my voice, and not the warning,Caught his hand and held him steady; then he nodded, spoke my name,Reined his pony round and fanned it in the bright and silent morning,Back across the sunlit Rio up the trail on which he came. He had passed his word to cross it — I had passed my word to get him —We broke even and we knew it; 'twas a case of give and takeFor old times. I could have killed him from the brush; instead, I let himRide his trail — I turned — my pardner flung his arm and stretched awake; Saw me standing in the open; pulled his gun and came beside me;Asked a question with his shoulder as his left hand pointed towardMuddy streaks that thinned and vanished — not a word, but hard he eyed meAs the water cleared and sparkled in the shallows of the ford....