But in a few minutes, God, I'm
going to get
From "Songs of the Cowboys"
by N. Howard Thorp
Copyrighted 1908 and 1921
Given to Mr. Thorpe by Wait Roberts
Double Diamond Ranch, White Mountains, 1898
Authorship ascribed to father of Captain Roberts,
of the Texas Rangers.
Last night, as I lay on the prairie,
And looked at the stars in the sky,
I wondered if ever a cowboy
Would drift to that sweet by and by.
I hear there's to be a grand
Where cowboys with others must stand,
To be cut by the riders of judgement
Who are posted and know all the brands.
The trail to that great mystic
Is narrow and dim, so they say;
While the one that leads down to perdition
Is posted and blazed all the way.
Whose fault is it, then, that
Go astray, on this wild range fail,
Who might have been rich and had plenty
Had they known of the dim, narrow trail?
I wonder if at the last day some
Unbranded and unclaimed should stand,
Would he be mavericked by those riders of judgment
Who are posted and know all the brands?
I wonder if ever a cowboy
Stood ready for that Judgement Day,
And could say to the Boss of the Riders,
"I'm ready, come drive me away"?
For they, like the cows that
Stampede at the site of a hand,
Are dragged with a rope to the round-up,
Or get marked with some crooked man's brand.
And I'm scared that I'll be a
A maverick, unbranded on high,
And get cut in the bunch with the "rusties"
When the Boss of the Riders goes by.
For they tell of another big
Who ne'er overstocked, so they say
But who always makes room for the sinner
Who drifts from the straight narrow way.
They say he will never forget
That he knows every action and look;
So for safety you'd better get branded,
Have your name in the great Tally Book.
My wish for all cowboys is this:
That we may meet at that grand final sale;
Be cut out by the riders of judgement
And shoved up the dim, narrow trail.
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