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Wild Horse of the Prairies

by Isaac McLellan

For other scenes their lights expand,
Out in the savage western land,
Where wildernesses lone and grand,
Their awful glooms extend;
Far where the Rocky Mounts upthrow
Their pinnacles of rock and snow,
White cones, whereon the sunset's glow,
Its roseate hues doth blend.
Around them, woods primeval press,
Around them, pastures measureless,
Waved by the idle wind's caress,
Reach th' horizon's edge.
In dark ravine and gulch the bear
And tiger-cat have made their lair,
The bison range the meadows there,
To browse the bending sedge.
O'er open plain, in leafy dell,
In hollow vale, on upland swell,
The wild steeds of the prairies dwell,
Free as the mountain wind;
No iron bit or curb have they,
No galling spur, no trappings gay,
No rider to control their way,
Their untam'd limbs to bind.
Free as the eagle cleaves through space,
They curvet or they join in race,
Fleeter than wild beasts of the chase,
A vast unnumbered throng;
They crop the dewy grass at will,
In ice cold waters drink their fill,
Scour the wild plain or sweep the hill,
Unscarr'd by whip or thong.
Yet comes at times a yelling crew,
The savage with his wild halloo,
The painted Blackfoot or Sioux,
All greedy for the spoil;
It were a thrilling sight to see
Those lawless riders fierce and free,
Each swinging with a madden'd glee,
The lariat's twisting coil.
On, on the frantic horsemen sweep,
On, on the snorting wild steeds leap,
Down flowery slope, o'er wooded steep,
Pursuers and pursued;
Then far th' unerring noose is thrown,
The stately bay or lusty roan
Fall captive, panting, with a groan,
All vanquish'd and subdued.