The prairie zephyrs have dropped to rest,
And the dust-clouds settle down;
The sun dips low in the golden west,
O’er the mesa bare and brown.
The wearied riders come loping in,
As the hills grow dim and strange,
And the songs of the insect world begin–
‘Tis a night on a cattle range.
The stars gleam out in the calm, clear sky
Like twinkling orbs of light,
And over the range drifts the coyote’s cry
Through the star-lit summer night;
The night-hawk whirls in its ceaseless rush,
As the evening breeze is stirred,
And the cowboy’s song breaks the lonely hush,
As he circles the bedded herd.
The campfire throws but a fitful glare,
And the buttes, like specters, rise
Far over the deep arroyo there,
As sentinels in the skies.
While the silent forms in their blanket beds
Dream on, to the night wind’s sigh,
As gently about their sleeping heads,
The breeze drifts idly by.
The moon steals up o’er the dark butte’s crest
In silvery shafts, which gleam
And sparkle there on the brown earth’s breast
Like gems in a fairy dream.
The night creeps on, with its mystic charms,
To the song of the whip-poor-will,
And drifts to Dreamland in Nature’s arms,
And the range grows hushed and still.
E.A. Brininstool 1914