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Tall Men Riding (S. Omar Barker) Oh, the high hawk knows where the rabbit goes, and the buzzard marks the kill But few there be with eyes to see the tall men riding still We hark in vain on the speeding train for an echo of hoofbeat thunder And the yellow wheat is a winding sheet for cattle trails plowed under Hoofdust flies at the low moon's rise and the bullbat's lonesome whir Is an echoed note from the longhorn throat of a steer, in the days that were Inch by inch, time draws the cinch, till the saddle will creak no more And they who were lords of the cattle hordes have tallied their final score This is the song that the night birds sing as the phantom herds trail by Horn by horn where the long plains fling flat miles to the Texas sky And this is the song that the night birds wail where the Texas plains lie wide Over the dust of a ghostly trail where the phantom tall men ride Squire Omar Barker (b. 1894), honorary president of the Western Writers of America, has been a rancher and a teacher, and was once elected to the New Mexico legislature. Look for more of his poems in Vientos de las Sierras (1924) and Buckaroo Ballads [!] (1928), as well as many pulp magazines and a couple of anthologies. To the the tune of Tramps and Hawkers. JN oct96
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