Posted by: Oklahoma Sun | January 10, 2010

The Papago Tank.

The Papago Tank.

William T. Hornady. Old-fashioned Verse, 1919.


IT was night when we limped to the Papago Tank,
Over the lava, dull black and all rough.
“Water!! Thank GOD!!” Then we drank and we drank.
Never, it seemed, could we drink quite enough.

Beside us our horses unbidden rushed in,
Famished, but game to the last.
The way we had pushed them that day was a sin,
Hungry and footsore, but traveling fast.

That water was clear, sir, as ever was seen,
As pure as the water from snows.
Remarkably cool for a lava-walled pool;
How it had kept so, the Lord only knows.

By an effort Titanic, in rock hard as steel,
The Papago Tank had been drilled.
An arroyo came down through the lava’s black field
To a well by a kind heaven filled.

And why do I often hark back to the Lord?
That is something you won’t understand.
But here let me give you a wanderer’s word:
In the deserts, take hold of His Hand!