The Lone Red Rock.
Henry Herbert Knibbs. Songs of the Trail, 1920.
To the patter of pony’s feet,
That he used to sing as we rode along,
In the hush of the noonday heat;
“Follow me out where the cattle graze,
Where the morning shadows fall,
On the far, dim trails of the outland ways
That lead through the chaparral.”
There, where the red butte stands alone,
And the brush dies down to sand,
Is the name of a friend—a mound of stone,
And the sweep of this lonesome land.
His name is there, and a word or two,
And the brand that we used to run;
But his name could never mean much to you,
And the old, glad days are done.
“Follow me out where the free sons ride,
Where the young coyotes play;
Where the call of the quail from the mountain-side
Comes out of the morning gray.”
“Follow me out”—a laugh, a word,
In the dust of the roundup, when
His horse went down in the milling herd,
A break in the haze—and then;
I dragged him free, and he tried to smile,
But his gaze was dim with Night;
“I’ll rest by the butte a little while …”
And the bronze of his face went white.
So a singer rode in the sunlit space,
Past yucca and ridge and stone,
And a shadow with him, pace for pace,
His own, yet not his own.