All day long on the prairies I ride
Not even a dog to trot by my side
My fire I kindle with chips gathered round
My coffee I boil without being ground.
I was in a pool and wipe on a sack
I carry my wardrobe all on my back
For want of an oven I cook bread in a pot
And sleep on the ground for want of a cot.
My ceiling is the sky, my floor is the grass
My music is the lowing of the herds as they pass
My books are the brooks, my sermons the stones
My parson is a wolf on his pulpit of bones.
And then if my cooking is not very complete
You can’t blame me for wanting to eat
But show me a man that sleeps more profound
Than the big puncher boy who stretches himself on the ground.
My books teach me every consistence to prize
My sermons, that small things I should not despise
My parson remarks from his pulpit of bones
That fortune favors those who look out for their own.
And then between me and the love lies a gulf very wide
Some lucky fellow may call her his bride
My friends gently hint I am coming to grief
But men must make money and women have beef.
But cupid is always a friend to the bold
And the best of his arrows are pointed with gold
Society bans me so savage and dodge
That the Masons would ball me out of their lodge.
If I had hair on my chin, I might pass for the goat
That bore all the sings in the ages remote
But why it is I can never understand
For each of the patriarchs owned a big brand.
Abraham emigrated in search of a range
And when water was scarce he wanted a change
Old Isaac owned cattle in charge of Esau
And Jacob punched cows for his father-in-law.
He started in business way down at bed rock
And made quite a streak at handling stock
Then David went from night-herding to using a sling
And, winning the battle, he became a great king.
Then the shepherds, while herding the sheep on a hill
Got a message from heaven of peace and goodwill.