Poetry of Kansas

Kansas.

    Kansas: the home of surging, ceaseless winds;
The Land of vast and undulating plains
That like the mighty oceans stretch away
Boundless,save for the curtain, azure blue,
Which from our eye conceals the Infinite:
A treeless waste, o'er which tumultuous flames
Were wont to leap like panic-stricken steeds
Urged on by whips of hissing scorpions:
But yesterday the bison's wide domain;
The realm of coyotes, antelope, and deer;
The hunting-ground of wild and savage men.
 
    Kansas: whose sod was superscribed "Free Soil,"
By men who journeyed far for Freedom's sake,
And, prodigal of treasure and of blood,
Wrote KANSAS high upon the scroll of Fame.
John Brown of Osawatomie was there,
And Robinson and Pomeroy and Lane,
And a great host of earnest, thoughtful men,
Who wrought as patriots for the common weal.
 
    Kansas: the Mecca of a caravan
Innumerable that journeys toward the west
In search of homes and honest competence:
The young man and his new-found joyous wife,
Surcharged with good old Anglo-Saxon grit,
Ready to face and eager to subdue
The wilderness, as once their fathers did.
The sod is broke___the golden wheat appears;
The plow is followed by a wealth of corn:
A sound of hammers___lo! fair cities rise,
Minerva-like, with temple, hall, and mart.
 
    Kansas: a land of drought and want and woe,___
Yet more a land of plenty and of joy!
Siroccos now may wither ev'ry herb,
And next year's crop make food for half the world.
Fickle, perhaps, but as a whole, most kind:
If now she frown, 't is but to smile more sweet;
tier children know her and do love her well,
Accounting her the best of this green earth.

1896.

__Frederick J. Atwood .

Kansas Rhymes and Other Lyrics
Frederick J. Atwood
(Topeka, Kan.: Crane & Company. 1902)
Pages 9-10

 
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October 30, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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