Cheerless prairie stretching southward,
Barren prairies stretching north ;
Not a green herb, fresh and sturdy,
From the hard earth springing forth.
Every tree bereft of foliage,
Every shrub devoid of life,
And the two great ills seemed blighting
All things in their wasting strife.
As the human heart, in anguish,
Sinks beneath the stroke of fate,
So at last, despairing, weary,
Bowed the great heart of our State.
She had seen her corn-blades wither
'Neath the hot wind's scorching breath;
She had seen the wheat-heads bending
To the sting of cruel death.
She had seen the plague descending
Thro' the darkened, stifling air,
And she bent her head in sorrow,
Breathing forth a fervent prayer.
And the fierce winds, growing fiercer,
Kissed to brown her forehead fair,
While the sun shone down unpitying
On the brownness of her hair.
Then she looked into the future,
Saw the winter, ruthless, bold,
Bringing her disheartened people
Only hunger, want and cold.
Looking, saw her barefoot children
Walk where snow-sprites shrink to tread;
Listening, heard their child-lips utter
Childish prayers for daily bread.
Low she bowed her bead, still thinking
O'er her people's woes and weal,
And the ones anear her only
Heard the words of her appeal.
Send that faint cry onward, outward,
Swift as wire wings can bear,
"Sisters, help me or I perish
Heaven pity my despair!"
Verdant wheat-fields stretching southward
Fruitful Orchards east and west
Not a spot in all the prairie
That the springtime has not blessed.
Every field a smiling, promise,
Every home an Eden fair,
And the angels, Peace and Plenty,
Strewing blessings everywhere.
As the heart of nature quivers
She has felt the ripe fruit falling
Thou canst not forget, O Kansas,
Peace, thine angel, pointeth upward,
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