Poetry of Kansas

Verdigris River

Gentle river, gentle river,
Tell us where your laugh begins
As you are drifting southward
Through the Oklahoma land,
Bedecked with the ash and maple
The oak and the American elm,
Branches reaching from bank to bank.
From a little dew drop
Sparkling in the sun,
With multiplis of rain
From the clouds above.
Coursing thru the plains
Down into the glenn,
Born of the rainbow
Is where my laugh begins.
Gentle river, gentle river,
In the years of sweet a-gone
On thy banks we played,
Children we were then,
Our little tepee wigwams,
Time has far removed.
And erected more modern tepees,
But in memory not like ours.
As children and companions,
I remember you quite well
When we strolled together
Up and down the dells.
When all nature was alive
With a merriness of youth,
Earth was then a paradise
And not a wilderness of doubt.
Gentle river, gentle river,
We bid a fond farewell
We know you will be flowing
When we are past and gone.
We pray that other children
Thy companionship may bear,
And enjoy themselves as we did
On thy banks, dear Verdigris;
Farewell, farewell, my comrades,
When you are far away,
I shall keep you in my memory,
As the children of yesterday,
And with each turn of springtime
My course I will renew
As I sip the fallen dewdrops
I will kiss them all for you.

The Plains Poems in Kansas
J. P. Dunn
(Independence: --. 19??)
Page 45

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April 24, 2005 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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