They hunted the thundering flying herds over the
range all day;
At evening they drove them through a gate and
closed it and rode away.
At dawn they came with branding-irons, and they
made the place a hell,
Curving queer snake lariats in the dust of the high
Terror-eyed, the horses shied, and when the day was
With streaming mane to the open plain they dashed
All night long in her narrow cage, a white mare
fretted and foamed,
And shrilly called to her vanished matesom the shad-
owed range they roamed.
The pride of the herd she was wise and strong,
glossy, supple and fleet.
Never before had there been such eyes, such ears,
such dainty feet.
Through the wooden bars she watched the stars as
they burned the whole night through,
Then faded away. Through the morning gray she
saw them come--and knew--
They caught her again with their leaping ropes, and
blinded her gleaming eyes;
With bands of leather as strong as steel they bound
her head and thighs;
They ripped her hide from shoulder to flank with
heels of constant fire,
And her tongue grew dark with blood and foam, and
dust, 'neath the jagged wire;
On the distant side of the high divide, her mates
roamed free again,
Must she submit to an iron bit, a pair of spurs, and
With a mad disdain she gathered up for a last and
And left her rider beside the trail, a crumpled, broken
thing, . . .
They brought to bay at the close of day, on the
brink of a steep coulee;
She looked around, then plunged down -- down--,
And that night she was--free.