Graphic from the book for the top of even-numbered pages

The Land That God Forgot.

Oh, the land that God forgot
        Where the sand and cactus ruled,
Paradise of rattlesnakes,
        Bald and arid, brackish-pooled;
 
Hither Coronado came
        Lusting after precious stones,
And the fiery desert waste
        Whitened everywhere with bones;
 
Then the Forty-niners passed
        With their oxen gaunt and thin
And they only knew the land
        As a place to perish in;
 
But at last the mind of Man
        With a vision fired and thrilled
Saw how empires lay asleep,
        Dreamed of homes with comfort filled,
 
So the tawny sand was trenched
        With a thousand fluid bars
Which revived the ancient plain
        Like the waterways of Mars:__
 
Now the tender grass springs up,
        And the sleek kine lay them down,
And the freights toil in and out,
        Fat with wares from many a town;
 
And the wheat rolls, billowy-vast,
        And the ancient ocean bed
Sends up miles of tasseled corn
        Nodding many a silken head;
 
Schools are builded, churches rise,
        Children to the dime are born,
And they learn to love the land
        Once a hissing and a scorn.
 
The land that God forgot,
        Cactus-haunted, desert-wild,
Where the wide, bare bluffs and plains
        Never with a harvest smiled!
 
The land that God forgot,
        Barren with Oblivion's curse!__
 Nay, it held a wealth, like gold
        In a miser's wretched purse.
 
God forget? Through all the years,
        As a father 'neath a vow,
 He preserved its virgin worth
        For its marriage with the Plow.

__Harry Kemp.

Sunflowers, A Book of Kansas Poems
Willard Wattles
(Chicago: A. C. McClurg. 1916)
Pages 96-97

 
Kansas:   Poetry   History   Towns   Counties   Colleges   Libraries   Museums

September 27, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

Blue Skyways Kansas on the Net   Visit the Home Page for Kansas
  A service of the Kansas State Library