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

Out Of The Kansas Dust.

Out of the dust of Kansas,
In old, primeval days;
Out of the shroud of a drifting cloud
Across its grassy ways__
Flaunting the flag of the prairie dust,
The shaggy bisons graze,
Over a landscape red with rust
The herds emerge from the Kansas dust.
 
Treading the dust of Kansas,
Before she knew her name;
Standing aghast at the vernal vast,
The spying Spaniard came.
And his armour scales in the grassy vales
Gleamed out like an oriflamme,
As he sought for the fabled city, thrust
Afar in the phantom desert's dust.
 
Trailing the dust of Kansas,
The Forty-Niners went;
Over the grass their oxen pass,
With their drovers, travel-spent.
And the weary weep their souls to sleep,
And lie in a grassy tent,
While the rest press on with feverish lust,
For the sunset land and its yellow dust.
 
Into the dust of Kansas
Went tribe and caravan;
All swallowed up in the desert's cup
That drank them, horse and man.
And the vision bold and the dream of gold,
It died as it began.
And the dreamer's heart turned mold and must
And drifted dead in the dreamless dust.
 
Out of the dust of Kansas
The marching dead return__
Beneath the beat of their spectral feet
The springing poppies burn!
And out of their tomb the towers loom
Like genii from an urn.
The burnished cities are skyward thrust,
Rending the veil of the Kansas dust.
 
Out of the dust of Kansas,
They lift the voice of song;
Out of her heart the visions start
That lead the world along l
Her sons have eaten the mystic bread
That makes a people strong.
And he whom the stumbling nations trust
Is salting the world with the Kansas dust.

__George T. and C. L. Edson.

 
Sunflowers, A Book of Kansas Poems
Selected by Willard Wattles
(Chicago: A. C. McClurg. 1916)
Pages 122-123
 
September 29, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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