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

The Prairie Schooner

Slow was the weary, toilsome way
    Where creaked the heavy-laden wain
Quaint follower of the speeding day
        Across the plain.
 
White canvas covers, bulging, fair,
    Enclosed fond hearts athrob with joy;
The builders of an empire there
        Found safe convoy.
 
Along its,course child-voices sweet
    Marked all the strangeness of each scene;
While parents sought new homes to greet
        With vision keen.
 
No luxury or ease was there
    To lap the traveler into rest;
But staunch it bore the, pioneer,
        On toward the West.
 
Deserted now, its ragged sails
    Are furled--the port has long been won.
Sport of the boisterous, hurrying gales,
        Through cloud and sun.
 
Unused, forlorn and gray, it stands,
    A faded wreck cast far ashore,
The Mayflower of the prairie lands,
        Its journey o'er.
___Charles Moreau Harger
 
Sunflowers, A Book of Kansas Poems
Selected by Willard Wattles
page 32
(Chicago: A. C. McClurg. 1916)
 
September 11, 2001 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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