Poetry of Kansas

Out West.

"Westward ho!" comes ringing from the throat of "The
A paper run by the railroads out on the great frontier.
Wanted, a mighty army to settle the rolling fiat,
That lies, like a garden of Eden, along the beautiful Platte.
Wanted, women and children, bearded and stalwart men,
From stern New England hillside, from rugged and rocky
From steeps of the Alleghanies, where bleak winds fiercely
And down whose slopes of hard-pan roil storms of sleet and
Wanted___to settle the prairies! and still the call is heard___
Irish, Norwegian, German___but Yankee blood preferred.
Wanted___and who would linger on patches stony and steep.
When a wide realm lies before him, with soil both rich and
Good Pioneer, Sir Railroad, all that you say is true,
And wondrous fair the picture that you are holding up to
But is it straight and honest, and is it fair and right,
That only the good is shown us, and the bad left out of
'Tis true, a careless mention of the "hopper" here is made,
As something rare and seldom, like are, or Indian raid:
But naught of the summer droughts, and not the faintest
concerning the western "blizzard," that awful blast of
No record how the farmer, amid the rush and roar.
All blinded and bewildered, sinks down beside his'door;
Sinks freezing at his threshold with unavailing moan___
For the voices of the tempest outspeak Ills dying groan___
If the half we are to credit of the shuddering settler's tale,
Of the tempest swift and sudden, of the icy, blinding veil,
Then, to a western blizzard, with its rush and its deadly
A storm of the Alleghanies is the flap of a pigeon's wing.
A Spectre stalks the prairies, a spectre gaunt and grim,
Scattering woe and famine, and waste of cheek and limb,
There is freezing, there is starving, while rings the cheery
Wanted___five hundred thousand!"___Do they think us id-
    lots all ?

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)
Pages 42-43

Kansas:  Poetry  History  Towns  Counties  Colleges  Libraries  Museums

December 1, 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