Poetry of Kansas


Delivered at a reception tendered the author by the teachers of the
Linn County Institute, June, 1901, at Pleasanton, Kans.
By An Old Settler.
Yes I'm in love with Kansas
    Or I wouldn't be here yet.
I'm not the kind of fellow though,
    That ever cared to fret;
I liked its balmy sunshine
    From the day I took a claim,
And now when forty years have passed,
    I like it still the same.
It'spretty as it ever was,
    Though oft I long to see
The prairie, wide and boundless,
    Just like it used to be.
Most folks have heard of Kansas,
    If they ever read at all;
They heard of her in China,
    When Titus scaled the wall;
And over in the Philippines,
    The news was dull from there,
Until the 20th Kansas yell
    Was heard upon the air.
Now some folks think that Kansas
    Is Cycloneville turned loose,
Because we get new ideas
    And put them into use.
We do not ask for patterns
    That some one else has made.
But go to work and make them,
    We are masters of the trade.
Away back in the 'fifties,
    Who came to Kansas then?
The coward or the patriot,
    The fools, or brainy men?
What mettle were the pioneers,
    Who then to Kansas came,
To plant the tree of Liberty
    In Freedom's holy name?
Men who loved home and country,
    Were these bold pioneers,
Eternal foes to slavery
    And superstitious fears.
And ere fierce war had loosened
    The old slave's clanking chain,
Upon the clear horizon loomed
    The schoolhouse on the plain.
Oh! the little Kansas schoolhouse,
    May its influence never wane;
The little dugout schoolhouse
    Far out upon the plain.
The schoolhouse in the valley,
    And the schoolhouse on the hill,
Bulwarks of human liberty,
    And of a freeman's will.
Who leads into the field of thought,
    The gentle mind of youth,
Who draws to her with cords of love
    The faulty and uncouth;
And plants ambition's fire within
    The breast? (For love will rule.)
'Tis her. The glory of our state,
    The teacher of the school.

__Ed. Blair.

Kansas Zephyrs
Ed. Blair
(Madison, Wis.: American Thresherman. 1901)
Pages 180-181

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April 23, 2004 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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