FAVORITE POEMS OLD AND NEW, SELECTED FOR BOYS AND GIRLS BY HELEN FERRIS (New York: Doubleday, 1957)
|Daniel Boone at twenty-one Came with his tomahawk, knife, and gun Home from the French and Indian War To North Carolina and the Yadkin shore. He married his maid with a golden band, Builded his house and cleared his land; But the deep woods claimed their son again And he turned his face from the homes of men. Over the Blue Ridge, dark and lone, The Mountains of Iron, the Hills of Stone, Braving the Shawnee's jealous wrath, He made his way on the Warrior's Path. Alone he trod the shadowed trails; But he was lord of a thousand vales As he roved Kentucky, far and near, Hunting the buffalo, elk, and deer. What joy to see, what joy to win So fair a land for his kith and kin, Of streams unstrained and woods unhewn! "Elbow room!" laughed Daniel Boone.|
On the Wilderness Road that his axmen made The settlers flocked to the first stockade; The deerskin shirts and the coonskin caps Filed through the glens and the mountain gaps; And hearts were high in the fateful spring When the land said "Nay!" to the stubborn king. While the men of the East of farm and town Strove with the troops of the British Crosn, Daniel Boone from a surge of hate Guarded a nation's westward gate. Down in the fort in a wave of flame The Shawnee horde and the Mingo came, And the stout logs shook in a storm of lead; But Boone stood firm and the savage fled. Peace! And the settlers flocked anew, The farm lands spread, the town lands grew; But Daniel Boone was ill at ease When he saw the smoke in his forest trees. "There'll be no game in the country soon. Elbow room!" cried Daniel Boone.
Straight as a pine at sixty-five -- Time enough for a man to thrive -- He launched his bateau on Ohio's breast And his heart was glad as he oared it west; There was kindly folk and his own true blood Where great Missouri rolls his flood; New woods, new streams, and room to spare, And Daniel Boone found comfort there. Yet far he ranged toward the sunset still, Where the Kansas runs and the Smoky Hill, And the prairies toss, by the south wind blown; And he killed his bear on the Yellowstone. But ever he dreamed of new domains With vaster woods and wider plains; Ever he dreamed of a world-to-be Where there are no bounds and the soul is free. At fourscore-five, still stout and hale, He heard a call to a farther trail; So he turned his face where the stars are strewn; "Elbow room!" sighed Daniel Boone.
Down the Milky Way in its banks of blue Far he has paddled his white canoe To the splendid quest of the tameless soul -- He has reached the goal where there is no goal. Now he rides and rides an endless trail On the hippogriff of the flaming tail Or the horse of the stars with the golden main, As he rode the first of the blue-grass strain. The joy that lies in the search he seeks On breathless hills with crystal peaks; He makes his camp on heights untrod, The steps of the shrine, alone with God. Through the woods of the vast, on the plains of space He hunts the pride of the mammoth race And the dinosaur of the triple horn, The manticore and the unicorn, As once by the broad Missouri's flow He followed the elk and the buffalo. East of the sun and west of the moon, "Elbow room!" laughs Daniel Boone.
Created: 8/9/2017 12:06:44 AM
Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
Creator: Faragher, John Mack
Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20545-26774