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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 49 pages of information about Oklahoma and Other Poems.

THE RACE FOR HOMES.

APRIL 22, 1889.

  Behold!  As from the shades of night,
  An army gathers full of might,
  And strong with constant courage stands
  ’Tween civilized and savage lands,
  Where, vast in power, the legion waits
  The turning of the desert gates,
  That men of might may enter in
  And progress all her glories win! 
  Lo, where these thousands make assail,
  The barren ages all shall fail,
  And swift advancement far be hurled,
  O’er sleeping empires and the world!

  The morning hours haste hurried by;
  Behold!  The noon is drawing nigh! 
  The anxious host with careful eyes
  Marks well each rapid hour that flies,
  While hope, exulting, wildly rolls
  The highest, such as filled the souls
  Of Jason and his comrades bold,
  Who sought the famous fleece of gold. 
  Upon the trampled grasses beat
  Impatient steeds with restless feet;
  The dins of harsh, discordant cries
  Above the thrilling thousands rise;
  Shrilly the scattered children call,
  And soft the words of women fall,
  While men with voices hushed and weak
  Their low commands expectant speak;
  Till suddenly a mighty cry,
  A shout of warning, smites the sky: 

        “Attention!  Ho,
          Attention here! 
        Attention!  Lo,
          The noon is near!”
        O’er hill and brake
      Resounds the warning cry;
      The moment great is nigh;
        The hosts awake;
  Awake, to strive with mad delight,
  Awake to win the friendly fight;
  And from the camps anear and far,
  Where nervous haste and hurry are,
  Vast legions gather on the plain,
  While chaos and confusion reign;
  The neighing steed with quickened pace
  Impatient seeks the vantage place;
  The slower ox with lightened load
  Stands waiting in the crowded road. 
  And wagon, buggy, carriage, cart,
  Vehicles formed with rudest art,
  All forward, forward, forward dart,
  Swift-forming on the level ground
  Where most advantage may be found.

        “Line up!  Ho, there,
          Line up, line up!”
  The hurried order smites the air;
  Above the silent prairies fair
    Unseen progression holds her cup,
  Filled to the brim with magic seeds
  That harvests hold for human needs. 
  Excitement grows on beasts and men;
    The saddle girths are tightened o’er,
    The stirrups lengthened out once more,
  And silence softly falls again;
  Each bit and buckle, strap and band,
  Is tested o’er with careful hand,
  And man and beast in chosen place
  Stand ready for the coming race;

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