While along the river valleys
Swarmed the wild-bees, the forerunners;
And the white men, close behind them,
Men of mark from old Missouri,
Men of daring from Kentucky,
Men of many States and races,
Bringing wives and children with them,
Followed up the wooded valleys,
Spread across the rolling prairies,
Raising homes and reaping harvests.
Rude the toil that tried their patience,
Fierce the fights that proved their courage,
Rough the stone and tough the timber
Out of which they built their order!
Yet they never failed nor faltered,
And the instinct of their swarming
Made them one and kept them working,
Till their toil was crowned with triumph,
And the country of the Tejas
Was the fertile land of Texas.
THE LONE STAR
Behold a star appearing in the South,
A star that shines apart from other stars,
Ruddy and fierce like Mars!
Out of the reeking smoke of cannon’s mouth
That veils the slaughter of the Alamo,
Where heroes face the foe,
One man against a score, with blood-choked breath
Shouting the watchword, “Victory or Death—”
Out of the dreadful cloud that settles low
On Goliad’s plain,
Where thrice a hundred prisoners lie slain
Beneath the broken word of Mexico—
Out of the fog of factions and of feuds
That ever drifts and broods
Above the bloody path of border war,
Leaps the Lone Star!
What light is this that does not dread
What star is this that fights a stormy way
To San Jacinto’s field of victory?
It is the fiery spark
That burns within the breast
Of Anglo-Saxon men, who can not rest
Under a tyrant’s sway;
The upward-leading ray
That guides the brave who give their lives away
Rather than not be free!
O question not, but honour every name,
Travis and Crockett, Bowie, Bonham, Ward,
Fannin and King, and all who drew the sword
And dared to die for Texan liberty!
Yea, write them all upon the roll of fame,
But no less love and equal honour give
To those who paid the longer sacrifice—
Austin and Houston, Burnet, Rusk, Lamar
And all the stalwart men who dared to live
Long years of service to the lonely star.
Great is the worth of such heroic souls:
Amid the strenuous turmoil of their deeds,
They clearly speak of something that controls
The higher breeds of men by higher needs
Than bees, content with honey in their hives!
Ah, not enough the narrow lives
On profitable toil intent!
And not enough the guerdons of success
Garnered in homes of affluent selfishness!