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The Indian Rancher

From the Washington Standard, February 7, 1913.

 My fathers roamed the prairie
     In the days when men were free,
 But a hundred and sixty acres
     Is the home that must do for me;
 I must master the plow and reaper,
     Nor look at the winding trails,
 And thousands there are to jeer me
     In case the red rancher fails.
 My fathers dwelt in the open,
     But I have a stifling shack;
 I dream of the shining tepees,
     But the morn brings sharply back
 The fences that clip one’s freedom—
     The ranch and the toil that waits—
 And I say farewell to my fathers
     When I open the barnyard gates.
 But visions still overwhelm me
     In spite of my will to win
 And the fences and buildings vanish
     And the village comes trooping in;
 The tepees gleam in the meadow
     The children shout by the stream
 But I wake at the clank of the harness—
     ’Tis only a red man’s dream!

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