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Lyr Add: On the Frisco River (Jack Thorp)

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Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Oct 06 - 04:20 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: ON THE FRISCO RIVER
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 04:20 PM

Lyr. Add: ON THE FRISCO RIVER
(Coll. or written by N. Howard (Jack) Thorpe

The snow clung cold to the northern slope
The Frisco coiled like a silvery rope;
And hot on the scrub and the cactus gray
The level rays of the March sun lay.

From up the fire of the freighter's camp
Unquenched by the chill of the valley damp
The sweet dense smoke of the juniper wood
Rose up like joss to the great god good.

A bald-faced steer, sides lank and thin,
Looked up from the mesquite with a yellow grin;
While on the arm of a stunted oak
A dingy buzzard the silence broke.

For it's the land of frijoles and sin,
Where men ride fast and ponies are thin.
Yet all who tarry within this land
Are held there tight by an iron hand.

Mañana, they say, they'll hit the trail
That leads from cactus to where the mail
Comes in each day, and life throbs hard-
The land of the movies and the playing card.

But still they stay while life rolls by
And on the Frisco they'll surely die;
There, graves are deep 'neath boulders gray,
To keep the roving coyotes at bay.

Sent by Thorp to the New Mexico files of the W. P. A. Writers Project in the Library of Congress (FAC II 92). FAC = Fife American Collection.
Reproduced in Austin and Alta Fife, 1970, Ballads of the Great West, p 46. American West Pub. Co., Palo Alto, CA.


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