Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
802. Vaquero
 
By Joaquin Miller
 
 
HIS broad-brimmed hat pushed back with careless air,
The proud vaquero sits his steed as free
As winds that toss his black abundant hair.
No rover ever swept a lawless sea
With such a haught and heedless air as he        5
Who scorns the path, and bounds with swift disdain
Away, a peon born, yet born to be
A splendid king; behold him ride and reign.
 
How brave he takes his herds in branding days,
On timbered hills that belt about the plain;        10
He climbs, he wheels, he shouts through winding ways
Of hiding ferns and hanging fir; the rein
Is loose, the rattling spur drives swift; the mane
Blows free; the bullocks rush in storms before;
They turn with lifted heads, they rush again,        15
Then sudden plunge from out the wood, and pour
A cloud upon the plain with one terrific roar.
 
Now sweeps the tawny man on stormy steed,
His gaudy trappings tossed about and blown
About the limbs as lithe as any reed;        20
The swift long lasso twirled above is thrown
From flying hand; the fall, the fearful groan
Of bullock toiled and tumbled in the dust—
The black herds onward sweep, and all disown
The fallen, struggling monarch that has thrust        25
His tongue in rage and rolled his red eyes in disgust.
 

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