Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > The New Poetry: An Anthology
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  The New Poetry: An Anthology.  1917.
 
53. Spanish Johnny
 
By Willa Sibert Cather
 
 
THE OLD West, the old time,
  The old wind singing through
The red, red grass a thousand miles—
  And, Spanish Johnny, you!
He’d sit beside the water ditch        5
  When all his herd was in,
And never mind a child, but sing
  To his mandolin.
 
The big stars, the blue night,
  The moon-enchanted lane;        10
The olive man who never spoke,
  But sang the songs of Spain.
His speech with men was wicked talk—
  To hear it was a sin;
But those were golden things he said        15
  To his mandolin.
 
The gold songs, the gold stars,
  The word so golden then;
And the hand so tender to a child—
  Had killed so many men.        20
He died a hard death long ago
  Before the Road came in—
The night before he swung, he sang
  To his mandolin.
 

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