Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Pecos Tom
By N. Howard Thorp
From “Cowboy Songs”

WHERE the old Fort Sumner Barracks look down on the Pecos wide,
In a dug-out near the crossin’ we was a-sittin’ side by side.
Old Pecos Tom, the cow-man, en your humble servant me,
Was a-swappin’ cow-camp stories in the fall of Eighty-three,
When my gaze it sorter fastened on a gun slung on his side,        5
Worth some fifteen thousand dollars—say, maybe you think I’ve lied?
But the handle was plumb covered with diamonds of all size,
En she’d glitter, en she’d glisten, es she hung down from his side.
You could have bought his whole darned outfit fer a yearlin’ steer or two;
Hat, boots, overalls, en chaps—there was nothin’ that was new.        10
Lived down in a dug-out, on jus’ sour-dough bread en beef,
En was just about es happy es a Choctaw Indian chief.
Figured he had ten thousand cattle en the whole wide range was his,
En if he wanted a good six-shooter it was no one else’s biz.
So when he shipped a train er steers to Chicago late one fall,        15
En was strollin’ on up State Street, he thought he’d make a call
On the biggest jewelry outfit, that kept gaudy things to wear.
But when he asked for a six-shooter the Jew clerk began to stare:
“Yes, we’ve got one that was ordered for a bloomin’ English lord,
But I reckon from your outfit it’s a gun you can’t afford.        20
“It will cost you fifteen thousand.” Says Old Tom, “Just give her here,
You counter-jumpin’ goniff!” En he grabbed him by the ear,
En he peeled off fifteen thousand to the Hebrew standing there,
Sayin’, “Don’t judge western cow-men by the outfits that they wear!”

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.