Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
What’s Become of the Punchers
By N. Howard Thorp
From “Cowboy Songs”

WHAT’S become of the punchers
  We rode with long ago?—
The hundreds and hundreds of cowboys
  We all of us used to know?
Sure, some were killed by lightning,        5
  Some when the cattle run;
Others were killed by horses
  And some with the old six-gun;
Those that worked on the round-up,
  Those of the branding-pen,        10
Those who went out on the long trail drive
  And never returned again.
We know of some who have prospered,
  We hear of some who are broke,
My old pardner made millions in Tampa,        15
  While I’ve got my saddle in soak!
Sleeping and working together,
  Eating old “Cussie’s” good chuck,
Riding in all kinds of weather,
  Playing in all kinds of luck;        20
Bragging about our top-hosses,
  Each puncher ready to bet
His horse could outrun the boss’s,
  Or any old hoss you could get!
Scott lies in Tularosa,        25
  Elmer Price lies near Santa Fe,
While Randolph sits here by the fire-side
  With a “flat-face” on his knee.
’Gene Rhodes is among the high-brows,
  A-writin’ up the West;        30
But I know a lot of doin’s
  That he never has confessed!
He used to ride ’em keerless
  In the good old days
When we both worked together        35
  In the San Andrays!
Building big loops we called “blockers,”
  Spinning the rope in the air;
Never a cent in our pockets,
  But what did a cow-puncher care?        40
I’m tired of riding this trail, boys,
  Dead tired of riding alone—
B’lieve I’ll head old Button for Texas,
  Towards my old Palo Pinto home!

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