Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. II. Love
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume II. Love.  1904.
I. Admiration
On the Road to Chorrera
Arlo Bates (1850–1918)
THREE horsemen galloped the dusty way
  While sun and moon were both in the sky;
An old crone crouched in the cactus’ shade,
  And craved an alms as they rode by.
    A friendless hag she seemed to be,        5
    But the queen of a bandit crew was she.
One horseman tossed her a scanty dole,
  A scoffing couplet the second trolled;
But the third, from his blue eyes frank and free,
  No glance vouchsafed the beldam old;        10
    As toward the sunset and the sea,
    No evil fearing, rode the three.
A curse she gave for the pittance small,
  A gibe for the couplet’s ribald word;
But that which once had been her heart        15
At sight of the silent horseman stirred:
  And safe through the ambushed band they speed
  For the sake of the rider who would not heed!

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