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American Ballads and Folk Songs
But the Storm King struck to our bitter luck,
We rode in the lightning's glare, And the north wind whirled through a watery world,
And laughed at our puny dare.
Then the cattle swerved as a mob unnerved
And shrank from a raging thing, And they drifted back on the beaten track,
Tail to the norther's sting. We fought like men, but 'twas useless then—
They plunged down the backward track. Theirs a single creed—'twas the dread stampede—
Straight at the nester's shack!
There was death at stake, and 'twas make or break
In the rush of that frenzied mob} But we'd risked our lives in a hundred drives,
And we figured to know our job. Then a sudden hail on the whistling gale
And a horse went slithering by— Twas old Texas Red, and we knew he sped
To the girl of the flashing eye.
With a wicked grip on his biting whip,
He smoked down on the heaving ranks, And his searching eye set to do or die
As he fanned at his pony's flanks; And we gazed aghast when we saw at last—
Old Tex at the head of the ruck, And we made a prayer for the rider there,
Just a wish for a hero's luck.
Straight she stood and still, at the storm's wild will, Close by the nester's well,