THE PONY EXPRESS
by: Bret Harte (1836-1902)
(The Pony Express was,
at one time, the sole dependence of the Pacific Coast for the
latest news from the Atlantic.)
- N times
of adventure, of battle and song,
- When the heralds of victory galloped along,
- They spurred their faint steeds, lest the tidings too late
- Might change a day's fortune, a throne, or a state.
- Though theirs was all honor and glory -- no less
- Is his, the bold Knight of the Pony Express.
- No corselet, no vizor, nor helmet he wears,
- No war-stirring trumpet or banner he bears,
- But pressing the sinewy flanks of his steed,
- Behold the fond missives that bid him "God-speed."
- Some ride for ambition, for glory, or less,
- "Five dollars an ounce" asks the Pony Express.
- Trip lightly, trip lightly, just out of the town,
- Then canter and canter, o'er upland and down,
- Then trot, pony, trot, over upland and hill,
- Then gallop, boy, gallop, and galloping still,
- Till the ring of each horse-hoof, as forward ye press,
- Is lost in the track of the Pony Express.
- By marshes and meadow, by river and lake,
- By upland and lowland, by forest and brake,
- By dell and by cañon, by bog and by fen,
- By dingle and hollow, by cliff and by glen,
- By prairie and desert, and vast wilderness,
- At morn, noon, and evening, God speed the Express.
POEMS BY BRET HARTE
"The Pony Express" is
reprinted from The Writings of Bret Harte, Vol. XX. Ed.
Charles Meeker Kozlay. Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1914. This
poem was originally published in the Golden Era, July