A Life in the West
American Traditional Folk Song
George Pope Morris, 1802-1864
Oh! brothers, come hither, and list to my story
Merry and brief will the narrative be
Here, like a monarch, I reign in my glory,
Master am I, boys, of all that I see.
Where once frown'd a forest, a garden is smiling
The meadows and moorlands are marshes no more;
And there curls the smoke of my cottage, beguiling
The children who cluster like grapes at the door,
Then enter boys; cheerly, boys, enter and rest;
The land of the heart is the land of the west.
O-ho, boys! O-ho, boys! O-ho, boys! O-ho!
Talk not of the town, boys - give me the broad prairie,
Where man like the wind roams impulsive and free;
Behold how its beautiful colours all vary,
Like those of the clouds, or the deep rolling sea.
A life in the woods, boys, is ever as changing;
With proud independence we measure our cheer,
And those who the world are for happiness ranging,
Won't find it at all if they don't find it here.
Here, brothers, secure from all turmoil and danger,
We reap what we sow, for the soil is our own;
We spread hospitality's bread for the stranger,
And care not a fig for the King on his throne.
We never know want, far we live by our labour,
And in it contentment and happiness find;
We do what we can for a friend or a neighbor,
And die, boys, in peace and good will to mankind.
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