Poems by the one and only 'great'
Scottish Poet William Topaz McGonagall
POEM : Lost on the Prairie by William Topaz McGonagall
FROM : From More Poetic Jems
In one of fhe States of America, some years ago,
There suddenly came on a violent storm of snow,
Which was nearly the death of a party of workmen,
Who had finished their day's work - nine or ten of them.
The distance was nearly twenty miles to their camp,
And with the thick falling snow their clothes felt damp,
As they set out for their camp, which was in a large grove,
And to reach it, manfully against the storm they strove.
The wind blew very hard, and the snow was falling fast,
Still, they plodded on, but felt a little downcast,
And the snow fell so fast they could scarcely see,
And they began to think they were lost on the wild prairie.
And they suddenly noticed marks of footsteps in the snow,
Which they found were their own tracks, as onward they did go,
Then they knew they were lost on the great prairie,
And what could they do in such a fearful extremity?
Then their hearts began to sink with woe,
In dread of having to pass the night in the snow,
And they cried, 'Oh, God help us to find our way,
Or else we are lost on the lonely prairie.'
And while they stood shivering with the cold,
One of the party a particular horse did behold,
Which was known by the name of Old Jack,
So to take off his bridle they were not slack.
When the horse was let free he threw up his head and tail,
Which seemed to say, 'Follow ms, and ye will not fail.
So come on, boys, and follow me,
And I'll guide ye home safely.'
And they cried, ' Old Jack can show us the way,
So let's follow his tracks without dismay';
And with the falling snow they were chilled to the bone,
But the horse seemed to say, 'I'll show ye home.'
And at last they gave a shout of delight
When they saw their camp fire burning bright,
Which was to them a cheerful sight,
And they caressed Old Jack for guiding them home that night.
And they felt thankful to God for their safety,
And they danced around Old Jack with their hearts full of glee,
And Old Jack became a favourite from that day,
Because he saved them from being lost on the wild prairie.