Willa Sibert Cather

Spanish Johnny

The old West, the old time,
The old wind singing through
The red, red grass a thousand miles --
And Spanish Johnny, you!
He'd sit beside the water ditch
When all his herd was in,
And never mind a child, but sing
To his mandolin.

The big stars, the blue night,
The moon-enchanted lane;
The olive man who never spoke,
But sang the songs of Spain.
His speech with men was wicked talk --
To hear it was a sin;
But those were golden things he said
To his mandolin.

The gold songs, the gold stars,
The world so golden then;
And the hand so tender to a child --
Had killed so many men.
He died a hard death long ago
Before the Road came in --
The night before he swung, he sang
To his mandolin.

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Willa Sibert Cather