The Red God's Band

They say that life's just what we make it.
Each one guides the course of his soul:
From the childhood port to the harbor of death,
We're free to select our own goal.
Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn't!
It's beyond me to think it out,
For in spite of all logical reason,
I am still in the gravest of doubt.

For here I sit on an office stool
To provide for my family.
(Now, do not mistake me, pardner,
I would work or I'd die for my three.)
But here I sit, while within my heart
Strange voices will softly call
And whisper of trackless mountain sides,
Of ravine and waterfall.

Then, I feel the spell of the firelight.
Once more the bright embers I see,
While the crooning murmur of massive pines
Soft lullabies sing to me.
Tell me why am I here in the city
And why I should hold to my task,
When I long to be out in the open,
E'en facing the storm's mighty blast!

I believe I was made for a roamer.
But somehow, I've missed the right trail
And I'm wandering - lost - in life's forest.
Why weary you more with my tale!
Still, after all's said, I suppose it is best
That things are just as they stand.
But I am a child of the mighty wild.
I belong to the Red God's band!

by Joseph Pullman Porter

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