POETRY FRIDAY: The Spirit of the West by my great-grandmother, Clara Calhoun

Last week, after posting my grandfather's poem, I wrote that I am proud to come from a long line of poets. To back that up, this week I am sharing a poem by his mother, my pioneer great-grandmother Clara Boyd Calhoun!


Come, come ye hardy pioneers,
     And listen to this song
As down the swiftly rolling years
     Its cadence floats along.
The East is flocking to our shores--
     With customs new and strange
The iron horse with magic powers
     Is tramping out our range.
Electric lights with wired beams
     Our moonlights are subduing--
Horseless cars like flitting dreams
     Their reckless way pursuing.
The canyons roar! but no cascade
     Makes echoing booms and quivers--
The Eastern hand with science's aid
     Would desecrate our rivers.
The Western Spirit sees with dread
     This march upon our borders;
She sadly bows her once proud head
     To time's determined orders.
Her once proud head! Begone the thought
     Aye! Proud, for evermore--
No greener laurels ere were brought
     To crown a fame more pure.
Her mountains high, her valleys broad,
     Her forests deep and grand,
She gives to all--like Nature's God
     And with a lavish hand.
She bids them come--South, East, and North
     In accents sad, but loving,
Each soul she reckons by her worth
     Her kindly welcome proving.
And yet her heart in sorrow yearns--
     Her smile is clouded o'er
As when her mood in sadness turns,
     To days that are no more.
Her gallant cowboys--gone for aye,
     Her wildings of the woods
Her softly brooding melody
     From her vast solitudes.
For still we know when all is told
     She lover her first born best;
Come pioneers and rally round
     The Spirit of the West.

Clara Virginia Boyd Calhoun
Blue Gulch, Idaho