Prelude
 

I have gathered these stories afar,
  In the wind and the rain,
In the land where the cattle camps are,
  On the edge of the plain.
On the overland routes of the west,
  When the watches were long,
I have fashioned in earnest and jest
  These fragments of song.

They are just the rude stories one hears
  In sadness and mirth,
The records of wandering years,
  And scant is their worth
Though their merits indeed are but slight,
  I shall not repine,
If they give you one moment's delight,
  Old comrades of mine.