Come from Your Rest Old Rifle

“Come from Your Rest, Old Rifle”
by Charles H. Chapman
My den is warm and cozy,
My hearth fire glares and glows,
Lighting my worn old rifle,
Hanging in long repose.


My body lies limp in the arm chair,
My lips clasp a dead cigar,
My thoughts have fled from my keeping;
They have carried my soul afar.


Days of the fastest flyers,
Queens of the iron rail,
Days of the sun-burnt prairie,
Days of the mountain trail.


Where a breath of the air surpasses
A draught of the rarest wine;
And the breeze calls the soul like a trumpet,
As it sings through the mountain pine.


To the edge of the mountain meadow,
Smooth as a flowery lawn,
White with the frost of the autumn,
In the chill of the early dawn,


Breathless we lie in the cover,
Dead and silent as stone,
As the king of the mountain woodland
Enters to claim his own.


The stag elk steps from the timber
Stately, solemnly down,
Bearing his spreading antlers
Like a monarch bearing his crown.


Throws out his steaming muzzle,
Trumpets his challenging call,
Ringing, echoing, rolling,
From mountain, wall to wall.


The vision fades in the darkness.
Never again will I see
The dream that my dear old rifle
Brought back from the past to me.


“Never again,” did I say it?
Nay, there’s life in the old dog yet.
Come from your rest, old rifle,
Come to my hands, my pet.


There’s a berth in the western flyer
That is ours by the books of fate.
There’s a mountain man that a wire
Will bring with his packs to wait.


There’s a camp in the farthest passes
Where the game tracks never fail.
The voice of the wilderness calls us.
Old gun, we must hit the trail.

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