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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 9, No. 1
March, 1931
OKLAHOMA'S WOMAN PIONEER

Paul Nesbit

Page 12

I saw her first in the surging tide
     Of a restless, human sea,
That beat against a human wall
     And fretted to be free.
Her face was bronzed by burning sun
     The winds her locks had frayed;
But her eyes were bright
And her heart was light,
     For she was unafraid.

In her arms she held a little child;
     Two tugged at her gown the while;
Landless, homeless, almost penniless,
     But she gave to the world a smile.
She turned her face to the Promised Land;
     Her eyes she raised to the Throne;
In the tumult there
She breathed a prayer:—
     "O God, give us a home!"

I saw that sea of land-hungry folk
     As the zero hour approached,
Crouched like panthers, ready to spring
     At sound of the bugle's notes.
Nerves were taut and hearts beat fast,
     But hope flamed high in every face;
Land and homes were stakes that day
     For those who entered the race.

With a mighty surge that eager host
     Burst o'er the prairies—free.
With force and a mighty roar they went
     Like a tidal wave of the sea.
Not as warriors charge went they,
     Sabres drawn, eager for blood;
But to build them homes and schools
     And altars to their God.

Midst the din, and roar, and dust
     I saw the woman again.
In her arms she held her brood
     And bravely urged on her man.
Wagon bounding o'er prairie sod:—
     Perils she would not see.
She steeled her soul
For that race to the goal:—
     God, what a woman was she!

Proud and happy she stood that night
     In her spacious new-found home.
Prairie-grass carpet beneath her feet,
     Over her head the starlit dome.
There she reared her altar,
     Midst joys, and sorrows, and tears:—
     Hallowed now by many years.
She's the Mother of our State
     Oklahoma's Woman Pioneer.

PAUL NESBIT

Pioneer Woman

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