Riding at Night

Photo courtesy stock.adobe.com/pellinni

On and on through the silent night,
Under the sky with its tranquil light
Of stars that are smiling and blinking bright—
Riding…just riding along …

Up the hill and over the rise;
Can’t see the trail but my horse is wise;
He knows where the hidden hill-trail lies;
Riding…just riding along…

A flicker of fire from his steel-shod feet,
As the hoof-beats ring and the rocks repeat—
Easy, boy! Easy! Now keep your feet;
Riding…just riding along…

Out of the stillness, faint and small,
The lean, gray hunters of midnight call,
And the querulous echoes rise and fall;
Riding…just riding along…

The trail of a meteor streaks the sky,
And drops in the void of the dusk to die,
And I gaze as I wonder, “Where—and Why?”
Riding…just riding along…

The jingle of rein-chains seems to be
Singing a song of peace to me;
A song of the range where a man is free…
Riding…just riding along…

And the white moon rising above the gap,
Smiles on the world in its quiet nap,
Dreaming away in old Nature’s lap;
Riding…just riding along…

Then the crest of the range is a rose-lit height,
As the dawn leaps after the fading night,
And we’re back in camp with the morning light;
Riding…just riding along…

Saturday Night by Charles Badger Clark (1883–1957); excerpted from Sun and Saddle Leather, published in 1922.