Skip to main content

Pioneers! O Pioneers!

Part of the cluster MARCHES NOW THE WAR IS OVER.



COME, my tan-faced children, Follow well in order, get your weapons ready; Have you your pistols? have you your sharp edged  
Pioneers! O pioneers!


For we cannot tarry here, We must march my darlings, we must bear the brunt  
 of danger,
We, the youthful sinewy races, all the rest on us depend,  
 Pioneers! O pioneers!
  [ begin page 328 ]ppp.00270.330.jpg


O you youths, western youths, So impatient, full of action, full of manly pride and  
Plain I see you, western youths, see you tramping with  
 the foremost,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


Have the elder races halted? Do they droop and end their lesson, wearied, over there  
 beyond the seas?
We take up the task eternal, and the burden, and the  
Pioneers! O pioneers!


All the past we leave behind; We debouch upon a newer, mightier world, varied  
Fresh and strong the world we seize, world of labor and  
 the march,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


We detachments steady throwing, Down the edges, through the passes, up the mountains  
Conquering, holding, daring, venturing, as we go, the  
 unknown ways,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


We primeval forests felling, We the rivers stemming, vexing we, and piercing deep  
 the mines within;
We the surface broad surveying, we the virgin soil up- 
Pioneers! O pioneers!
  [ begin page 329 ]ppp.00270.331.jpg


Colorado men are we, From the peaks gigantic, from the great sierras and the  
 high plateaus,
From the mine and from the gully, from the hunting  
 trail we come,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


From Nebraska, from Arkansas, Central inland race are we, from Missouri, with the  
 continental blood intervein'd;
All the hands of comrades clasping, all the Southern,  
 all the Northern,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


O resistless, restless race! O beloved race in all! O my breast aches with tender  
 love for all!
O I mourn and yet exult—I am rapt with love for all, Pioneers! O pioneers!


Raise the mighty mother mistress, Waving high the delicate mistress, over all the starry  
 mistress, (bend your heads all,)
Raise the fang'd and warlike mistress, stern, impassive,  
 weapon'd mistress,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


See, my children, resolute children, By those swarms upon our rear, we must never yield or  
Ages back in ghostly millions, frowning there behind us  
Pioneers! O pioneers!
  [ begin page 330 ]ppp.00270.332.jpg


On and on, the compact ranks, With accessions ever waiting, with the places of the  
 dead quickly fill'd,
Through the battle, through defeat, moving yet and  
 never stopping,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


O to die advancing on! Are there some of us to droop and die? has the hour  
Then upon the march we fittest die, soon and sure the  
 gap is fill'd,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


All the pulses of the world, Falling in, they beat for us, with the western move- 
 ment beat;
Holding single or together, steady moving, to the front,  
 all for us,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


Life's involv'd and varied pageants, All the forms and shows, all the workmen at their  
All the seamen and the landsmen, all the masters with  
 their slaves,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


All the hapless silent lovers, All the prisoners in the prisons, all the righteous and  
 the wicked,
All the joyous, all the sorrowing, all the living, all the  
Pioneers! O pioneers!
  [ begin page 331 ]ppp.00270.333.jpg


I too with my soul and body, We, a curious trio, picking, wandering on our way, Through these shores, amid the shadows, with the ap- 
 paritions pressing,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


Lo! the darting bowling orb! Lo! the brother orbs around! all the clustering suns  
 and planets;
All the dazzling days, all the mystic nights with dreams, Pioneers! O pioneers!


These are of us, they are with us, All for primal needed work, while the followers there  
 in embryo wait behind,
We to-day's procession heading, we the route for travel  
Pioneers! O pioneers!


O you daughters of the west! O you young and elder daughters! O you mothers and  
 you wives!
Never must you be divided, in our ranks you move  
Pioneers! O pioneers!


Minstrels latent on the prairies! (Shrouded bards of other lands! you may sleep—you  
 have done your work;)
Soon I hear you coming warbling, soon you rise and  
 tramp amid us,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
  [ begin page 332 ]ppp.00270.334.jpg


Not for delectations sweet; Not the cushion and the slipper, not the peaceful and  
 the studious;
Not the riches safe and palling, not for us the tame en- 
Pioneers! O pioneers!


Do the feasters gluttonous feast? Do the corpulent sleepers sleep? have they lock'd and  
 bolted doors?
Still be ours the diet hard, and the blanket on the  
Pioneers! O pioneers?


Has the night descended? Was the road of late so toilsome? did we stop discour- 
 aged, nodding on our way?
Yet a passing hour I yield you, in your tracks to pause  
Pioneers! O pioneers!


Till with sound of trumpet, Far, far off the day-break call—hark! how loud and  
 clear I hear it wind;
Swift! to the head of the army!—swift! spring to your  
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Part of the cluster MARCHES NOW THE WAR IS OVER.

Back to top