The Fruit Rancher

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He sees the rosy apples cling like flowers to the bough:
 He plucks the purple plums and spills the cherries on the grass;
He wanted peace and silence,–God gives him plenty now–
 His feet upon the mountain and his shadow on the pass.

He built himself a cabin from red cedars of his own;
 He blasted out the stumps and twitched the boulders from the soil;
And with an axe and chisel he fashioned out a throne
 Where he might dine in grandeur off the first fruits of his toil.

His orchard is a treasure-house alive with song and sun,
 Where currants ripe as rubies gleam and golden pippins glow;
His servants are the wind and rain whose work is never done,
 Till winter rends the scarlet roof and banks the halls with snow.

He shouts across the valley, and the ranges answer back;
 His brushwood smoke at evening lifts a column to the moon;
And dim beyond the distance where the Kootenai snakes black,
 He hears the silence shattered by the laughter of the loon.

© Lloyd Roberts