Newspaper History Logo Image
Each day, Newspaper History presents a poem that appeared in an American Newspaper 108 years ago.

Father Coyote

From the Albuquerque Morning Journal, November 22, 1914. By George Sterling.

At twilight time, when the lamps are lit,
Father Coyote comes to sit
At the chaparral’s edge, on the mountain side—
Comes to listen and to deride
The rancher’s hound and the rancher’s son,
The passerby and everyone.
And we pause at milking time to hear
His reckless caroling, shrill and clear—
His terse and swift and valorous troll,
Ribald, rollicking, scornful, droll,
As one might sing in coyotedom:
“Yo! ho! ho! and a bottle of rum!”

Yet well I wot there is little ease
Where the turkeys roost in the piñon trees,
But mute forebodings, canny and grim,
As they shift and shiver along the limb,
And the dog flings back an answer brief
(Curse o’ the honest man on the thief),
And the cat, till now intent to rove,
Stalks to her lair by the kitchen stove;
Not that SHE fears the rogue on the hill;
But—no mice remain, and—the night is chill.

And now, like a watchman of the skies,
Whose glance to a thousand valleys flies,
The moon glares over the granite ledge—
Pared a slice on its upper edge.
And Father Coyote waits no more,
Knowing that down on the valley floor,
In a sandy nook, all cool and white,
The rabbits play and the rabbits fight,
Flopping, nimble, scurrying,
Careless now with the surge of spring—
Furry lover, alack! alas!
Skims your fate o’er the mountain grass!


November 2022
M T W T F S S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930