top of page

Poems of our past

I Love Roundup

Roundup, I love you when the morning sun

Rises in splendor from the dark Bull Hills.

I love you when the day is done

When in the West the sunset flaming spills

Its breathless beauty bathing forest, field and hills

With molten gold, slow fading into night.

I love you when the sun is at high noon,

When cars drag Main like antelopes in flight.

I love you when the day's work is through.

My neighbors are out for their evening walk.

Home is the last tired evening tower crew.

Laughter I hear and also pleasant talk.

I love you for the quiet and the peace

That each days happy ending brings

And pray this time will never cease.

Why is it that my heart forever clings

To memories of places, faces that are dear

Down old familiar streets and paths I roam

And find that ever always I am led

To Roundup, my love, I am home.

Our Town

Let's put the Old House out to feed.

It's time to take a newer road.

Some sparkle and some vigor we need,

Not sit and blink just like a toad.

Our people power will show the way

Our town can prosper and can grow.

In the new climate of our day

A favoring wind must surely blow.

Our town we must rejuvenate

Make it a happy, hopeful town.

In times a-gone Roundup was great,

Before railroad and mines shut down.

We must do more than sit and wait.

Let's make again the Oil Patch live.

Let's bring our coal mines back on line.

We must have industry to give

The cart wheels that will make us shine.

Now this be our true, firm Resolve:

To work with heart and hand and brain.

There is no problem we can't solve

And bring the good times back again.


A Cowboy Riding the Musselshell

I'm an old cowhand from the Musselshell.

When I come to town I sure raise Hell.

I always drink my Whiskey neat.

I feel its glow from my heart to my feet.

I've forked the broncs and I've been throwed.

But some I ride till they are rode.

Now many Broncs have an an evil eye;

They'll kick or bite when you pass by.

A Wrangler's horse is his joy and pride,

I don't like walking, I'd rather ride.

I've trailed the hearts from the Texas plain,

Forded the rivers, been soaked by rain.

A slickers' no rig for the sleet and Snow

It doesn't protect when Northwesterns Blow.

You look out of eyes all red and blurry;

Your bones are leaden, your muscles weary

To be a Cowboy is what I choose.

I love my work and I like my booze.

I'd like a girl but my roving life

Only lets me dream of a loving wife.

And maybe that is just as well

For a cowboy riding the Musselshell.

The Centennial Cattle Drive

The Big Centennial Cattle Drive

Will keep fond memories alive.

Vast ranches and great cattle herds

Too numerous to put into words.

The Cowboy with his spurs and rope

Riding his Bronco at a lope.

Out on the Prairie he is King

In summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring.

He pulls the critters from the Quick-sand

And at the Branding lends a hand.

He knows where the greenest pastures lie

He reads the storm clouds in the sky.

His squinted eyes and face of tan

Mark him a special breed of man.

But something came out on the range

An Omen of the coming change.

Homesteader shacks built out of sod

Sprang up where the Buffalo once trod.

The Indian watched in sad Alarm

The Advent of the Family Farm.

He watched his herds of Buffalo

Vanish into the Sunset's glow.

The Mountain Men have had their day

Like river mists they faded away.

The miners came in a great flood

Gold fever burning in their blood.

With pick and pan they moiled the streams

Saw golden nuggets in their dreams.

Of many drives old timers tell

From Texas to the Musselshell

and Nelson Story tells his tale

of dangers on the Bozeman Trail.

Came the Copper King with avid eyes

with the richest hill on east the prize.

The miners delved deep under ground

where the dark copper ore was found.

When the price of copper fell worldwide

Butte's mine soon shriveled up and died.

The Berkeley Pit with truck and crane

brought copper to the fore again.

Teddy Treparish saw his town

of Meaderville all swallowed down.

His Rocky Mountain Club no more

and houses gobble by the score.

Only the gaping pit to see

small recompense it seems to me.

Our rivers by great power plants spanned

for 'lectricity thru all the land.

Our need for power did not abate

the coal was there and the thirst to sate.

And Colstrip turbines one, two, three

Churned out the power for the industry.

Our frontier towns to cities grew

The Horse and Buggy days were thru.

Iron horses ran from Coast to Coast

The pay express a long lost ghost.

Progress we called this forward thrust

Whatever stands still soon will rust.

A hundred years have past us rolled

And our achievements we've extolled.

But in my heart and mind it seems

Mayhap we've lost some of our dreams.

Let our Centennial Cattle Drive

Fulfill our hopes, God help it thrive.


Joe Vicars (1912 - 1997) was a lover of birds, an avid fisherman, and an army veteran. He was a city councilman, business owner, and small town Mayor. He was an honorary lifetime member of the Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Musselshell County Red Cross, Chairman of the Democratic Central Committee, Member of the American Legion, to mention a few. Most of all, he was a lover of Roundup and the people that lived here. With dreams for its future as big as Main Street is long, he saw so much good in this small town. "Joe Vicars left a lot of footprints, but most people never saw them. He put up a lot of beacons, but they drew the attention of only those they were meant to guide. Joe died a very rich man, but his wealth was not in money. Joe's intelligence was shown in unobtrusive wisdom quietly offered. His accomplishments we're legion, but mostly unheralded."

506 views0 comments

Recent Posts


bottom of page