A plain, milk white with moonlight,
A pencil line of Butte,
A cayuse munchin’ grass quite near,
Snappin’ it off at the roots.
A coyote mourned a long-lost love,
With soulful notes of bass
And I lay and stared at the sky above,
Let the moonlight bathe my face.

The plain was ringed by fantasy,
The ghosts of years gone by
Came sneakin’ from their daylight haunts
With footsteps soft and shy.
A man that looked like Custer
Stood at my heaving side.
“Oho my man,” the vision said,
“Why beneath your covers hide?

“Get up, get up, don’t lie and groan,
We’re friends of yours I swear!
Arise and shine, me bucko,
Get out of your wooly lair.
For the Sioux are here, hi they whoop.
Our ammunition’s low
They burn the wagon trains of whites,
Their war dance fires glow.”

I sat up straight, pulled on my boots,
And said to the spirit, bold,
“See here, old chap, I’ve read of you
And your lances that grow cold,
Upon the banks of a quiet stream,
Beneath a summer’s sun.
And how you fought old Sittin’ Bull,
And your men fell one by one.”

“Oh that was fifty years ago,
When I died by my hand alone,
In the midst of sixty hundred braves,
That fought as dogs o’er a bone.
A bone, that’s right, and out there well
Dug in below the ground,
The bones of my men lie resting
Graves marked by a tiny mound.

“And I o’er the dry plains wander,
Dreading the approach of day,
When I must hide from a burning sun
Before the East turns gray.
But then what’s that to you or me,
For the moon is full and white,
Come, come my man, up and away,
While the world is still black night.”

I followed him, away we went,
To mount a stunted knoll,
And I watched the thing that once
Had been, an entire army’s soul.
I saw him kneel and whistle shrill
To someone far below,
And saw that ghostly someone,
Raise up a horn and blow.

A weird, sweet quaver. Assembly,
To which a throng replied,
And ringed us round, and stared at me,
And at the man beside.
“To horse, to boots and saddles,
Advance! Squadrons right!”
And away we flew, quite silent,
Into a boundless night.

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