Sivell, Rhoda. “My Range House.” Voices from the Range. Toronto: Eaton, 1912. Rpt. in Pioneer Poetry and Prose: Voice from the Range. Ed. Nora Schmidt. Cochrane, AB: Raynora, 2000. 21.
This author produced only one book of poetry, but it has touched the heart of a number of people in the “cowboy” community. Terry Almeda has a complete CD of Rhoda Sivell’s poetry set to song, and some of her poems appear on a CD anthology of recitation, as well as in Virginia Bennett’s 2001 print anthology, Cowgirl Poetry. I am grateful to Rhoda’s grandson, William Sivell, of Victoria, BC, for his hospitality and generosity in sharing information and the images I have posted here.
My Ranch House
Before I went away I thought all trails were golden,
That led beyond the trails that I could see,
But now I find the old familiar highways
Around my home are fairer now to me.
Before I went away I thought the birds were singing,
A sweeter note above some distant shore,
And then I missed the meadow-lark at morning,
Its clear wild note beyond the old ranch door.
Before I went away I thought the flowers were blooming,
Far sweeter, fairer, in some distant clime;
When I came home I found them all around me—
And they were mine.
Before I went away I thought the world was full of laughter,
I’d leave behind the heavy weight of years;
And then I found beyond those distant mountains
Such woe and tears.
Before I went away I didn’t miss you,
I didn’t know our lives were meant to be
Held by such golden chains that bound me to you,
Our life-long memory.