To Timothy Murphy, Regarding Russell and Remington

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I tell you, Tim – if manly Charlie Russell And Frederic Remington were still around, The former, at-it with his gaucho muscle – The latter, at-it with his Indian mound – Each one would lay aside his paints, immerse His brush in turpentine, pick up your verse, And, having read one line, would cry, “Astound- Ing!” Mine? Each man would mouth it as he frowned, Mind wandering to desert regions cursed By women trading wampum counterfeit, And turn aside to brass spittoons, and spit. Their jaws, they’d clench, their booted toes, they’d curl, Pretending not to recognize a girl To mutter, in those male minds, “Mother Wit!”