~ The Ballad of Ghost and Tex ~

Inspired by the ballad, ‘End of an Age’ by Wade Montgomery which he swore was  a true story. Unlike this ballad which I took several poetic liberties with.

Wade and his son are both gone now and his music will be greatly missed. Check his music out at Click Here. You won’t be sorry.

There’s many a tale that spreads across the night
when the sun o’er the plains yields to campfire light.
Tales about cowboys, who once roamed the plains,
scratching a living using their rope and reins.

A few were happy when it came time to tell,
but many of them were just sadder than hell
Cause most of them ended with some poor old soul
lying all alone in some forgotten hole

There’s a story I recall about a man,
that made his way north from the wide Rio Grande
Arlie he was called by those that new him best.
But folks round the Rockin J just called him Tex

When the punchin’ all played out Tex left his home.
In search of somewhere with enough space to roam
He found Montana where mountains scraped the sky
with enough space where he could live right or die

Tex’d known a few summers and could feel his age
whenever Montana snows covered the sage
He felt time too quickly closing in on him
his hearing was fading and eyesight was dim

Round the bunks they told of a stallion named Ghost
Catchin him would give a man the right to boast
They said that horse can’t be caught by any man
So all through the winter Tex worked on a plan

Tex had studied that hoss and knew he was smart
The cunning of a fox with want in his heart
There wasn’t any horse that could match his pace
Tex knew he won’t beat him in a flat out race

Summer had run long, this one hotter than most
Tex laid his plan to get that horse they called Ghost
With fire in his eyes and his nostrils flared
Ghost come down from the mountain lookin’ for mares

Now Old Tex was ready to play out his plan
he’d strung out three horses across the grassland
Twenty miles apart those geldings stood ready
for an eighty mile stretch Tex could ride steady

Tex spotted Ghost silhouetted ‘gainst the sun
that horse stomped and glared then took off in a run
Ghost was in the lead and Tex brought up the back
but Tex’d studied his foe and knew where he’d track

Towards Rattlesnake Butte that stallion did run
was heading straight into that bright morning sun
‘cross dried grass and sage Ghost never skipped a beat
Fast as a Chinook through that Montana heat

Ghost was fast and Tex saw him pulling ahead
but they’d reached the exchange where Tex mounted Red
Red was sure footed and as fast as the breeze
and he started closing up that gap with ease

But the sun beating down was taking its toll
Red started to fade though he’d given his soul
they reached the exchange both were ragged and sore
Tex jumped on Blackie and was ready for more

Blackie was a young horse so full of spirit
he’d catch up to Ghost or at least damned near it
Behind them the sun met the earth with a glow
casting long shadows as night started to grow

Tex was dead tired and sore and his blisters bled
lips cracked and dry and a spinning in his head
Blackie was lathered, winded and bout to drop
they both had heart and neither was gonna stop

Rattlesnake Butte was coming close into view
that’s when Tex saw Ghost pick up a step or two
He must have thought there was a change in his luck
unaware Tex had saved the last leg for Buck

Now Buck was a good hoss though just a tad slow
could climb like a mule to where Tex had to go
Up the side of that butte they staggered and strained
Tex let Buck pick the way and gave him his reins

They had nearly pulled up to that stallion’s side
Tex saw the defiance in that horse’s eye
and knew if Ghost reached the top this chase’d done
any chance of catching him would be long gone

So Tex took to hope’s chance and let his rope fly
to hell with the odds he knew he had to try
that rope struck its mark and landed true and right
and Tex tied it off to Buck’s saddle horn tight

They were near the crest when the sun left the sky
when Ghost lost his footing and slid down the side
Ghost joined Tex and Buck on that one final ride
Now all three are ridin’ that range in the sky

Tex is now just a note scribbled on life’s page
’bout how him and Ghost were the end of an age
There’s many a tale that spreads across the night
when the sun o’er the plains yields to campfire light.

Tales about Old Tex, who once roamed the plains,
scratching a living using his rope and reins.
Some tales are happy when it comes time to tell,
but the story of Tex is just sadder than hell

10 thoughts on “~ The Ballad of Ghost and Tex ~

      1. I can see why! Do you write a lot of cowboy poetry? Are you familiar with Stephen Pages two poetry books: A Ranch Bordering the Salty River and The Salty River Bleeds? (Can you tell that you’ve piqued my interest?)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve only been writing Cowboy Poetry for about a month now. I actually don’t write cowboy poetry, I write poetry about cowboys. I’m what they call a wannabe cowboy but live in the city. Most of my experience comes from story telling and visiting ranches but I’ve never been a waddie (hired hand) on anything bigger than a midwest farm. I am not familiar with Stephen Pages, I will check him out.


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