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Editorial Note: This poem was presented at the 18th annual reunion of the Dallas County Pioneers Association in Garland, Texas in 1892. It is included in an account of the Association published in the Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Lewis and Company (1892). It has been transcribed verbatim from the original publication.

The mem'ries of years,
To brave pioneers,
Are dearer and brighter each day;
As dreams of a song,
The past that is gone,
Comes back to your heart alway.

In a land wildly new,
Your stout hearts and true,
The banner of progress unfurled,
With hands brave and strong,
You labored full long ­
A lesson of thrift to the world.

Tho' dangers were great,
Tho' none knew the fate
In a country to Indians a prey,
Your strong frontier arm
Protected from harm
Your dear ones thro' perils each day.

Your labors are done;
The glorious sun
Of prosperity shines in it power;
And cities have grown
From seeds you have sown,
And the country develops each hour.

Where little homes stood,
Made of stout forest wood,
There are mansions and churches with spires;
And carriages roll
On streets where of old
Patient oxen slow drove thro' the mires.

There is life everywhere ­
Sounds of work in the air,
Of forges and factories full blast;
And lights brightly gleam
Where of old the stars beam
Thro' shadows of forest were cast.

The years have brought change;
Where old cattle ranged
There are hamlets and picturesque towns;
And Dallas the queen
Of our country, serene
On her river enthrones, and is crowned.

With hopes brighter still, -
For boat whistles shrill
Will re-echo her green shores along;
And factories grim
Will rise on the rim
Of the river, with hum and with song.

In every age
There's a brighter page
To each country and nation dear;
And historians write
With a pen of light
The deeds of the pioneer.

Transcribed 15 December 2000
M C Toyer