UTUMNAL skies were fair, and blue,
And soft and mild the morning breeze;
With sails unfurled—a joyous crew—
We sought Pacific's tranquil seas,
And entered there, a gate that stands,
Unbarred to ships of many lands.
And as we passed its portal grand,
Our hearts were glad, our spirits light,
And we rejoiced, and eager scanned
The scenes that came before our sight.
Near Alcatraz, an island bold,
We paused to hear this story told:
GRIM Alcatraz! Thou sentinel
That watch hath kept, thro' ages past,
Over this shining way to sea,
O where's the ship, with towering mast,
That bore my loved one far from me?
Thou sentry, with thy guarded wall,
Thou saw'st him pass and sail away,
To thread the trackless, distant sea.
Where rides the good "St. George" to-day.
That brings not back my love to me?
Care'st thou, that some, who pass thee by,
In morning time, with laugh and song,
With evening shades, return no more,
Tho' sad ones count the hours so long,
And lone ones wait upon the shore?
THE singer in a little boat,
Whose snowy sail gleamed in the sun,
Paused there, until the last fond note
Was sung, then swiftly sped away,
Like some sweet bird whose plaintive cry
Ere pity wakes, hath soared on high.
Our eyes then sought, thro' changing light,
A distant mount's majestic form,
'Twas Tamalpais, whose lofty height,
Doth rise above the fog and storm;
While, neath its brow fair valleys bloom,
Untouched by frost or winter's gloom.
FAR up the slopes of Tamalpais,
Within a shady nook,
Was born a dainty brook.
At birth of this new silvery stream
The buds and blossoms smiled,
And kissed the restless child,
As forth it went with merry song,
Upon a winding way,
That thro' a sweet vale lay;
And, as it went, it stronger grew,
Until, o'er rock and fall,
It dashed, unheeding all.
Upon the banks of this wild brook,
Clothed, all in richest green,
And with majestic mien,
Arose the lofty redwood trees,
Whose fragrant, leafy shade,
Sweet trysting-places made
For ferns, and flowers, and mosses rare;
And time hath been. I ween,
When this sweet, mountain stream
Hath paused to start, with whirring sound
The wheel of yon old mill
Now pulseless grown, and still
THE sweet brook-song was scarcely o'er,
When on our ears fell murmuring sounds
Of life upon another shore;
On speeds our bark with quickening bounds
Until, among the ships, we lay
Beside a city on the bay.
LIKE some pure thought, by unknown lips let fall,
Which grows, and bears abroad, rich truths for all,
So fell a seed by Yerba Buena cove,
And, like a giant young, who smiling lies,
Nor heeds the dormant powers, so soon to rise—
So lay this seed—a village fair—
A score of years, then forth a city came,
And cast aside its quaint old Spanish name
For San Francisco, Western Queen!
And, like the saint whose name it proudly boasts,
A friend to all who come within its posts—
This city with a gate of gold.
When dust-stained, "desert ships" came halting in,
Her gates swung wide, and friendly welcome gave
Those sun-kissed valiant pioneers.