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Poems About California

Table of Contents

  1. Golden Gate Sunset by William Henry Dawson
  2. The Prospector by N. Howard Thorp
  3. San Francisco by Bret Harte
  4. Sunset in the Golden Gate by W. E. Hutchinson
  5. San Francisco Bay by W. E. Hutchinson

  1. Golden Gate Sunset

    by William Henry Dawson

    Oh, the beauty of a sunset
    Viewed from San Francisco Bay!
    It just seems to make the soul let
    Loose from earth and fly away
    To a land of love and glory—
    To a feast of sweet repose:
    Language cannot tell the story—
    He who sees it, only, knows.

    Oh, the loveliness of sunset,
    Viewed from 'Frisco's Golden Gate!
    It lifts the soul where it can get
    A glimpse of heavenly estate.
    Soul that's weary—heavy-laden,
    Bent beneath the chastening rod,
    When it views a golden sunset,
    Touches hands with Nature's God.

  2. The Prospector

    by N. Howard Thorp

    Twelve years have I lived in this desolate place,
    Far from all habitation—not even a face
    Have I seen, save Apaches, those unwelcome guests,
    Pass me by as I work with my pick in the breast.

    Am I one of the millions whose brain-string has snapped,
    Who sees visions of gold in those canyons unmapped,
    Unexplored, unprospected, that lay just ahead,
    Near the Arc of the Bow where so many lie dead?

    Like all miners I ve visions, which may some day come true,
    Of where I would go and what I would do—
    If I'd but once find the vein which carries the ore,
    My days of hard work would forever be o'er.

    There's a frenzy of fury that boils in one's veins—
    Will it pay for the hardships, will it pay for my pains?
    'T is a distorted finger that beckons, it seems,
    To the land of illusions, the place of my dreams.

  3. San Francisco

    by Bret Harte

    Serene, indifferent of Fate,
    Thou sittest at the Western Gate;

    Upon thy heights so lately won
    Still slant the banners of the sun;

    Thou seest the white seas strike their tents,
    O Warder of two Continents!

    And scornful of the peace that flies
    Thy angry winds and sullen skies,

    Thou drawest all things, small or great,
    To thee, beside the Western Gate.

    O lion’s whelp! that hidest fast
    In jungle growth of spire and mast,

    I know thy cunning and thy greed,
    Thy hard high lust and wilful deed,

    And all thy glory loves to tell
    Of specious gifts material.

    Drop down, O fleecy Fog! and hide
    Her sceptic sneer, and all her pride.

    Wrap her, O Fog, in gown and hood
    Of her Franciscan Brotherhood.

    Hide me her faults, her sin and blame;
    With thy gray mantle cloak her shame!

    So shall she, cowlèd, sit and pray
    Till morning bears her sins away.

    Then rise, O fleecy Fog, and raise
    The glory of her coming days;

    Be as the cloud that flecks the seas
    Above her smoky argosies.

    When forms familiar shall give place
    To stranger speech and newer face;

    When all her throes and anxious fears
    Lie hushed in the repose of years;

    When Art shall raise and Culture lift
    The sensual joys and meaner thrift,

    And all fulfilled the vision, we
    Who watch and wait shall never see,—

    Who, in the morning of her race,
    Toiled fair or meanly in our place,—

    But, yielding to the common lot,
    Lie unrecorded and forgot.

  4. Sunset in the Golden Gate

    by W. E. Hutchinson

    When day is done there falls a solemn hush:
    The birds are silent in their humble nest.
    Then comes the Master Artist with his brush,
    And paints with brilliant touch the golden west.

    The blended colors sweep across the sky,
    And add a halo at the close of day.
    Their roseate hues far-reaching banners fly,
    And gild the restless waters of the bay.

    Mount Tamalpais stands in purple 'tire
    Against the background, Phoenixlike, ornate:
    Apollo drives his chariot of fire
    Between the portals of the Golden Gate.

    No other hand than His who rules on high,
    Could wield the brush and spread such bright array
    Upon the outstretched canvas of the sky,
    Then draw the curtain of departing day.

  5. San Francisco Bay

    by W. E. Hutchinson

    Where once the Indian's canoe roamed o'er the bay,
    With silent motion, sped by warrior's hand;
    The sea gulls wheel and turn in columns gray,
    And on the beach the miners' cabins stand;

    Now, white-sailed ships sail outward with the tide,
    The stately ocean liners lead the van;
    And iron warships anchor side by side,
    With sister ships from China and Japan.

    Italian fishing boats with lateen sails go by,
    To cast their lines outside the Golden Gate;
    And ferryboats their ceaseless traffic ply,
    From mole to mole, from early morn till late.

    And so the march of commerce takes its way,
    And every clime contributes of its store
    Where once the Indian's tepee held its sway,
    Now stands the Golden City on the shore.