They hear the rippling waters call;
They see the fields of balm;
And faint and clear above it all,
The shimmer of some silver palm
That shines thro’ all that stirless calm
So near, so near—and yet they fall
All scorched with heat and blind with pain,
Their faces downward to the plain,
Their arms reached toward the mountain wall.
The desert calls to him who has once felt its strange attraction, calls and compels him to return, as the sea compels the sailor to forsake the land. He who has once felt its power can never free himself from the haunting charm of the desert.
GEORGE HAMILTON FITCH,
in Palm Springs, Land of Sunshine Magazine.
The wind broke open a rose’s heart
And scattered her petals far apart.
Driven before the churlish blast
Some in the meadow brook were cast,
Or fell in the tangle of the sedge;
Some were impaled on the thorn of the hedge;
But one was caught on my dear love’s breast
Where long ago my heart found rest.
CHARLES FRANCIS SAUNDERS,
in Overland Monthly, July, 1907.
For fifteen months the desert of California had lain athirst. The cattle of the vast ranges had fled from the parched sands, the dying, shriveled shrubs, appealing vainly, mutely, for rain, and had taken refuge in the mountains. They instinctively retreated from the death of the desert and sheltered themselves in the green of the foot-hills. North, east, south, and west, rain had fallen, but here, for miles on either side of the little isolated station * * * the plain had so baked in the semi-tropical sun until even the hardiest sage-brush took on the color of the sand which billowed toward the eastern horizon like an untraveled ocean.
MRS. FREMONT OLDER,
in The Giants.
The strong westerly winds drawing in through the Golden Gate sweep with unobstructed force over the channel, and, meeting the outflowing and swiftly moving water, kick up a sea that none but good boats can overcome. To go from San Francisco to the usual cruising grounds the channel must be crossed. There is no way out of it. And it is to this circumstance, most probably, we are indebted for as expert a body of yachtsmen as there is anywhere in the United States. Timid, nervous, unskilled men cannot handle yachts under such conditions of wind and waves. The yachtsmen must have confidence in themselves, and must have boats under them which are seaworthy and staunch enough to keep on their course, regardless of adverse circumstances.
CHARLES G. YALE,
in Yachting in San Francisco Bay, in The Californian.