in The Building of a Picture.
All silent ... So, he lies in state
Our redwoods drip and drip with rain ...
Against our rock-locked Golden Gate
We hear the great, sad, sobbing main.
But silent all ... He passed the stars
That year the whole world turned to Mars.
In ended days, a child, I trod thy sands,
The sands unbuilded, rank with brush and brier
And blossom—chased the sea-foam on thy strands,
Young city of my love and my desire!
I saw thy barren hills against the skies,
I saw them topped with minaret and spire,
On plain and slope thy myriad walls arise,
Fair city of my love and my desire.
With thee the Orient touched heart and hands;
The world’s rich argosies lay at thy feet;
Queen of the fairest land of all the lands—
Our Sunset-Glory, proud and strong and sweet!
I saw thee in thine anguish! tortured, prone.
Rent with earth-throes, garmented in fire!
Each wound upon thy breast upon my own.
Sad city of my love and my desire.
Gray wind-blown ashes, broken, toppling wall
And ruined hearth—are these thy funeral pyre?
Black desolation covering as a pall—
Is this the end, my love and my desire?
Nay, strong, undaunted, thoughtless of despair,
The Will that builded thee shall build again,
And all thy broken promise spring more fair.
Thou mighty mother of as mighty men.
Thou wilt arise invincible, supreme!
The earth to voice thy glory never tire,
And song, unborn, shall chant no nobler theme,
Proud city of my love and my desire.
But I—shall see thee ever as of old!
Thy wraith of pearl, wall, minaret and spire,
Framed in the mists that veil thy Gate of Gold,
Lost city of my love and my desire.
INA D. COOLBRITH.
The cataclysmal force to which we owe
Our glorious Gate of Gold, through which the sea
Rushed in to clasp these shores long, long ago,
Came once again to crown our destiny
With such a grandeur that in sequent years
This period of pain which now appears
Pregnant with doubt, shall vanish as when day
Drives the foreboding dreams of night away.
Born of the womb of Woe, where Sorrow sighs,
Fostered by Faith, undaunted by Dismay,
Earth’s fairest City shall from ashes rise.
LOUIS ALEXANDER ROBERTSON,
in Through Painted Panes.