Helen Hunt Jackson

(“H. H.”)

What songs found voice upon those lips,
What magic dwelt within the pen,
Whose music into silence slips-
Whose spell lives not again!

For her the clamorous to-day
The dreamful yesterday became;
The brands upon dead hearths that lay
Leaped into living flame....

Clear ring the silvery Mission bells
Their calls to vesper and to mass;
O’er vineyard slopes, thro’ fruited dells,
The long processions pass;

The pale Franciscan lifts in air
The Cross, above the kneeling throng;
Their simple world how sweet with pray’r,
With chant and matin-song!

There, with her dimpled, lifted hands,
Parting the mustard’s golden plumes,
The dusk maid, Ramona, stands
Amid the sea of blooms.

And Alessandro, type of all
His broken tribe, forevermore
An exile, hears the stranger call
Within his father’s door.

The visions vanish and are not,
Still are the sounds of peace and strive, -
Passed with the earnest heart and thought
Which lured them back to life.

O, sunset land! O, land of vine,
And rose, and bay! In silence here
Let fall one little leaf of thine,
With love, upon her bier.

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