Scarred with the jagged wounds from ruthless hands,
Despoiled, dishonored of my fair array, -
The gold and emerald vesture of the day
When first I signaled to these virgin strands
The argosies and fleets of alien lands;
Rampart and sentinel of this my Bay,
Whose untracked waters leap in jeweled spray
And beat in melody the tawny sands!
What guerdon mine? I wait! To greet these skies-
Thorned on my breast, lifting from fronded trees,
I see a templed splendor yet to be!
Whiter than Shasta’s snows it shall arise,
And proud as that which shone on Pericles-
The marble dream by the Aegean Sea.

* Telegraph Hill, San Francisco.

More verses by Ina D. Coolbrith