Hark, from the budding boughs that burst of song!
And where the leagues of emerald stretch away,
How rings the meadow-lark’s ecstatic lay
And all the hills the liquid notes prolong.
The stately callas shine, a saintly throng.
From their broad leaves; and in her queenly sway,
The royal rose unfolds unto the day.
O gentle March! O turbulent and strong!
The dove, the tiger, in thy changeful mood:
For while the larks sing, and the linnets brood,
Lo, sullen storm-clouds sweep the smiling dome,
And roar of winds, and the mad tempest-wrath
Beat on the blossomed plain, the forest-path,
And the vast ocean smite to seething foam!

March. By The Pacific

Hark, from the budding boughs that burst of song!
And where the leagues of emerald stretch away,
Out rings the meadow-lark’s ecstatic lay,
While the green hills the liquid notes prolong.
The slender callas shine, a saintly throng,
From their broad leaves; and her slim stem upon,
The royal rose unfolds her to the sun.
O gentle March! O turbulent and strong!
The dove, the tiger, in thy changeful mood.
For while the larks sing, and the linnets brood,
Lo! sullen storm-clouds sweep the smiling dome;
And roar of winds; and the mad tempest-wrath
Beats on the blossomed plain, the forest path,
And the vast ocean smites to seething foam.

Flight Of Song, The

How may the poet sing
When Song is far away?
He has no charm to bring,
No power of yea or nay,
To lure that peerless wing,
To bid it go or stay.
How may the poet sing
With Song so far away?

Bind-and her voice is dumb;
She droops, she dies.
Loose her- no echoes come
From her far skies.
Farther she mounts, and higher;
Elate, elusive still,
She knows alone one will-
Her own desire.
O lingering delay!
When, lo, on one glad day,
Into the heart she slips
With swift surprise!
Her touch upon the lips,
Upon the eyes,
And all life’s pulses thrill,
And all the world is spring-
Is spring in Paradise:
Then may the poet sing!

What do I owe the years, that I should bring
Green leaves to crown the king?
Bloen, barren sands, the thistle, and the brier,
Dead hope, and mocked desire,
And sorrow, vast and pitiless as the sea:
These are their gifts to me.

What do I owe the years, that I should love
And sing the praise thereof?
Perhaps, the lark’s clear carol wakes with morn,
And winds amid the corn
Clash fairy cymbals; but I miss the joys,
Missing the tender voice-
Sweet as a throstle’s after April rain-
That may not sing again.

What do I owe the years, that I should greet
Their bitter, and not sweet,
With wine, and wit, and laughter? Rather thrust
The wine-cup to the dust!
What have they brought to me, these many years?
Silence and bitter tears.

William Keith, Artist

We read that under the far Indian skies,
The dusk magician with his magic wand
Calls from the arid and unseeded sand,
Whereon the shadowless sun’s hot fervor lies,
A perfect tree before our wondering eyes:
First a green shoot uplifts a tender hand,
Then trunk and spreading foliage expand
To flower and fruit-and then it drops and dies.

But he-our wizard of the tinted brush-
In God’s diviner necromancy skilled,
Gives to our vision Earth, in grandeur free!
Rose-gold of dawn, the evening’s purple hush,
The Druid-woods with Nature’s worship filled,
The mountains and the everlasting sea.
Upon the heights beyond my reach
You drink from Art’s immortal spring,
And vision dreams denied my speech,
And paint the songs I may not sing.

San Francisco: April 18,1906

In olden days, a child, I trod thy Sands,
Thy sands unbuilded, rank with brush and briar
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;
Wall upon wall thy myriad mansions rise,
Fair City of my love and desire.

With thee the Orient touched heart and hands,
The world-wide argosies lay at thy feet;
Queen of the queenliest land of all the lands -
Our sunset glory, regal, glad and sweet!

I saw thee in thine anguish tortured! prone!
Rent with the earth-throes, garmented in fire!
Each wound upon thy breast upon my own,
Sad City of my grief 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 despaire,
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 world to voice thy glory never tire;
And song, unborn, shall chant no nobler theme—
Great City of my faith and my desire.

But I will 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.

J.F.B. Died April 29,1882

Forth from this low estate,
Fetterless now of fate,
Pass, spirit blest!
Out of the cark and care,
Out of the griefs that were,
Into thy rest.

Done with the weary round
Daily thy soul that bound
From its true aim, -
Little can matter now
Fame’s wreath upon the brow,
Earth-praise or blame.

God! is there of despair
Keener than this to bear,
Under the sun:
Tasked, like a slave in chains,
While our true work remains
Waiting, undone?

Feeling, as life sweeps by,
All the pure majesty
Of that we miss?
Fettered and tortured so,
Christ, pity all who know
Sorrow like this!

Not here was given his wage:
Of his best heritage
Barred and denied.
Man of the silver tongue,
Poet of songs unsung,
Dreamer, clear-eyed;

Slave not to gain or greed;
Bound by no narrow creed
By priestcraft taught:
In God’s fair universe
Seeing nor hate, nor curse
Of Him that wrought;

Trusting the love divine, -
Carless of church or shrine,
Blessing or ban;
His prayer the common good,
His faith the brotherhood
Of man with man.

And if unto his eyes
Veiled were the mysteries
Of the far shore,
Who of us all may be
Wiser, in truth, than he?
Who knoweth more?

Never the kindly wit
Lighter, because of it,
Sad hearts shall make;
No more the earnest thought,
With its deep lesson fraught,
Souls shall awake.

Eloquent eye and lip,
Peerless companionship,
Passed from the earth.
Friend of the many years,
Well for thee fall my tears,
Knowing thy worth.

Flowers on the gentle breast,
Lay the frail form to rest
Under the sod.
Passed from earth’s low estate,
Fetterless now of fate,
Leave him with God.


The sea-tides ebb and flow;
The seasons come and go,
Summer and sun succeed the cloud and snow,
And April rain awakes the violet.
Earth puts away
Her somber robes, and cheeks with tear-drops wet
In some sad yesterday
Dimple again with smiles, and half forget
Their grief, as the warm rose
Forgets the night-dews when the noontide glows.

Change follows upon change
Swift as the hours; and far away, and strange
As the dim memory of night’s troubled dream
In dawn’s returning beam,
Seem the dark, troubled years,
The sad, but glorious years,
Writ on the nation’s heart in blood and tears.

Ah, God! and yet we know
It was no dream in those days, long ago:
It was no dream, the beat
To arms, the steady tramp along the street
Of answering thousands, quick with word and deed
Unto their country’s need;
No dream the banners, flinging, fresh and fair
Their colors on the air-
Not stained and worn like these
Returning witnesses,
With sad, dumb lips, most eloquent of those
Returning nevermore!
Of those on many a hard-fought battlefield,
From hand to hand that bore
Their starry folds, and, knowing not to yield,
Fell, with a brave front steady to their foes.

Year after year the spring steals back again,
Bringing the bird and blossom in her train,
Beauty and melody,
But they return no more!
Borne on what tides of pain,
Over the unknown sea,
Unto the unknown shore:
Amid the pomp and show
Of glittering ranks, the cannon’s smoke and roar,
Tossed in the rock and reel
Of the wild waves of battle to and fro,
Amid the roll of drums, the ring of steel,
The clash of sabre, and the fiery hell
Of bursting shot and shell,
The scream of wounded steeds, the thunder tones
Of firm command, the prayers, the cheers, the groans, -
War’s mingled sounds of triumph and despair.
Blending with trumpet-blast and bugle-blare.

But not alone amid the battle wrack
They died, - our brave true men.
By southern glade and glen,
In dark morass, within whose pathless deeps,
The serpent coils and creeps,
They fell, with the fierce bloodhound on their track.
Amid the poisonous breath
Of crowded cells, and the rank, festering death
Of the dread prison-pen;
From dreary hospital,
And the dear, sheltering wall
Of home, that claimed them but to lose again,
They passed away, - the army of our slain!

O leader! Tried and true,
What words may speak of thee?
Last sacrifice divine,
Upon our country’s shrine!
O man, that toward above
Thy follow-men, with heart the tenderest,
And “whitest soul the nation ever knew! ”
Bravest and kingliest!
We lay our sorrow down
Before thee, as a crown;
We fold thee with our love
In silence: where are words to speak of thee?

For us the budded laughter of the May
Is beautiful to-day,
Upon the land, but nevermore for them,
Our heroes gone the rose upon its stem
Unfolds, or the fair lily blooms to bless
Their living eyes, with its pure loveliness;
No song-bird at the morn
Greets them with gladness of a day new-born;
No kiss of a child or wife
Warms their cold lips again to love and life,
Breaking sweet slumbers with as sweet release.
They may not wake again!
But from the precious soil,
Born of their toil-
Nursed with what crimson rain-
We pluck to-day the snow-white flower of peace.

He does not die, who in a noble cause
Renders his life: immortal as the laws
By which God rules the universe is he.
Silence his name may hold,
His fame untold
In all the annals of earth’s great may be,
But, bounded by no span
Of years which rounds the common lot of man,
Lo! he is one
Henceforward, with the work which he has done,
Whose meed and measure is Eternity.

They are not lost to us, they still are ours,
They do not rest. Cover their graves with flowers-
Earth’s fairest treasures, fashioned with skill,
Which makes the daisy’s disk a miracle
No less than man. On monument and urn,
Let their rich fragrance burn,
Like incense on a altar; softly spread
A royal mantle o’er each unmarked bed,
And, as a jeweled-rain,
Drop their bright petals for the nameless dead
And lonely, scattered wide
On plain and mountain-side,
Beneath the wave, and by the river-tide.
So let them rest
Upon their country’s breast.
They have not died in vain:
Through them she lives, with head no longer bowed
Among the nations, but erect and proud-
Washed clean of wrong and shame,
Her freedom never more an empty name,
Her all her scattered stars as one again.

Was it the sigh and shiver of the leaves?
Was it the murmer of the meadow brook,
That in and out the reeds and water weeds
Slipped silverly, and on their tremulous keys
Uttered her many melodies? Or voice
Of the far sea, red with the sunset gold,
That sang within her shining shores, and sang
Within the gate, that in the sunset shone
A gate of fire against the outer world?

For, ever as I turned the magic page
Of that old song the old, blind singer sang
Unto the world, when it and song were young—
The ripple of the reeds, or odorous,
Soft sigh of leaves, or voice of the far sea-
A mystical, low murmur, tremulous
Upon the wind, came in with musk of rose,
The salt breath of the waves, and far, faint smell
Of laurel up the slopes of Tamalpais....

“Am I less fair, am I less fair than these,
Daughters of far-off seas?

Daughters of far-off shores, - bleak, over-blown
With foam of fretful tides, with wail and moan
Of waves, that toss wild hands, that clasp and beat
Wild, desolate hands above the lonely sands,
Printed no more with pressure of their feet:
That chase no more the light feet flying swift
Up golden sands, nor lift
Foam fingers white unto their garment hem,
And flowing hair of them.

“For these are dead: the fair, great queens are dead!
The long hair’s gold a dust the wind bloweth
Wherever it may list;
The curved lips, that kissed
Heroes and kings of men, a dust that breath,
Nor speech, nor laughter, ever guickeneth;
And all the glory sped
From the large, marvelous eyes, the light whereof
Wrought wonder in their hearts, - desire, and love!
And wrought not any good:
But strife, and curses of the gods, and flood,
And fire and battle-death!
Am I less fair, less fair,
Because that my hands bear
Neither a sword, nor any flaming brand,
To blacken and make desolate my land,
But on my brows are leaves of olive boughs,
And in mine arms a dove!

“Sea-born and goddess, blossom of the foam
Pale Aphrodite, shadowy as a mist
Not any sun hath kissed!
Tawny of limb I roam,
The dusks of forests dark within my hair;
The far Yosemite,
For garment and for covering me,
Wove the white foam and mist,
The amber and the rose and amethyst
Of her wild fountains, shaken loose in air.
And I am of the hills and of the sea:
Strong with the strength of my great hills, and calm
With calm of the fair sea, whose billowy gold
Girdles the land whose queen and love I am!
Lo! Am I less than thou,
That with a sound of lyres, and harp-playing,
Not any voice doth sing
The beauty of mine eyelids and my brow?
Nor hymn in all my fair and gracious ways,
And lengths of golden days,
The measure and the music of my praise?

“Ah, what indeed is this
Old land beyond the seas, that ye should miss
For her the grace and majesty of mine?
Are not the fruits and vine
Fair on my hills, and in my vales the roses?
The palm-tree and the pine
Strike hands together under the same skies
In every wind that blows.
What clearer heavens can shine
Above the land whereon the shadow lies
Of her dead glory, and her slaughtered kings,

And lost, evanished gods?
Upon my fresh green sods
No king has walked to curse and desolate:
But in the valleys Freedom sits and sings,
And on ths heights above;
Upon her brows the leaves of olive boughs,
And in her arms a dove;
And the great hills are pure, undesecrate,
White with their snows untrod,
And mighty with the presence of their God!

“Harken, how many years
I sat alone, I sat alone and heard
Only the silence stirred
By wind and leaf, by clash of grassy spears,
And singing bird that called to singing bird.
Heard but the savage tongue
Of my brown savage children, that among
The hills and valleys chased the buck and doe,
And round the wigwam fires
Chanted wild songs of their wild savage sires,
And danced their wild, weird dances to and fro,
And wrought their beaded robes of buffalo.
Day following upon day,
Saw but the panther crouched upon the limb,
Smooth serpents, swift and slim,
Slip through the reeds and grasses, and the bear
Crush through his tangled lair
Of chapparal, upon the startled prey!

“Listen, how I have seen
Flash of strange fires in gorge and black ravine;
Heard the sharp clang of steel, that came to drain
The mountain’s golden vein-
And laughed and sang, and sang and laughed again,
Because that ‘now, ’ I said, ‘I shall be known!
I shall not set alone;
But reach my hands unto my sister lands!
And they? Will they not turn
Old, wondering dim eyes to me, and yearn-
Aye, they will yearn, in sooth,
To my glad beauty, and my glad fresh youth! ’

“What matters though the morn
Redden upon my singing fields of corn!
What matters though the wind’s unresting feet
Ripple the vales run with wine,
Ang on these hills of mine
The orchard boughs droop heavy with ripe fruit?
When with nor sound of lute
Nor lyre, doth any singer chant and sing
Me, in my life’s fair spring:
The matin song of me in my young day?
But all my lays and mountain to the farther hem
Of sea, and there be none to gather them.

“Lo! I have waited long!
How longer yet must my strung harp be dumb,
Ere its great master come?
Till the fair singer comes to wake the strong,
Rapt chords of it unto the new, glad song!

Him a diviner speech
My song-birds wait to teach:
The secrets of the field
My blossoms will not yeld
To other hands than his;
And, lingering for this,
My Laurels lend the glory of their boughs
To crown no narrower brows.
For on his lips must wisdom sit with youth,
And in his eyes, and on his lids thereof,
The light of a great love-
And on his forehead, truth! ”...

Was in the wind, or the soft sigh of leaves,
Or sound of singing waters? Lo, I looked,
And saw the silvery ripples of the brook,
The fruit upon the hills, the waving trees,
And mellow fields of harvest; saw the Gate
Burn in the sunset; the thin thread of mist
Creep white across the Saucelito hills;
Till the day darkened down the ocean rim,
The sunset purple slipped from Tamalpais,
And bay and sky were bright with sudden stars.