The Project Gutenberg EBook of Within the Golden Gate, by Laura Young Pinney This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: Within the Golden Gate A Souvenir of San Fransisco Bay Author: Laura Young Pinney Illustrator: Ella N. Pierce Release Date: January 7, 2009 [EBook #27727] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK WITHIN THE GOLDEN GATE *** Produced by Jeannie Howse, Claudine Corbasson, Irma Špehar and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive)
AUTUMNAL skies were fair, and blue,
And soft and mild the morning breeze;
With sails unfurled—a joyous crew—
We sought Pacific's tranquil seas,
And entered there, a gate that stands,
Unbarred to ships of many lands.
And as we passed its portal grand,
Our hearts were glad, our spirits light,
And we rejoiced, and eager scanned
The scenes that came before our sight.
Near Alcatraz, an island bold,
We paused to hear this story told:
GRIM Alcatraz! Thou sentinel
That watch hath kept, thro' ages past,
Over this shining way to sea,
O where's the ship, with towering mast,
That bore my loved one far from me?
Thou sentry, with thy guarded wall,
Thou saw'st him pass and sail away,
To thread the trackless, distant sea.
Where rides the good "St. George" to-day.
That brings not back my love to me?
Care'st thou, that some, who pass thee by,
In morning time, with laugh and song,
With evening shades, return no more,
Tho' sad ones count the hours so long,
And lone ones wait upon the shore?
THE singer in a little boat,
Whose snowy sail gleamed in the sun,
Paused there, until the last fond note
Was sung, then swiftly sped away,
Like some sweet bird whose plaintive cry
Ere pity wakes, hath soared on high.
Our eyes then sought, thro' changing light,
A distant mount's majestic form,
'Twas Tamalpais, whose lofty height,
Doth rise above the fog and storm;
While, neath its brow fair valleys bloom,
Untouched by frost or winter's gloom.
FAR up the slopes of Tamalpais,
Within a shady nook,
Was born a dainty brook.
At birth of this new silvery stream
The buds and blossoms smiled,
And kissed the restless child,
As forth it went with merry song,
Upon a winding way,
That thro' a sweet vale lay;
And, as it went, it stronger grew,
Until, o'er rock and fall,
It dashed, unheeding all.
Upon the banks of this wild brook,
Clothed, all in richest green,
And with majestic mien,
Arose the lofty redwood trees,
Whose fragrant, leafy shade,
Sweet trysting-places made
For ferns, and flowers, and mosses rare;
And time hath been. I ween,
When this sweet, mountain stream
Hath paused to start, with whirring sound
The wheel of yon old mill
Now pulseless grown, and still
THE sweet brook-song was scarcely o'er,
When on our ears fell murmuring sounds
Of life upon another shore;
On speeds our bark with quickening bounds
Until, among the ships, we lay
Beside a city on the bay.
LIKE some pure thought, by unknown lips let fall,
Which grows, and bears abroad, rich truths for all,
So fell a seed by Yerba Buena cove,
And, like a giant young, who smiling lies,
Nor heeds the dormant powers, so soon to rise—
So lay this seed—a village fair—
A score of years, then forth a city came,
And cast aside its quaint old Spanish name
For San Francisco, Western Queen!
And, like the saint whose name it proudly boasts,
A friend to all who come within its posts—
This city with a gate of gold.
When dust-stained, "desert ships" came halting in,
Her gates swung wide, and friendly welcome gave
Those sun-kissed valiant pioneers.
While ocean ships, wind-tossed around Cape Horn,
Oft refuge found within her harbor calm,
Protected by her queenly grace.
AN isle with rugged, rock-bound shore
Along our glittering pathway lay—
A lonely isle, whose bare coast bore
No trace of gentle spring, that day.
A cot upon a brown hill there,
A path that to a lighthouse led;
These simple scenes, a picture fair
With pleasing dreams, our fancy fed,
We seemed to see that gleaming ray
Pierce far away the midnight gloom,
In fancy too across the bay
We heard the fog-horn's warning tone
Wake echoes from the cliffs so bare
While mariner, with listening ear
The warning heard, and steered with care
His ship past rocks that frowned near.
THE vision passed as glides a star;
Our ship, meanwhile, went on its way
Past busy wharf, past reef and bar,
Until she neared a marsh that lay
Low-curving, with its sandy beach,
Or weeds that to the waters reach.
'TWAS dull and gray, the marsh that lay
Out-stretched afar—a dreary waste
Of tide lands low, where ebb and flow
The waters, that with reckless haste
Have crept inland, and silent stand
In reedy pools, or tiny lakes.
There skimming low, now swift, now slow,
The sea-bird pauses oft and takes
A plunge among the luckless throng
That here have found a quiet home;
Or rising there, in lofty air,
A snowy speck in sunlight shone.
But just beyond, the marsh's bound
A city 'mongst fair groves we traced
Here factory tall, and cottage small
Each to the picture lent its grace
Enchanting view! Thy charms they woo
To Alameda's fair retreat
And bid us wait within her gate
Her hidden glories there to greet.
NEXT near a shore whose wooded hills
Touched, far away, the eastern sky,
We paused to hear the gladsome trills
Of land birds' songs as, fitting by,
They sought their mates among the trees,
And joined their notes with whispering breeze.
We listened then, with rapt delight—
This time a tale of classic lore
Our captain chose, with lofty flight;
And far from that low-curving shore
He took us, with that pleasing tale,
Through leafy woods, o'er hill and vale.
AT birth of this fair city, 'mid
These ancient liveoak trees,
Athena, goddess fair, 'tis said,
With her attendants came,
And brought to it a name.
"Thou'rt Oakland," said the winsome queen;
"A city proud thou'lt be!
Thy beauteous lake, thy hills so green,
Thy slopes that rise and fall,
I crown, and bless them all.
While water pure, from mountain spring
Shall make thy gardens smile
And busy bees their sweets will bring
From these rich blossoming fields
That thine abundance yields.
Thy schools, thy colleges and halls
Far-famed shall be on earth;
The temples of Right within thy walls
Shall flourish; and fair Truth
Be prized by all thy youth."
THE captain paused, and raised his hand
"See yonder halls, that, tower-crowned
Arise amid the forest grand,
'Tis California's college ground
And here her youth of every class
May come and thro' those portals pass."
Fair Berkeley! nestling 'neath the hills
Beside a calm and sparkling bay,
We loitered long beside its rills,
In flowery paths, that led away
To shady nooks, where might be seen
Fair bowers—fit shrines for wisdom's queen.
From classic halls we turned away
To gaze upon a poet's home;
'Twas near the close of that bright day,
And golden sunlight on it shone;
Perfume of flowers, and birds' songs low
A witching spell about us throw.
And "Songs of the Sierras" there,
With new sweet charms fell on the ear;
Those rhythmic notes came softer where
The singer's presence was so near—
Again, we seemed to hear him say,
As light our boat rocked on the bay:
"For surely godland lies not far
From these Greek heights and this great sea;
My friend, my lover trend this way,
Not far along lies Arcady."—Joaquin Miller.
And when the sun went down, outside
The Golden Gate, we followed, too,
And sought again the ocean wide,
The while the scenes that charmed our view
Were 'graven on our hearts for aye,
Sweet visions of an autumn day!
And though our bark in other climes
May loose again its snowy sail,
Our hearts with joy will oftentimes
These isles, these shores, this mount and vale
Recall, and bless that kindly fate
That led Within the Golden Gate.