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Augustin S. Macdonald, comp. A Collection of Verse by California Poets. 1914.

By Einnim Havemeyer Tucker

Belle of Monterey

IN the old and timeworn casa

With its white adobe walls,

The court with its wild grown flowers,

And the stone-paved Spanish halls,

She lives—the slim, dark woman

With the pale Madonna face,

And the brown hands ever weaving,

Fold on fold of cobweb lace.

From the town of San Francisco,

To the shores of Carmel Bay,

She was known “Donna Maria”

As the “Belle of Monterey.”

The man whose youth had left him,

The boy with fresh, fair face

And the dark browed Hidalgo

Strove to find in her heart his place.

But though her lovers were legion,

There was one apart from the rest,

And of all the gay throng ’round her,

She loved that man the best.

But his home was not in the West-lands

And his heart was with his home,

So Donna Maria in her casa

Lives year after year alone.

And yesterday we found her

With her inborn Spanish grace.

She showed us her flower garden,

And the quaint old foreign place.

She brought out all her treasures,

And from wrappings yellowed by time,

There came that aroma of romance,

Born only by Spain’s sunny clime.

The rebosas, the old mantillas,

Fans, jewels, and rare fine lace,

Told more of the past and its memories,

Than that calm, passionless face.

So to the treasured mementoes,

She clings—the last of her race—

And will die where she passed her girlhood

Of her story leaving no trace.

She waved us a last “Adois”

From the casa’s open door,

Round which the tall, grim cacti

Stood like sentinels of war.

And her words like vespers linger,

With the spell that about her lay

Sweet, courtly Donna Maria

The once “Belle of Monterey.”