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

By Bayard Taylor


O FAIR young land, the youngest, fairest far

Of which our world can boast—

Whose guardian planet, evening’s silver star,

Illumes thy golden coast,—

How art thou conquered, tamed in all the pride

Of savage beauty still!

How brought, O panther of the splendid hide,

To know thy master’s will!

No more thou sittest on thy tawny hills

In indolent repose;

Or pourest the crystal of a thousand rills

Down from thy house of snows.

But where the wild oats wrapped thy knees in gold,

The plowman drives his share,

And where, through cañons deep, thy streams are rolled,

The miner’s arm is bare.

Yet in thy lap, thus rudely rent and torn,

A nobler seed shall be;

Mother of mighty men, thou shalt not mourn

Thy lost virginity!

Thy human children shall restore the grace

Gone with thy fallen pines;

The wild, barbaric beauty of thy face

Shall round to classic lines.

And order, justice, social law shall curb

Thy untamed energies;

And art and science, with their dreams superb,

Replace thine ancient ease.

The marble, sleeping in thy mountains now,

Shall live in sculptures rare;

Thy native oak shall crown the sage’s brow—

Thy bay, the poet’s hair.

Thy tawny hills shall bleed their purple wine,

Thy valleys yield their oil;

And music, with her eloquence divine,

Persuade thy sons to toil.

Till Hesper, as he trims his silver beam,

No happier land shall see,

And earth shall find her old Arcadian dream

Restored again in thee!