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Poetical Monterey

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Joined: 27 Nov 2007
Posts: 381
Location: Monterey County, California

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:36 pm    Post subject: Poetical Monterey Reply with quote

(By Capt. Thomas Gray, in the Californian, 1878)

Who could behold the beauty and grace,
That cluster around this lovely place,
And not admire the charming scene,
So varied, peaceful and serene?
The man indeed must soulless be,
That could not chant one note to thee
At least but if in broken lays—
Fair Monterey, a song of praise,
Thy grandeur is so rich and rare,
And thou art beautiful as fair.

Yonder is seen the cloud-capped range,
Where beauty seems to interchange
With beauty; and the deep-hued trees,
Gently bending to the breeze—
Whilst the waters of the majestic bay
Proudly at thy feet doth lay,
The gamboling foam skips o'er the sand
More delicate than maiden's hand.
I wander near thy rugged shore
And wonder, as I gaze the more
On this sweet place, O, charming sight!
It fills the soul with strange delight,
Then watch old ocean, wild and grand,
Leap forth to kiss the silvery sand,
Then rolling back, new strength to gain,
Return and kiss it o'er and o'er again
'Till every nook and rock, it seems to me
Is filled with wondrous ecstasy.

Sweet melody of birds and fragrant flowers,
Fill thy balmy air and bowers
With sweet perfume and joyous song
To cheer us, as we pass along
By shady nook and stately pine
Whose branches seem to interwine;
Beneath whose shade a rest is found,
And every spot seems holy ground.

Yet all these beauties eye can trace—
There is a shadow on thy face,
Fair Monterey! what makes thee sad,
Whilst nature all around is glad,
And the blue waters of the bay
Their homage to thy beauty pay?

Sweet Monterey, I think I see
A better day in store for thee;
Many from afar shall hear thy name
And come to see thy wond'rous fame
Matchless in clime, down by the sea
And thousands will come to stay with thee,
So the dark cloud will pass away,
For in the near approaching day
Prosperity again shall smile
Upon thee; and in the while
The shadow gone—and in its stead
A bow of brightness deck thy head.

(Daniel O'Connel)

In a mantle of old traditions
In the ryme of a vanished day,
The silent and shrouded city
Sits by her crescent bay.

The ruined fort on the hill top,
Where never a bunting streams
Looks down a cannonless fortress,
On the solemn city of dreams.

Gardens of wonderful roses,
Climbing o'er roof, tree and wall,
Woodbine and crimson geranium,
Hollyhocks, purple and tall.

Mingle their odorous breathings
With the crisp, salt breeze from the sands,
Where pebbles and sounding sea shells
Are gathered by children's hands.

Women with olive faces,
And the liquid southern eye,
Dark as the forest berries
That grace the woods in July.

Tenderly train the roses
Gathered here and there,
A bud, the richest and rarest—
For a place in their long, dark hair.

Feeble and garrulous old men
Tell in the Spanish tongue
Of the good, grand times at the mission,
And the hymns that the Fathers sung.

Of the oil and wine and the plenty,
And the dance in the twilight gray;
"Ah these," and the head shakes sadly,
"Were good times in Monterey."

(By Edwin Emmet Curtis)

Like a maiden musing sadly o'er her
suitors turned away,
Long she sat in lonely beauty
close beside her crescent bay.

Heeding not the world of action that
beyond her portals lay,
Careless of the strife of nations,
living only for today.

Dreaming of a golden future,
while the present drifted by.
As a ship becalmed may linger
'neath the storm-cloud in the sky.

All her passions wrapped in slumber;
slowly through her languid veins,
Flowed her blood, as in midsummer
Creeps the stream across the plains.

Never lover came to woo her,
never woke she from her trance,
Like the mystic Sleeping Beauty
in the pages of romance.

'Till the fairy Prince of Progress
smiled upon her hidden charms,
On her ripe lips quickly kissed her,
reached and drew her to his arms.

At his touch she slowly started,
Indolence her limbs had bound,
While she lingered, idly dreaming,
where the tasseled tree-tops sound;

And though heart and soul were eager
to accept the proffered love,
'Neath the tyrant's chain they struggled
As the wings to prisoned dove.

Not in vain she strives to free them;
for, behold! the chain is burst!
Aided by the arm of Progress
soon the last shall be the first.

Soon a queen among the cities
that adorn our golden coast,
Shall she stand, and in her glory,
of her noble lover boast.

(By Mrs. Annie E. Merritt)

Where the blue waves kiss the sand,
As they leap a joyous band;
Where the mountains towering high,
Seem to touch the azure sky.
Where the young vines meekly twine,
Round the tall, majestic pine;
Half enclosed in rocks of gray,
Gently slumbers Monterey.

Beautiful as poet's dream,
When its hills with verdure green;
When the balmy air is filled,
With incense from heaven distilled;
And sweet Nature seeks repose,
Where the murmering streamlet flows.
Like some gem of brightest ray,
There enthroned is Monterey.

Flowers of the brightest hue,
Laden with the morning dew;
Velvet grass and clinging vine,
Groves of oak, and stately pine;
Fleecy clouds that lightly rest,
On the evening's gentle breast;
All these hold their quiet sway,
On the shores of Monterey.

But more beautiful at eve'n,
In the mystic light of heaven;
When the moon's pale, silvery sheen,
Lands its beauty to the scene;
And a holy calm o'er all,
Settles lightly as a pall,
And the night seems changed to day
'Neath the skies of Monterey.

Talk not of the storied Rhine,
Nor Italia's sunny clime;
With its balmy, perfumed air,
Crowned with old historic lore;
Well I love this rock-bound shore,
'Tis to thee I sing my lay—
Queen of Beauty, Monterey.

Sleep on, Oh town of ancient lore, Sleep on,
Wrapped in your memories dim and sweet,
Of visioned beauty and grandeur meet,
Dreaming your dream of days long old,
Of former glory, and wealth untold,
With only your autumn's shadow gray,
Left of your summer's brilliant day,
Sleep on.

(By Lucy Neely McLane)

Thou little town of Monterey,
How still I see thee lie today,
But locked within thy Mission gates
Are tales the Holy Friar relates
Of sacrifice and sin and strife,
Of men who left the flame of life,
Of hearts made glad o'er victories won,
Of peace at last with setting sun.
Well done, O town of Monterey,
Thou Queen of Quaintness on the Bay!

To this, lonesome shore in days of old
A Father journeyed from afar and found
Those beauties great of which he had been told,
Beside the shore a cross he raised with sound
Of bell and mass and there before his God
With solemn vow he founded Monterey;
A town arose to Spain so true, so odd:
No care was there in this old place so gay.
But now, O Grief, all this to us is past;
For where is all the music and the lightness gone
The joy, the color, the freedom and the jest
Of those who lived with instrument and song?
The legends and the ruins are all we hear and see
Of that delightful life which used to be.

I'm back today in Monterey
In dreams again I see
The roses clinging to the wall
The moon's soft witchery.
Once more I hear the music drift
Adown the southern shore
The low lilt of a tender voice
Now stilled for ever more.

I'm back today in Monterey
Where the old adobe stands
And thro the latticed bars I see
The gift from other lands.
The jars from far away Seville
The rug upon the floor
The deep, wide chair from Mexico
Beside the open door.

I'm back again in Monterey
Where prayers are softly said
For those amid earth's ceaseless strife
The ne-er forgotten dead.
For Carmel's bell at vespers rings
Just as in Serra's day
And with the twilight blessings fall
Upon loved Monterey.
—Florence E. Rodgers.

The blue dome of heaven covers it wide,
And the breath of God sweeps its face.
His voice sings through the mighty tide
Its blue He encircles in deep embrace.
—M. R. H.
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