Within the Golden Gate - A Souvenir of San Fransisco Bay
by Laura Young Pinney
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Within the Golden Gate





Copyright 1893, by L. Y. PINNEY AND E. N. PIERCE


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.


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