Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SAN GABRIEL, by LYMAN WHITNEY ALLEN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

SAN GABRIEL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: San gabriel! / I stand and wonder at thy walls
Last Line: I own thy sweet and mystic spell.
Subject(s): California; San Gabriel Mission

San Gabriel!
I stand and wonder at thy walls
So old, so quaint; a glory falls
Upon them as I view the past,
And read the story which thou hast
Preserved so well.

San Gabriel!
I gaze and marvel at thy towers,
Thy belfry strange through which the hours
Fleet-footed crowd two hundred years,
Whose echoing music yet appears
In each sweet bell.

San Gabriel!
What souls were they who fashioned thee
To be a blessed charity!
What faith was theirs who bore the cross,
And counted wealth and ease but loss
Of Christ to tell!

San Gabriel!
Before thy gates what heavy tolls
Have fallen from sin-burdened souls!
Within thy walls what new desires
Of love have quenched fierce hatred's fires,
From nave and cell!

San Gabriel!
What guidance hast thou flashed along
The ways of savagery and wrong,
And shamed the unholy and unkind,
The theftuous hand, the murderous mind,
Ere ravage fell!

San Gabriel!
A glamour of the ancient time
Remains with thee! Thou hast the rime
Of some old poem, and the scent
Of some old rose's ravishment
Naught can dispel!

San Gabriel!
From Mexico to Monterey
Thy sisters greet thee 'midst decay;
But thou dost stand a living thing,
And round thee living passions cling
And voices swell!

San Gabriel!
Within thee all my doubtings cease;
I find the holy Prince of Peace;
And feel the thrill of brotherhood
Betwixt my soul and those who stood
For this same faith, for this same world,
And Christ's one flag of love unfurled!
San Gabriel! San Gabriel!
I own thy sweet and mystic spell.

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