Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CALIFORNIA OF THE SOUTH, by GRACE ELLERY CHANNING-STETSON



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CALIFORNIA OF THE SOUTH, by            
First Line: The land is a garden of glamour, where passes
Last Line: Ere her youth shall have dimmed its immortal grace.
Subject(s): California; Nature


THE land is a garden of glamour, where passes
Each breeze on its wandering way to the sea;
And prodigal, scatters the sweets it amasses
From orange groves yielding their stores tenderly,
To be breathed back again to the tremulous grasses
Through which Zephyr ranges;—a light lover, he!

'Tis the garden of Eden; high hedges enclose it
Of lime and of cypress; a still spirit rests
'Neath the veil of the mountains (the hushed silence shows it),
And he broods the sweet valley to sleep on his breast.
This is a sanctuary;—every bird knows it,
And knows the broad landscape was made for his nest.

For hark how the hedges and bushes are ringing
With madrigals! Mark how the jubilant trees
Are budding with birds and a-blossom with singing;
And look! from each spray a small singer of glees
Is trilling and trilling his skyward song flinging;—
Sure Italy's skies are not bluer than these!

Here rain in swift showers soft tropical flowers
Sweet somnolent scents on the tropical air;
Lavish roses have reared them a riotous bower,
Flaunting crimson and gold their gray gonfalons flare,
And the heart of each rose and the heart of each hour
Shows the last-bloomed the rarest, where each still was rare.

This is the land of the poet's desire;
This is the Beautiful's indwelling place;
Land of the new dawn and late sunset's fire,
Lo, she laughs like a child in the grim East's face!
And a thousand years shall be born and expire
Ere her youth shall have dimmed its immortal grace.





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