From Sea to Sea II

Joaquin Miller

We have lived an age in a half-moon wane!
We have seen a world! We have chased
A flash of lakes through the fragrant trees,
A song of birds and a sound of bees
Above in the boughs of the sugar-pine.
The pick-ax stroke in the placer mine,
The boom of blasts in the gold-ribbed hills,
The grizzly's growl in the gorge below
Are dying away, and the sound of rills
From the far-off shimmering crest of snow,
The laurel green and the ivied oak,
A yellow stream and a cabin's smoke,
The brown bent hills and the shepherd's call,
The hills of vine and of fruits, and all
The sweets of Eden are here, and we
Look out and afar to a limitless sea..
To the King of Seas, with its temples bare
And a tropic breath on the brow and hair.
We are hush'd with wonder, we stand apart,
We stand in silence; the heaving heart
Fills full of heaven, and then the knees
Go down in worship on the golden sands.
With faces seaward, and with folded hands
We gaze on the boundless, white Balboa seas.

[Extract - these are the final lines of the poem]

Author's Note:  This was written during my first railroad ride from New York to San Francisco, at a time when this was the greatest ride on the globe and parties came to California in great crowds to look upon the Pacific. It is to be deplored that zeal and interest have so nearly perished with the novelty of the great journey.

Miller settled in California, in a cabin on the heights above San Francisco Bay.

The Balboa Sas is the Pacific. Balboa was the Spanish conquistador who led the first European expedition to reach the Pacicifc in 1513.

Main Location:

California, USA

Other locations: