Travel & Places

THE BAD LANDS

Wild harsh, grotesque with uncouth shape and hue,
Pre-doomed to death and drought without an end,
For grim, sad miles beneath a burning blue,
These cheerless plains their arid length extend.

A region strange, devoid of kindly plan,
Unblessed it seems, for all good things amiss –
The monstrous challenge Nature flings to man:
“What, for your profit, can you do with this?”

Overland Monthly, p.366 – November 1906

MONTANA

No longer ruled by passion crude and rash,
She lies at peace through all her loyal length
Like some fierce creature tamed by love and lash,
Subdued at last, but joying in its strength.

Overland Monthly, p. 276 – October 1906

ON LEAVING THE FAR WEST

Where I, reluctant, go, no skies like these

Will arch and gleam; no winds like these will strew

On so soft grass such blooms of varied hue;
The moonlight, unavailing, through the trees,
Will seek, as here, so potently to please;

The morning sun will open to the view

No mountain vistas of receding blue,
No purple-rimmed, far-billowing, mystic seas.

Yearning, I linger; every hour endears
This place and scene. I seem to be once more

A child, who in vacation-season hears
A voice that calls her home from the shore,

And who, obedient, yet with starting tears,
Goes, wistful-souled, within – and shuts the door.

Sunset Magazine, Vol.20 p. 127 – Southern Pacific Company Passenger Dept.

SALEM

Old Salem grows new Salem; aye, but we
We love the faded glamours of the past,
We hold our heritage unto the last,
Cherish what was, nor long for what may be.
Not all is new; here stands an aged tree,
Its shade upon some storied mansion cast,
And there the rotting spar and leaning mast
Proclaim the ancient romance of the sea.
Yet more than this, to young and favored eyes,
Mirrors lost days: strange shapes at twilight fill
The straight old streets, in solemn antique guise,
And vanish up the slope of Burial Hill.
To those whom Fortune grants this grim surprise
Old Salem’s witchery has lingered still.

New England Magazine, p.35 – September 1907

THE STAY-AT-HOME TRAVELER

Others will eve wander; here live I
From year to year within one narrow room,
Unmoving, sealed with pain’s unchanging
doom,
Ye must I, too, be journeying; though I lie
Lump-helpless, still, wing-souled and glad, I fly
To visit strange, bright markets, isles of bloom,
And storied cloisters sweet with holy gloom,
And scenes close-linked with names that never
die.

Oft come my traveled friends, and take my
hands,
And sit beside my bed, with much to say
Of what their eyes have seen in foreign lands;
I smile, and keep my secret day by day;
For I, like them, have trod enchanted sands;
And I have sailed on fairer seas than they.

Helena, Montana

THE MAP

Compressed within this narrow, bright-hued space
Lie massive-towering mountains; tracts unfilled
Of steppe and prairie; valleys, misty-hilled,
Where green farm-stretches keep their homely place.
Here, laboring streams their sinuous courses trace;
These small black dots are cities, closely filled
With brilliancy and squalor, where men build
Tall, sunless hives, for many a mingled race.
Oh, to be wandering in these regions new

Where breezes blow strange-freighted, keen as wine to travelers’ souls; to hold in
Broadening view

Large spaces, many men; with senses fine Life’s every phase to mark and grant
Its due – To understand it, live it – make it mine.

Sunset Magazine, p.270 – January 19x

CHRISTMAS ON THE MOUNTIANS

Around the cabin, night begins to fall
With rose-gray deepening shades; a light, keen wind
Goes singing up the canyon; chasm-lined
And bleak, the mountain like a friendly wall,
Protects the dwelling, pitifully small,
That cowers close against it; from behind
The peaks there lowers slowly, soft and kind,
An amethystine veil, obscuring all time.
Wrapped in the dusk from glimmering brow to base,
The grim hill stands; but shining out a far
A window gleams, and glad young voices raise
A shout that tells what Christmas frolics are:
The Christ-child’s love surrounds this lonely place,
For, see above the mountain top – the Star!

Overland Monthly, p. 550 – October 1910