BY JOHN G. WHITTIER.
I hear the far off voyager’s horn,
I see the Yankee’s trail –
His foot on every mountain pass,
On every stream his sail.
He’s whistling round St. Mary’s Falls,
Upon his loaded train;
He’s leaving on the Pictured Rocks
His fresh tobacco stains.
I hear the mattocks in the mines,
The axe-stroke in the dell,
The clamor from the Indian lodge,
The Jesuit’s chapel bell!
I see the swarthy trappers come
From Mississippi’s springs;
And war-chiefs with their painted bows,
And crests of eagle wings.
Behind the squaw’s birchen canoe,
The steamer smokes and raves;
And city lots are staked for sale
Above old Indian graves.
By forest-lake and water-fall,
I see the peddler’s show;
The mighty mingling with the mean,
The lofty with the low.
I hear the tread of pioneers
Of nation’s yet to be;
The first low wash of waves where soon
Shall roll a human sea.
The rudiments of empire here,
Are plastic yet and warm;
The chaos of a mighty world
Is rounding into form!
Each rude and jostling fragment soon
Its fitting place shall find –
The raw material of a state,
Its muscles and its mind!
A westering still the star which leads
The new world in its train,
Has tipped with fire the icy spears
Of many a mountain chain.
The snowy cones of Oregon
Are kindled on its way,
And California’s golden sands
Gleam brighter in its ray!
Mountain Democrat, The (Placerville, California) Feb 3, 1855