Poetry of Gold

image from cdlib.org

image from cdlib.org

For the Huron Reflector
All for California.

Gold is echoed through the land,
And tons of it untold they say,
Lie scattered on our western strand,
In far off California.

The sound has charms for every ear,
And oft is sung in poet’s lay;
But when before did like appear,
As now in California.

The gold of Ophir, Oh, nonsense,
To name it at this time of day!
It sounds like county bogus pence,
To gold in California.

The streams, the sands, the hills are gold,
And trees their fruits of gold display;
They gather it by loads we’re told,
Away in California.

The world’s agog, from old to young,
Seized with this monomania;
At wonders told, by every tongue,
Of gold in California.

The farmer leaves his plow, his tools
The stout mechanic throws away;
And stripling scholars leave their schools,
To go to California.

The crafty merchant locks his store,
The lawyer throws his fee away,
The doctor kicks his pill bags o’er,
And starts for California.

The soldier quits his country’s flag,
The sailor leaves his ready pay;
The halt, the lame the blind, all beg
Their way to California.

There is a story told “down east,”
As strange, but truthful, rumors say;
A church and people, and their priest,
Were off for California.

With hasty steps, and head erect,
No time his genteel debts to pay,
You meet the fop — as you expect,
He’s bound for California!

This golden mania ’tis said,
Is like the hydrophobia;
For even here the dogs run mad,
And start for California.

All honest toil is now disgrace;
The sure old fashioned steady way
To wealth, is by our present race,
Despised for California.

The ties of friendship and of blood,
Forgotten now, as more delay,
“Home, sweet home,” and all that’s good,
Are left for California.

Deluded men, for wealth you cast,
The precious pearls of life away;
Your golden dreams you’ll find are past,
When you’re in California.

Like cooling lakes as seeming near,
In deserts of Arabia;
On your approach, they disappear,
So gold of California.

Norwalk, O March 3, 1849.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Mar 6,  1849



Middle-aged, young and old, away,
While bright the sun shines, make your hay;
(I’m singing you no idle lay,)
Get ringlets false if hair is grey;
List not what truant lovers say
Or recollect some future day;
The marriage flag is up, I warn ye —
Headquarters lie in California!

In that fair region, I am told,
By handfulls you may clutch the gold,
Each lady’s love is bought and sold,
(Ah! shame the secret to unfold.)
Only bethink ye what a fold
Of virtuous lambs ye may behold;
Oh! leave the loose lads, who but scorn ye,
Pack up your duds for California!

Ladies fly! Propitious hour!
The Californian builds the bower,
And sighs for one on whom to shower
His dust of Gold — oh! precious dower;
Ye may be sweet — ye may be sour —
It matters not to reckless wooer;
Hasten, hasten, quick, I warn ye,
Short, fat and tall, for California!

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Apr 24, 1849


The following pretty verses are from the Pennsylvania Inquirer:


There’s no use in grieving John,
For what we have not got.
It’s best to be contented, John,
Whatever be our lot.

It is not golden treasure
That happiness will bring,
All California will not buy
One draught from love’s sweet spring.

You think it dull at home, John,
Not much to do, you say;
True, it is stormy weather now
But it will soon by May.

Just think of little Mary,
Dear, helpless little thing;
Now could you go and leave her —
But two years old last spring?

Her golden hair is soft as silk,
Her little heart, how gay!
She says so sweetly, “Father, dear,
You must not go away.”

Then let us trust in God, John,
And try to serve him, too,
And He who feed the little birds,
Will, sure, take care of you.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Aug 28, 1849

Tags: , , ,

One Response to “Poetry of Gold”

  1. California Gold Poetry « YesterYear Once More Says:

    […] Poetry of Gold […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: