Going Ahead on the Yankee Trail

Going Ahead.
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

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One Response to “Going Ahead on the Yankee Trail”

  1. California Gold Poetry « YesterYear Once More Says:

    […] Going Ahead on the Yankee Trail […]

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