I watched the sun sink in the west,
I watched the sweet day die;
Above the dim Coast Range's crest
I saw the red clouds lie
I saw them lying golden deep,
By lingering sunbeams kissed,
Like isles of Fairyland that sleep
In seas of amethyst.
Soft, through the amber twilight, stole
One clear note of the lark,
As fell upon my wondering soul
The desert's sudden dark;
It fell with trembling fear that broods
When night steals o'er the plain,
And from the ghostly cottonwoods
The moody owls complain.
Then, through the long night hours I lay
In baffled sleep's travail,
And heard the outcast thieves in gray
The gaunt coyoteswail.
With seaward winds that wandering blew,
I heard the wild geese cry,
I heard their gray wings beating through
The star dust of the sky.
Spent, through the wakeful gloom I lay
With my poor heart's distress,
And walked again the haunted way
Of life's old loneliness.
The dead, from far graves come, I heard,
I saw them rise and pass;
They spoke my name when, sighing stirred
The whispering pampas grass.
Yet, with the last grim, solemn hour,
Stilled were the voices all,
And then, from poppied fields a-flower,
Rang out the wild bird's call;
The glad dawn, deep in white mists steeped,
Breathed on the day's hushed lyre,
And far the dim Sierra leaped
In living waves of fire.