[La Ciudad de Nuestra Senora]


Of old on the ancient highways,
    When the Golden Land was young,
When down from the Mother Mountains
    To the Mother Sea were flung
Hill and meadow and valley
    With sun and flower aflame,
Sandaled and cowled and eager,
    The brown Franciscans came.

Brown-robed, cowled and sandaled,
    In the lure of a deathless dream,
They reared the new Pueblo
    In the curve of a silver stream;
In call of the might mountains,
    And seven leagues from the sea,
They hailed from happy thresholds
    The Queen that was to be.

Fair grew the little Princess,
    Bonnie and fair and strong,
Her robes the sunset's purple,
    Her homage the reaper's song.
But ever she longed for the ocean
    Where the tides of wander be—
Ships and the brown-cheeked sailors,
    Lure of the calling sea.

She heard the gray gulls calling,
    And, league by league, she crept
Down to the crooning waters,
    While others dreamed and slept—
Down where the sailors waited
    With sails and pennants furled,
And ships with bright gifts laden
    From harbors of the world.

Down from the Mother Mountains,
    From lomas and sunlit leas,
Down tot he shores of glory
    And the Mother of the Seas,
Where the old, swart Pablodores
    Bore sheaves of the harvest home,
Now the Queen of Cities rises
    With spite and crowding dome.

Queen of the regal cities,
    With banners flung to the sky,
To the caravans she beckons,
    Where the tides of wander be,
She answers, with glowing havens,
    The hail of the ships at sea.