Ina Coolbrith

1841 – 1928 / Nauvoo, Illinois

California Jubilee Poem

Aye, but my feet are light upon the hills!
Light as the leaping deer, light as the wind,
Light as the soaring bird-for winged with joy!
And my heart sings (hearken the voice of it!)
With all my forests in the song-the streams-
And the great Sea that rims my golden shores.
Nay, from the deeps of far Creation's morn
The slumbering echoes that are never mute-
The primal throes of all the things that are-
God busy with His world in fashioning;
Through the long aeon days of change on change,
God busy with His world in fashioning still.

Aye, am I glad! For is not this fair land-
Fairest of all lands, wreathed and crowned to-day
As never in the ages gone before?
Past now the days of desert solitudes,
The summits lifted lonely to the stars,
First that but knew the padded moccasin,
And then the Hero-Saint who bore the Cross
To it, with Him, the Life, the Nazarene!
And then the livid lure and dross of gold;
Then-(from a weed so ill a bloom so fair!)
Vast fields of fruit and harvest; thronging homes;
Science with searching gaze demanding truth-
And Art to add new perfectness to Art-
And greater, sweeter, dearer far then all,
Across the mighty vastness of sea
The living voice of human Brotherhood,
And peal of the great bell of London town,
That rang from sacred walls to speak to mankind,
One heart, one home, one people and one God!

O, land of mine-my land that is so loved-
‘Lift up thine eyes unto the hills'-nay, lift
Thine eyes unto the stars-make thou thy goal
As fair and great as thou art sweet and fair;
Make all of ill to die from out thy bounds
As dies the ill weed from the tended soil,
And thy fair bosom bloom as blooms the rose.
Peace brood with thee- a Dove with folded wings-
And Love thy Law as it was Christ's one Law-
Wherewith no thing of wrong can ever dwell.
So shalt thou be, white as thy Shasta's snows,
In thy divinest grace and purity
Evangel of the nations, speaking Man
God busy with His world of fashioning still.
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