Serene, indifferent of Fate,
Thou sittest at the Western Gate;
Upon thy height, so lately won,
Still slant the banners of the sun;
Thou seest the white seas strike their tents,
O Warder of two continents!
And, scornful of the peace that flies
Thy angry winds and sullen skies,
Thou drawest all things, small, or great,
To thee, beside the Western Gate.
O lion’s whelp, that hidest fast
In jungle growth of spire and mast!
I know thy cunning and thy greed,
Thy hard high lust and willful deed,
And all thy glory loves to tell
Of specious gifts material.
Drop down, O Fleecy Fog, and hide
Her skeptic sneer and all her pride!
Wrap her, O Fog, in gown and hood
Of her Franciscan Brotherhood.
Hide me her faults, her sin and blame;
With thy gray mantle cloak her shame!
So shall she, cowled, sit and pray
Till morning bears her sins away.
Then rise, O Fleecy Fog, and raise
The glory of her coming days;
Be as the cloud that flecks the seas
Above her smoky argosies;
When forms familiar shall give place
To stranger speech and newer face;
When all her throes and anxious fears
Lie hushed in the repose of years;
When Art shall raise and Culture lift
The sensual joys and meaner thrift,
And all fulfilled the vision we
Who watch and wait shall never see;
Who, in the morning of her race,
Toiled fair or meanly in our place,
But, yielding to the common lot,
Lie unrecorded and forgot.