San Gabriel, On The Pacific Coast.

A poem by John Campbell

Grey-cowled monk, whose faith so earnest
Guides these Indians' childlike hearts,
As their hands to toil thou turnest,
Teaching them the Builder's arts,
Speak thy thought! as now they gather
Round the white walls on the plain,
Rearing them for God the Father,
And the glory of New Spain.

"Thou, St. Gabriel, knowest only
Why thy holy bells I raise,
To no turret proud and lonely,
There to sound the hours of praise;--
Why I keep them close beside me,
Framed within the church's walls,
Here where heathen lands shall hide me
Until death to judgment calls."

Then St Gabriel in high heaven
Told the saints this mortal's lot,
As the Angelus at even
Rose to day that dieth not;
And from out the nightly wonder
Of the darkened world would float,
Mingling with the near sea's thunder,
Yonder belfry's golden note.

"Two there were, whose loves were blighted
By the Spanish pride abhorred,
And their vows and wealth they plighted
To the Missions of the Lord.
For his church these bells she gave him,
When within their glowing mould,
She had cast what were her treasures,
--All her ornaments of gold.

"So do these, that to his seeming
Were but good as touched by her,
Ring to seek for love redeeming
All who sorrow, all who err.
Yes, though human love be ever
Heard upon the throbbing air,
This shall make his life's endeavour
Stronger through a woman's prayer.

"God is not a Lord requiring
Sacrifice of memories dear,
And their love in life untiring
To His life hath brought then near.
Thus his wish to have beside him
That which seems her voice, is good:
Lovingly the Lord hath tried him,
And his heart hath understood."

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