In Southern California

A poem by Joaquin Miller

Where the cocoa and cactus are neighbors,
Where the fig and the fir tree are one;
Where the brave corn is lifting bent sabres
And flashing them far in the sun;

Where maidens blush red in their tresses
Of night, and retreat to advance,
And the dark, sweeping eyelash expresses
Deep passion, half hush’d in a trance;

Where the fig is in leaf, where the blossom
Of orange is fragrant as fair,
Santa Barbara’s balm in the bosom,
Her sunny, soft winds in the hair;

Where the grape is most luscious; where laden
Long branches bend double with gold;
Los Angelos leans like a maiden,
Red, blushing, half shy, and half bold.

Where passion was born and where poets
Are deeper in silence than song,
A love knows a love, and may know its
Reward, yet may never know wrong.

Where passion was born and where blushes
Gave birth to my songs of the South,
And a song is a love-tale, and rushes,
Unchid, through the red of the mouth;

Where an Adam in Eden reposes,
I repose, I am glad, and take wine
In the clambering, redolent roses,
And under my fig and my vine.

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