- Jul 2019
THE PLAINS - A PROPHECY Joaquin Miller. Rome, 1874.
Go ye and look upon that land, That far vast land that few behold, And none beholding understand- That old, old land which men call new-Go journey with the seasons through Its wastes, and learn how limitless. The solemn silence of that plain Is, oh! so eloquent. The blue And bended skies seem built for it, And all else seems a yesterday, An idle tale but illy told. Its story is of God alone, For man has lived and gone away And left but little heaps of stone. Lo! here yon learn how more than fit And dignified is silence, when You hear the petty jeers of men. Its awful solitndes remain Thenceforth for aye a part of you, And you have learned your littleness.
Some silent red men cross your track; Some sun-tanned trappers come and go; Some rolling seas of buffalo Break thunder-like and far away Against the foot-hills, breaking back Like breakers of some troubled bay; Some white-tailed antelope blown by So airy like; some foxes shy And shadow-like move to and fro Like weavers' shuttles as you pass; And now and then from out the grass You hear some lone bird cluck, and call A sharp keen call for her lost brood, That only makes the solitude Seem deeper still, and that is all.
That wide domain of mysteries And signs that men misunderstand; A land of space and dreams; a land Of sea-salt lakes and dried-up seas; A land of caves and caravans And lonely wells and pools; a land That hath its purposes and plans, That seems so like dead Palestine, Save that its wastes have no confine Till pushed against the leveled skies; A land from out whose depths shall rise The new-time prophets; the domain From out whose awful depths shall come, All clad in skins, with dusty feet, A man fresh from his Maker's hand, A singer singing oversweet, A charmer charming very wise; And then all men shall not be dumb-Nay, not be dumb, for he shall say, "Take heed, for I prepare the. way For weary feet i" and from this land The Christ shall come when next the race Of man shall look upon his face.