|"...In the Placer Herald, we read:
'The following poem, 'A Sierra Memory,' the best ever written of scenes
and old times of Placer's mining country of the Iowa Hill and Forest Hill
divides, is by Anna Catharine Markham. She is a native of Iowa Hill, and
was the loved school teacher there thirty years ago. Now she is the poet,
secretary of the Poetry Society of America, and wife of America's great
poet, Edwin Markham. In New York she sings with love her memories of
her Iowa Hill home of long ago."
|"A SIERRA MEMORY"
|"Sometimes, O California, far away,
I stop and fondly say your name,
As when one speaks a secret word of prayer
Upon a heart-remembered holiday.
And then, once more, like sudden altar-flame,
Burns up the long, bright gold adown the air,
Behind your mountain crests that break the sky,
My earliest memory of time---your flight
Of purple peaks that edge the night,
Crowned with ineffable, far, fadeless light.
"Oh, just the magic of that word,
And quick a hundred memories are stirred!
I see the wondrous months of rain deferred,
When pines and herb sift down their quick, keen
As Magdalen spilled the rose of odorous balms---
The months when coppery skies are arched
Above down-dwindling streams, and roadsides
Yet rich with dim, evasive hues and hints---
As though rehearsing all of April's tints---
And then the delicate first November rain
That kindles blaze of green on hill and plain
And calls the perished flowers to life again.
And, lo! the rifted rocks of the ravine
With penciled, old-gold violets in between;
The manzanita, with its bells aswing
To tell of small, tart apples she will bring;
The Ceanothus, with its white bloom spread
Upon the ground like crumbs of bread;
The poppy, lifting up its warm, red gold
Our miser hearts in heaven will hold;
Memophila, cream-cup, cyclamen,
Azalea, lupine---Oh! I know just when
My lost ones come, and where the eye may catch
Each thronging clan in its own happy patch.
"The old home-name! And suddenly in dream,
I see again the lizard's dartling gleam,
Its sanctuary in the granite seam;
At night I hark coyote's hollow dare,
Braggert when but the moon is there.
I scan the hazel thicket, where the deer
Find harvest in the brown o' the year;
The bounteous immemorial parks of oak,
Whose acorns feed the bear and Indian folk;
The quiet forests of the pine and spruce,
Where time and grief hold endless truce.
"O California, just the dear old sound---
Again that one word can the whole world bound!
Thank God, for that Sierran world; a king
Might go his way, long envying,
Among illimitable peaks high-hung
With forests, dateless, deathless---ever young---
The child-world bright with faith and hope.
Larger, not safer, sweeter, now the scope
Than when in my Sierran mining camp
I knew the folk at every evening lamp;
Was welcome at each hearth and sill;
Was friend with every grave upon the hill;
That time when men of every land of earth
Walked down our roads as brothers of one birth."
|Excerpt from....History of Placer and Nevada Counties California with Biographical
Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the Counties Who Have Been Identified with
Their Growth and Development for the Early Days to the Present, W. B. Lardner and M. J.
Brock, Historic Record Company, 1924
|What is the future of our history?