From Yo Semite: A Poem
By Jean Bruce Washburn
San Francisco: A. Roman & Co., 1872


1872 ILLUSTRATION THOSE who have visited Yo Semite Valley will remember with what delight they first beheld the magnificent view that opens before the entranced vision from "Glacier Point." There stretches out before the astonished gaze that unparalleled scene, that unfolds itself like the entrance to eternity, while thousands of feet beneath us the valley smiles up through its filmy veil of haze--a superb Oasis--blossoming in the stupendous mountains' stony urn, like some gorgeous picture from fairy land.

Awe is awakened by the gigantic proportions of those immense domes, towering like the fabled home of the Olympian Gods against the sky--and tender love, and a spirit of worship for the Creator of all this grandeur, as we behold the beautiful green valley slumbering at the feet. To have this enrapturing and wonderful kaleidescopic vision of the valley, we must behold it through the air lens of "Glacier Point."

[Opening Lines]

IMAGINATION spreads her glittering wings,
And like a fairy from her cavern springs;
With rosy wand she kindles up the brain,
And bids thoughts rise in brilliant, glowing train,
'Till to the soul such lustrous dreams are given,
Earth seems daguerreotyping views from heaven.

. . .
[Penultimate Stanza]

Thou'rt like that Paradise so fair of old,
'Ere Sin the requiem of virtue tolled!
Thou'rt like that Eden, so supernal bright,
Where Angels hovered in Celestial light!
Thy spreading groves--thy witching fairy nooks--
Where nymph-like pine trees gird the flower-edged brooks,
All, all, so beautiful! we gaze--admire--
And feel the grandeur of each dome inspire.
Yet find no language of this world can give
The splendor of each scene--and bid it live!
No! no! Yo Semite--the eye alone,
Can bear thine impress to the mental throne,
No mortal pen can truly picture thee,
Thy regal grandeur--God-like majesty!

Yosemite Homepage