Albert Fenner Kercheval.

Dolores : and other poems online

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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1883, by

/* thereto/ the Librarian of Congress at Washington, D. C.









Comrades, we havt won the ;

Lies the Promised Land
Gently fall the shades of night,
Softly, slowly fades the light,

Starry glory g!

It is well! O, Comrcuies, sleep-
Weary with the toilsome :


But a little.

Still our wtiy mid deserts

Comrades, Brothers g.

with life s mockery hollov>.
Camping on the other shore,
Waked from slumber >:

O, sleep! we soon shall folloiv !

Ye lie where the gleaming snows

Flash far in their chilly splendor;
Ye rest where the drooping rose

/;<;/,/., / ;,- in its glory tender;
Ye sleep in the lonely I

e (lie tnira^fs gleam and glitter
In the glare of the desert sands,

Where the alkali lakes are bitter
In the gloom of the solemn hush

re the canyon s dim .v
In the track of the snow-slide s r.

re the trea .team and s;

Ye lie as the harvest sheaves

O er the field by the reaper gathered
Thick, thick as the autumn I

The breath of the frost hath withered
Where the T <J"d wide,

By margin of brook and river;
By the murrnti

Ye slumber in peace forerer!



was given to the world. It possesses immense power, and revels in a majestic, Miltonian measure,
which no modern poet, within our recollection, has so long, so purely, and so musically sustained.
We are willing to promise this poem wide recognition, and lasting reputation." Col. J. J. Ayers,
Los Angeles Express.

" We publish on the first page of this issue Mr. A. F. Kercheval s grand poem on Shakespeare
We consider it a very powerful production, and although less subtile than poor Pollock s Chandos
Picture, it pays a vigorous and lofty tribute to the genius of the great bard. Mr. Kercheval pos
sesses the poetic art in an eminent degree, and in this poem sustains a measure with great purity
and melody which is at once difficult and ponderous." [From the same.]

"We publish to-day, a genuine poetic gem from the gifted pen of Mr. Albert F. Kercheval.
The soft music of its rhythm, the delicate beauty of its word tracery, its exquisite lights and shades,
and golden vein of imagery, all stamp it as a piece which could only emanate from true poetic
genius, A Midsummer Night s Dream. " Express.

" Mr. A. F. Kercheval s pen picture of The days of 49, published to-day, is, in our opinion
the best poetical sketch of the anomalous condition of society in those times that has yet been
published. Read it." Maj. Ben. C. Truman, Los Angeles Star.

" We publish to-day, another grand poem from Mr. A. F. Kercheval. There is a sonorous sub
limity in his treatment of lofty subjects, which, without fear of respectable contradiction, we pro
nounce unequaled by any contemporaneous poet, Ode to the Sun. " Express.

" The refined reader will thank us for publishing the sublime poem Mono, from the pen of Mr.
A. F. Kercheval. It is a powerful painting, and breathes the very genius of the ghastly and repul
sive solitudes of that blasted region." Express.

" The appointment of Mr. A. F. Kercheval by the Fourth of July Literary Committee, as Poet
of the Day, reflects credit upon that committee. We shall look for something very superior from
his pen. He has written by far the best poetry yet produced on the Pacific Coast, (we do not
except Pollock,) and his tribute to Shakespeare, his Ode to the Sun, and his poem Oblivion * are
productions which Byron would have been glad to have baptized with his imprimatur." Los An
geles Express.

" Charlie Ross, by Mr. A. F. Kercheval, published in to-day s Express is one of the wittiest
and neatest things we have read in an age." Express.

" We publish to-day another poem from our gifted contributor, Mr. A. F. Kercheval, Sierra.
It is a sublime effort, repleie with lofty thought and splendid imagery. So powerful a poem should
obtain for our local bard the entree into the most select literary publications in the country, and we
hope yet to see his occasional pieces gathered in a volume and given to the world." Express.

" Friday evening s Express contained .a poem by Mr. A. F. Kercheval, entitled Sierra, that
should be read by all who admire a sterling production. It is grand in conception, felicitous in
method, and graceful in word painting. Mr. Kercheval has a good many styles, but Sierra is in
his best. He reminds us of Stedman and Carlcton, as a general thing. Yet he is a man <<f poetic
surprises. One day he will rattle off something of the Bret Harte style, except that the effort is a
superior one, and again his name appears to a poem that would rank with some of Joaquin Miller s
in exquisite sentiment and sublime thought. We cannot resist copying the last two verses." Maj.
Ben. C. Truman, Star.

" We commend the following little gem, from the sparkling pen of Mr. Albert F. Kercheval, to
the perusal of our readers. A gentleman of critical discrimination has made the following com
ments upon it: This is the prettiest and most perfect gem that I have yet seen from Mr. Kerche
val s gifted pen To a Humming-bird. " Express.

"A soul-inspiring poem, which will awake an echo in the heart of every patriot, will be found
in another column. Jt is from, the pen of our farmer-poet, Albert F. Kercheval, who, if he get his
due, will have a national reputation in as short a time as it has taken him to acquire a local one,
Stand by the President. " Republican,

"A most eloquent and affecting tribute to Hon. O. P. Morton, from the poet, Kercheval, will be
found elsewhere. No patriot can read it without deep emotion." Los Angeles Republican.


of THK "




Kerrhevar Poem*. A desire has been expressed, by a large number of the people of Los
Angeles, that our esteemed fcllow-citiren. Albert F. Kcrchcval. would allow the nubhc:.t
volume :re .f his numerous friends, and for the purpose of puttin.

manent form 1. tul pemsihal have been float ing about in a fragmentary fora forscvcral

ycars v. : Mr. will probably accede to this earnest desireon the

:s numerous friends, and puLli>h in the near future a duodecimo volume of his poetical
.:-hcation would be warmly welcomed by the people of our great Common-
wealth, among whom Mr. Kcrchcval has resided (or more than a quarter of a century. "-Republican.

Mr. Albert F. Kcrcheval. the sweet poet of Los Angeles, another of whose meritorious pro
ductions we reprint to-day, is shortly to publUh his many beautiful poems in book form. banta
Barbara Prtss.

"The granger-poet, Albert F. Kerchcval, of Los Angeles, has been solicited to publish a volume
-ms and has consented. All his poems arc readable, while some are really K . ms, and we
are pleased to find that a prophet may be honored in his own country." Culton Scmt-Tropic.

"Mr A. F. Kercheval favors us to-day with an exquisitely sweet little poem. It breathes of
verdure and flowers and velvety gl : pples as smoothly as the lucid waters of abrook over

a bed of marble pebbles, Come Again, Gentle Kain. "Express.

"The Hods love god* poetry. KerchcvaPs sweet lines, Come Again, Gentle Rain. which we
published Saturday afternoon, bore almost instant fruit. As lovely and beneficent a rain %
aswc .iuwcd swift in the train of the gentle invo.:.. ac.]

publish on this page a little gem of poetry by Albert F. Kercheval, of Los Angel-
w rcrall the name of any poet in whose fertile brain the Muses have woven sweeter fan-
a Outlook.

" Mr. A. F. Keroheval tries his master-hand in a new line of poetry to-day. In Mr. McPhcr-
son he ha- Riven us a very finished production, in which satire and humor arc exquisitely blend-
cJ." /- ./-*.

\. F. Kercheval contributes a most exquisite little poem entitled F.vr. 1 Its tones are as
dreamy and shadowy and poetic as the soft-fa . .:hor has

I art in the ethereal glamour and repose which he throws around his
delightful picture." ILxpress.

\Vc commend to our readers the perusal of Mr. Kercheval s poem Cctawayo. It has two

striking merits one itsca->v. \v; the other. .ration from a subject so unportn:

lint Mr. Krrcheval MB . try, ! ist

has the power t the most prosy and uninspiring subjects, the fire and magnetism of his

own poetic nature." Exprtst.


"Our readers who have often been delighted with the poems of our son ^trr, A. F. Kcrcheval,
will be still more pleased to sec that his young daughter, Rosalie, has entered the lists as a competi
tor for poetic honors with her talented father." AY//.

conductor of the Commercial is not in the habit of publishing original poetry in
limns, but when a composition of so much sweetness. and M full "f p <eti.: smtiri
Dream, which appears in our columns to-day, from the gr. < Kcrchcval is

offered, we take pleasure r :!e same. ; if Mr. A. 1 .

, and is in no way inferior to her father indelicacy of thought and smoothness
of rhythm." Comt>:

I Rosalie Kcrcheval furnishes us a very cleverly written poem, which we publish on our
fourth page. Miss Kerchr v maintains her light t tin- name she bears, and her verses

show that poetry is a hereditary gift in the Kerchcval family.

" Mi^ Rosalie Kercheval. daughter rules a beautiful poem, entitled

Summer Time, to the June number ol the Horticulturist." Cvmnu -rcial.

!rr the title of* Inspiration, we present to our readers this nv>rnintj a very exquisite little
poem 1 . -: Kerclicval, the Rifted daught .ihlonu.i. Mr. A. 1.

Kerchcval. It is hi . .li.ui harp, with fanciful ton li and deft mastery of rhynlc

and rhythm." Los Angeles Herald.




Above the Clouds , . _ 336

Abalone 293

After All 212

Alamo 298

Alexandrian Revel 330

Alcyone 323

Ariel of the Spring, The 304

" As the Grass " 295

Autumn 1 16

Aubrey s Ride 198

Bridal Veil, The 84

Bubble and Shadow 235

Butterfly, To A 91

Burriel 50

Bubbles 299

Captivity, The 1 53

Centennial Hymn, 1876, A 264

Children of the Sun, The 66

City of Silence, The 288

Come Again, Gentle Rain 184

Comet, To the 139

Custer 103

Day 40

Darkness and Light 291

Desert Mirage, The 209

Death Valley * . 319

Decoration Poem (May 30, 1879. ) X 125

Decoration Poem (May 30, 1880.) \ 98

Decoration Poem (iSSi.) , J 326

Decoration Poem (May 30, 1882.) I 107

Dedication Poem for Downey College 201

Death of Samson, The 248

Dirge . . / 97

Donner 266

Dotage 83

Dolores 15



I >reams ol an I lour 234

1 learnings 265

1 learning by the > 55

1 >rcams of Youth ...... 89

and Ashc, .... 243

; Sumiucr. . .

Katon, Treble County, Ohio


Erin (iSCo.)...

; \

Evening .188

S3 1

Fading Roses . 197

Fall of Vanity, The. ... . . 2 16

1 inis .312

of the Commandment 159

Glory s Last Dream 231

God s Country California

Ilesperia. . . . . 41

Hope s -

llumming-birl, To A . . . . . 355

Illusion .65

Illusion.. . . 2S3

Illinois i- i

In Memoriam (John Glass.) . 322


Jack Van Duscn. .

Jubilee Poem . . . 2\j

mette,"Thc.... .305

ida <le la Mut-rte (The Jo-.inv.-y of I ) c .ith) 59

i ump, The

"Life I> but a Dream* 347



. . IOO



I .inorama . . 301

Life and Death.. .. 287

. r 56

Magdalcna . 208


Meeting of the Kings, The

Memorial Poem (May 30, 1883.) 145



Mississippi 109

Miserere Domine no

Midnight Musings 113

Mission San Gabriel 205

Mission San Fernando, A. D., 1882 280

Midsummer Night s Dream, A 45

Mount San Bernardino 87

Montecito 147

Moon, To the 144

Mono 151

Moonlight in Los Angeles 46

Morton 137

Mutations 253

Murder 135

Mystery 310

Never Go Back on a Friend 134

Northland and Southland 1 36

Nevermore " 90

Oblivion 189

October V: ? *,: ..-.^ ... 129

Ode to the Sun 157

"Old John Brown".... ^^jr? . Off. XIU; . . . . :\ 5

Opening of the Seals, The (Revelation*) .^ : jr. WE Xf IT- T- !p V-Ji 308

Orange Tree, The % - a- 142

Ostrich, The 311

Our Dead President ..... . ; .. 296

Pasadena . . . : ./"YD i >< r T^T 324

Perished Cities 284

Phantom City, The 51

Phantoms 262

Pioneer Reveille 228

Poem (July 4th, 1875.) 249

Poem for Union Temperance Meeting 191

Poem for Southern California Horticultural Exposition 219

Poem (To Teachers of Los Angeles Public Schools.) 357

Queen of the Angels, The (1781-1881.) 344

Requiem for the Old Year, A 1 24

Relieved (Burial Hymn) ... 187

Remorse -76

Reveries at Eve ... 42

Rest -79

River of Death, The :-7

Riverside 95

San Diego - 5

Sea, By the 120

Sea, O, Sea -37

Sequoia Gigantea 185



Shad . ... 26 3

Shakespcar 3 60

Shiloh 2I 3


. . -

Signs. &

Sir John l82

Snowstorm i; . . in

Song of the Drum, Thr I2 3

Soul, To the... 2 3"
Song of Thank-
Song of the \Vii.
Song of theLocomotivr. i

Song of the ! 3o

Song of the Old and the New, A -245

Song of Sighs ... 92

Song of the Queen, T!: 93

Song of the Sain -94

... ! "9

Song =-7

Springtime 2 54

Stand by the Preside: ,t

Su h / f 5S

Suiter s Tort 43

Sunris- &


T of the Seas Tin- .



To Our

i :

Vanuc. ! 33


Vintage, Ti


Welcome from Los Angeles to S.ui 1 r

me, Gentle Rain ! 3

" What Is the S ...Si

-poor-will -343

\Voc ! 2 55

Work and \\ -321

fog .... 260

Yucca . , 349



Alkali Jim 405

Ashmead 371

Alameda Street Goat, To the 430

Autopsical 428

Bully for Elaine 378

Baby 392

Cetawayo 384

Charley Ross 404

Charge of the Light (Clad) Brigade, The 407

" Come, Where Your Love Lies Dreaming" 374

Czar s Coronation, The 376

Dam(n) the Debris _ , 375

Denis Kearney ^4

Diospyrus Kaki (" Fruit of the Gods.") 418

Dynamo 442

Eastern Question, The 410

Fact vs. Science ..... 373

Go Slow, Young Man 382

Ilattie Higgins _ . 420

Hot ! Hotter ! ! Hottest ! ! ! 443

In Camp 1849 400

In Memoriam . 417

John Doe 445

John Chinaman ; My Jo, John 383

Jim Blaine 433

King Theebau 396

"Lo! the Poor Indian" 447

Landlord s Story, The 449

Mr. McPherson 416

Modern Love s Young Dream 419

O! Semi-Trop 398

"O! Why Should the Spirit of Mortal Be Proud ? " 387

Oleomargarine 390

Our Late Celebration 412

Our Party at Murderer s Bar 367

Picnic Poetry 448

" Poor Old Bones " 399

Ravoninahtritriniarivo 395

Romeo and Juliet (Modern Version) 456

Stock Wizards, The 431

Song of Chin Lan Pin, The 411

Smith, of " Sucker Flat " 380

That Little Difficulty Twixt Me and Joe McNulty 435

Trouble 389

Ye Weather Prophet 379



Antony After the Defeat 506

Among the Flowers 468

Along the Shore 5

Coliseum,! 523

Cleopa - jliloquy

. . .. 4-Si

- 5 01

kk . . 511


. . . t

\ . . :

: >ne, The 510

i ^ima, The- ... 512

From the 1 iiit

of . \i-ht, The

Fort on t .jc Hill, The $16

( iolden Summer, A

icir.orkun (Eugenia.)

. ion 5

i v >

;i ( I lenry \V. Longfellow) >

; ne, The -

Memphis 499

Night i

Tide, To the

I hanta 7

. i . i

Rose, To A

Summer Time


Siege of Monterey, The .518

Song of the Tro;. }

. 57


. : y, A 463

Unforgivi-M - 5-7

fthcSumn. . \ 5 26

Weariness 53





Ye who are tired of thfc world, weary of ways of cities,
Dizzy with Life s swift whirl, sweeping in mazy circle,
Sick at heart with the empty, frivolous freaks of Fashion,
Tired of gilded show, loathing Earth s vanities fleeting,
Leave for a while its cares, hollowness and heartburnings ;
Know what it is to live free from frail folly s trammels ;
Wander with me to the vale, softest of earth s and fairest,
Where restful Nature dreams, slumbers and smiles the sweetest:
Here in San Gabriel s vale, bitterness, strife, forgetting,
Look on a vision fair, bright as the dream of Eden ;
Look on its trees of life, wisdom and strength, free-giving;
Pluck of the golden fruits, tempting and unforbidden;
Eat and ye shall not die ; fear not the curse primeval,
Here stands no angel dread, guarding the flowery portal,
Threatening with sword of flame, they that may long to enter.

This is the Mission gray, tottering with age and hoary ;

Here cluster round its door, round its quaint altar mouldy,

Many a tale of the past, many a dim tradition;

Many a tender dream, many a memory holy

All that to human heart is purified, high and sacred ;

Still call its silvery bells, waking the slumbering echoes,

Telling the tale of Faith, childlike, trustful and simple,

Kept through dim Time s mutations, kept through a century s

changes ;

Here in its churchyard quaint, slumber a century s dreamers;
Dreamers of fond romance, dreamers of pride, ambition ;
Dreamers of gorgeous dreams, blissful and ever-changing,
Even as ours to-day. Lo ! from the memory fading,
As the deep sunset glows into the misty twilight,

1 6 Dolores.

Dreamless, oblivious, still, passionless dust and ashes.
Tenderly, softly step, here are the graves of sleepers
Long ago mourned and wept; long ago all forgotten
Patriarchs of the past, matrons and youths and maidens,
Children that laughed in glee, infants that lisped and prattled,
Here in this quiet spot sleeping the last deep slumber.

Here arc two crosses dim ; these arc the graves of lovers,

Constant to each through life; here, but in death united

Noble and brave Gonzalcs; sorrowful, sweet Dolores.

Ye that may wonder here ever came sin and sorrow

Blasting the flowers of love, sweet in their spring-time blooming;

Ye that would fain forget earth and its fretful chafing,

Turn from life s cares a space; this is the story listen :

Backward, O memory! turn over a century s pages;
Gaze on a virgin scene, dim through the mists and hazes ;
Land of unclouded skies, kissed by the south sea zephyr,
As v/ith a dreamy spell of magic the soul entrancing;
Breath of perpetual Spring, murmur of crystal fountains
Glory of myriad flowers, carpet-like, far, wide-spread ii
League upon league of splendor; year after year bright fleeting,
Lulling the soul to sleep with pastoral sounds inviting,
ii by vision chased, dream after dream succeeding;
Peace with soft folded wings; Plenty dark Care far cl.
Cattle-clothed all thy plains, steeds like hosts battle-marshaled ;
Happy the countless herds; all thy sweet bowers and woodlands
Thrilled with the songster s notes, meadow-lark s and the linnet s,
Glad with their hymns of praise, the musical mock-bird s measure;
Gem of the queenly West, gleaming in golden setting,
Laved by the Occident seas, girt by the tall Sierras
This was the picture framed the Land of the early Missions.

Patriarchs watching their flocks, clouding their leagues wide-

Year after year waxing richer in herds and in blooming children.
Sweetly the Mission bells calling to prayer at vesper;

Dolores. \ j

Happy the primitive life of the people trustful and simple,
Year after year going by, peace and contentment filling-,
Watching their blooming bowers, orange and bending olive,
Bright-flushed pomegranate s glow, purple of trailing vineyards;
Life gliding by as a dream ; somnolent at the noontide,
Quickened at morn and eve by the sweet dewy freshness ;
Nought to disturb the dream, save when some daring trader
Braving the countless leagues and loneliness of boundless ocean,
Came with white wings outspread, like a sea bird s gleaming and


Over the trackless waste, arid folding his pinions wearv,
Rested and rode in peace, in the slumbering bay of San Pedro;

Or when the heathen hordes, the treacherous tribes of the desert

Came from the lonely wastes, their unknown haunts far eastward,

Over the seas of sand, over the drear Mohave,

Over the deathly plains of desolate Amargosa,

Down through the lone Cajon, or -slumber-rapt San Fernando,

Raiding the peaceful lands, despoiling the rich ranchcros;

Coming with serpent-stealth, and passing away like the whirlwind,

Back to their gloomy dens in the desolate heart of the desert,

Bearing rich booty of steeds, maidens and children captive.

Here in the Mission shades, pure as the dew-drop sparkling,

Here livetf and loved a maid, sorrowful, sweet Dolores,

Beautiful as a dream, fair as our mother primal,

Ere the false serpent came, ere to his tale she listened ;

Blest by the young and old, blest by the holy padres,

Shedding on all her love, shedding o er all a sunshine.

Hither from vales afar, many an ardent wooer,

Pleading his passion s suit, many a caballero

Came in hope s pomp and pride, boasting his birth and riches;

Whispered his tale of love, went on his way in sorrow;

One with a wrathful heart, full of revenge and anger,

Fierce as the grizzly roused, Lopez, of San Diego.

Only one gallant, bold, noblest of all, Gonzalcs,

Lord of a wide domain, bursting with generous fullness,

Spurring his glossy steed, gentle, yet proud and daring,

i S Dolores.

Came in the flush of hope, rode not away despairing;
Back to his countless herds clothing the plain in fatness,
Back to his sylvan home, the valley of San Fernando,
Hearing with him a heart true as the word eternal,
Taking with him a love priceless above all treasure;
So like a dream the days passed to the blissful lovers;

r the flowery leagues spreading like gorgeous carpet,
Day after day like the wind came he with haste impatient.
Spurring his noble steed came he with ardent longing.


Sweet is thy wine, O love, to the lips that once have tasted !
Sad is thy heart, O dove, when Springtime s flush is wasted !
Sunshine and smile and May, how should we dream of sorrow !
Bluest of skies to day, darkest of storm to-morrow.
Spring in the sun-kissed land, fanned by the softest zephyrs;
Is o er the flowery leagues, wheeling like war s battalions;
Stallions tossing their manes, marshaling sleek manadas,
Proud as imperious sultans, jealously guarding their harems;
Picturesque, swift vaqucros, sweeping the plain like whirlwind,
Proud in their gay attire, silver-gilt all their trappings,
Saddles, and bridles, and spurs; gorgeous in calzoneros
Flashing with silvery gleams, shadowed by broad sombreros;
Hurling with circling sweep the coil of the deadly lasso.

Twilight and hush of eve! forth in the whispering shadow,
Under the sighing trees, wandered the blissful maiden,
Dreaming the old, sweet dream, dreamed through the countless


Dreaming of naught but love, soon would her lover claim her,
Soon would to-morrow s sun look on two hearts united ;
Blest be their happy love, by the priest at the holy altar.
Noiseless and swift, a form gliding from out the darkness
Sprang, as the panther springs, suddenly on his victim;
.Seizing her trembling form, fierce in his cruel talons,
.Stifled her cries for help, grasping her fair throat rudely;

Dolores. 1 9

Muffled her shrieks and moans in the folds of her own rebosa;
Fastened her slender wrists each to the other firmly
So bore her swooning form forth to a steed in waiting-,
Guarded by comrades twain, shrouded in gloom and shadow.
Swift on his steed he sprang, snatching her form unconscious,
Fierce from his henchmen s arms, bidding them quickly follow;
Madly the hoof-strokes rang out on the stilly darkness,
Slackening not their speed till wild San Gabriel s torrent,
Savage and bowlder-strewn, muttered and moaned before them.
Hard by the canyon s mouth other fresh steeds awaited
One for the captive maid, led by her cruel captors ;
Then at a brief command, muttered and stern, by the leader,
Onward and upward they pressed, onward mid fear and danger.

On through the canyon s jaws, threatening with death and terror,
Riven in ages past in the throes of the earth s convulsions;
Breasting the torrent s wrath, over the treacherous bowlders,
Through the dark chaparral wastes, thorny and thick and cruel ;
Up over dizzy steeps, scaling precipitous faces,
Pallid and white with awe, blanched as in fear forever;

Online LibraryAlbert Fenner KerchevalDolores : and other poems → online text (page 1 of 25)