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Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Company.

Rhymes of the Rockies, or, What the poets have found to say of the beautiful scenery on the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, the scenic line of the world online

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BANCROFT
LIBRARY

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THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY
OF CALIFORNIA











THE








BANCROFT UWMW



RHYMES OF THE ROCKIES;

OR,

WHAT THE POETS HAVE FOUND TO SAY



BEAUTIFUL SCENERY



DENVER & RIO GRANDE RAILROAD,



THE SCENIC LINE OF THE WORLD.



EIGHTH EDITION, 200,000



COPYRIGHT, 1887, BY S. K/ HOOPER.



CHICAGO:

POOLE BROS., PRINTERS AND ENGRAVERS.
1891.



PRESENTATION.

^\s little Book of poems,
Descriptive of Scenes among tfye Kocky fountains

as DtetDeb from trains

of
tEfye Denver & Hio (Sranbe Kailroab,

is presenteb untfy tfye
compliments

of




General Passenger Agent.



S. K. HOOPER, General Passenger Agent, - PE
F. A. WADLKIOH, Ass't Gen'l Pass'r and Ticket Agent, DE
W. B. COBB, General Eastern Agent, 379 Broadway, Nmv
J. W. SLOSSON, General Agent, 236 Clark St., - - CHI
L. B. EVELAKD, Traveling Agent, 105 W. 9th St., KANSAS
W. F. TIBBITS, Traveling Agent, .... DE
A. N. OLIVER, City Passenger Agent, - - DE
W. M. RANK, General Agent, 204 Front St., - SAN FRAN



PREFACE.

WHEREVER Nature appears in her grander moods,
her inspiration stirs the heart and the imagination,
and whether it be the "Banks and Braes o' Bonnie
Doon," the Crags of the "Rio de Las Animas," "The
Royal Gorge," the rocky declivities of " Ben Venue " or the
cleft summit of " The Mount of the Holy Cross," the poetic
spirit is invoked and a rhythmic offering laid upon the
altar of the muses. The picturesque countries of the old
Q world have been immortalized in song, and to show that
Colorado, one of the newest portions of the new world,
has not failed to inspire the same sentiments in the hearts
i* of none the less sincere poets, this book has been pre-
pared. Upon these pages are presented a few of the con-
1 tributions to poetic literature incited by beholding scenes
j grander and more varied than those of Scotland, Italy or
O Switzerland, all the more valuable because spontaneous
O and therefore expressive of genuine emotions. In order

that nothing may be lacking in the conveying of a vivid
impression, pictures which are works of art supplement
the poems, and to further assist the imagination of those
who have not beheld these scenes and to refresh the mem-
ory of those who have beheld them, brief but accurate
descriptions have been added. In a work of this character,
brevity must be observed and only typical poems and
scenes have been selected. The mid-continent region
traversed by the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad possesses
without doubt the most magnificent scenery in the world
and the difficulty has been, not what to select, but what
to omit. As it is, this book must be considered as only a
hint as to what exists in the wonderland of the Rocky
mountains and its object will be attained if it excite an
intelligent interest in the most picturesque portion of our
country.



J/fr



. .



RHYMES OF THE ROCKIES.



PRELUDE.

My country 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,

Of thee I sing;
Land where our fathers died,
Land of the pilgrim's pride,
From every mountain side

Let Freedom ring.

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free

Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills

Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees,

Sweet freedom's song;
Let mortal tongues awake,
Let all that breathe partake,
Let rocks their silence break,

The sound prolong.

Our father's God to thee,
Author of Liberty,

To thee I sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light;
Protect us by thy might,

Great God, our King.



RHYMES OF THE ROCKIES.



PALMER LAKE.

PALMER LAKE, in addition to being a place of
exceeding beauty, is a natural curiosity, poised, as
it is, exactly on the summit of the "Divide," a spur
of the outlying range of the Rockies, extending eastward
into the great plains, and from this summit the waters of
the lake flow northward to the Platte and southward to
the Arkansas. Approached from either Denver or Pueblo,
via the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, it breaks suddenly
upon the sight, a vision of sylvan beauty and delight.
Red-roofed, picturesque cottages nestle here and there
among the hills, gaily-painted boats float gracefully upon
the bright blue waters, a fountain in the center flings its
spray half a hundred feet into the air, and on either hand
rugged peaks, pine-clad and broken by castellated rocks,
rise into a sky whose cerulean hue is reflected by the
placid waters of the lake. Excellent hotels and livery
establishments furnish good accommodations for sojourn-
ers. Surely here can be found the realization of Petrarch's

lines:

" The ray

Of a bright sun can make sufficient holiday,
Developing the mountains, leaves and flowers,
And shining in the brawling brook, whereby,
Clear as its current, glide the sauntering hours

With a calm languor, which, though to the eye
Idlesse it seem, hath its morality."

Closely contiguous is Glen Park, an assembly ground
modeled after the famous Chautauqua and destined to
become equally as popular in the West as its prototype in
the East. Objects of natural interest are abundant and
the walks and drives to Glen D'Eau, Bellview Point, Ben
Lomond, the Arched Rocks and the canons and glens
adjacent afford material for enjoyment in the seeing and
for many pleasant memories.



RHYMES OF THE ROCKIES.



PALMER LAKE.



W. E. PABOR.



Serene and sweet and smiling as a bride
Nestles Lake Palmer on the green Divide;
The hills around it, the blue sky above,
The summer sunshine bathing it in love;
Fair as the lochs that lie in Scotia's glens,
Worthy the praise that comes from poets' pens.
Its sparkling waters in the sunshine gleam
Full of the glamour of the sweetest dream.

Toward the sunset, in the green defile,
The pine trees rustle and the wild flowers smile;
The crystal waters of the creek flow by,
White as the snows that on the mountains lie;
Within the shadow bits of sunshine rest
Like diamonds gleaming from an umber nest;
Wild roses blush at kisses given by bees
And black-birds twitter underneath the trees.



The waters ripple to the lake's green shore,
Timing the dipping of the boatman's oar;
The fountain glistens in the sun's warm beams,
The white spray falling down in rainbow streams;
The air is full of melody and sound,
Voices float out as if from fairy ground,
And all our thoughts to happy fancies run
Under the languor of the summer sun.

Oh! lake of beauty, glen of sweet content!

On the headwaters of the Monument;

The hills that hide thee, and each bosky dell

That nestles near thee, but one story tell ;

To those who love fair Nature when she waits

And smiles a welcome at the open gates,

Where Pleasure stands to lead to leaf-robed nooks

And sweet delights we cannot find in books.



RHYMES OF THE ROCKIES.



THE GARDEN OF THE GODS.

THE GARDEN OF T.HE GODS is a valley of won-
ders easily accessible from Manitou. Approached
from the west the entrance is through what may
aptly be called a postern gate in contrast with the entrance
from the east through the grand gateway. In this solitude
nature has perpetrated many strange freaks of sculpture
and of architecture, as if she were diverting herself after
the strain of the mighty mood in which the mountains
were brought forth. Solitude is here unbroken by the resi-
dence of man, but inanimate forms of stone supply quaint
and grotesque suggestions of life. Here are found hints
of Athens and the Parthenon, Palmyra and the Pyramids,
Karnac and her crumbling columns. Many of these mono-
liths are nearly tabular and reach the height of three and
four hundred feet. Two of the loftier ones, with a small
space between, make the two portals of the famed gate-
way. After their form, their most striking feature is their
color, which glows with an intensity of red unknown in
any of the sandstones of the east. Standing outlined
against a spotless sky of blue, with the white light of the
sun falling upon them, these portals flash with the bright
splendor of carnelian. The inanimate forms have received
appropriate designations. There is a "Statue of Liberty,"
a "Cathedral Spire," a "Dolphin," a "Bear and Seal," a
"Lion," a "Griffin," and hundreds of other quaint and
curious figures, making a list far too extended for recapitu-
lation here. No words can describe the weird attractions
of this wonderful garden, which, once beheld, however, can
never be forgotten. The impression is of something
mighty, unreal and supernatural. Of the gods surely but
of the gods of the Norse Walhalla in some of their strange
outbursts of wild rage or uncouth playfulness.



IO RHYMES OF THE ROCKIES.

THE GARDEN OF THE GODS,

WILLIAM ALLEN BUTLER.

Beneath the rocky peak that hides

In clouds its snow-flecked crest,
Within these crimson crags abides

An Orient in the West.
These tints of flame, these myriad dyes,

This Eastern desert calm,
Should catch the gleam of Syrian skies,

Or shade of Egypt's palm.

As if to bar the dawn's first light

These ruby gates are hung;
As if from Sinai's frowning height

These riven tablets flung.
But not the Orient's drowsy gaze,

Young Empire's opening lids
Greet these strange shapes, of earlier days

Than Sphinx or Pyramids.

Here the New West its wealth unlocks,

And tears the veil aside,
Which hides the mystic glades and rocks

The Red man deified.
This greensward, girt with tongues of flame.

With spectral pillars strewn,
Not strangely did the savage name

A haunt of gods unknown.

Hard by the gentle Manitou
His healing fountains poured;

Blood -red, against the cloudless blue,
These storm -tossed Titans soared.



With torrents wild and tempest blast,

And fierce volcanic fires,
In secret moulds has Nature cast

Her monoliths and spires.

Their shadows linger where we tread,

Their beauty fills the place;
A broken shrine its votaries fled

A spurned and vanished race.
Untouched by Time the garden gleami,

Unplucked the wild flower shines,
And the scarred summit's rifted seams

Are bright with glistening pines.

And still the guileless heart that waits

At Nature's feet may find,
Within the rosy, sun-lit gates,

A hidden glory shrined.
His presence feel to whom, in fear,

Untaught, the savage prayed,
And, listening in the garden, hear

His voice, nor be afraid.



12 RHYMES OF THE ROCKIES.



MANITOU.

R^ANITOU is the ideal summer resort, having been
I \ favored by nature with healing springs equal, if
A Jl not superior, in efficacy to those of Ems or Spa
or Saratoga, and being surrounded by scenery more beau-
tiful, grand and varied than that of any similar resort in
the world. Here is an Arcadian valley, lying at the foot
of Pike's Peak, protected by encircling mountains and
enlivened by the foam-bedecked, flashing waters of the
Fountain que Bouille, which, full of the sprightliness of
its youth in Ute Pass and its escapade at Rainbow Falls,
comes dashing and splashing and singing its happy song:

" I chatter over stony ways,

In little sharps and trebles:
I hubble int.o eddying bays,
I babble on the pebbles."

This valley is made the site of a village, picturesque in its
construction and abounding in hotels which rival in elegance
and luxury those of the famous Eastern watering-places.
With a climate renowned for its salubrity, with medicinal
springs of acknowledged superiority, with pure air, bright
sunshine and a walk or drive leading to some new object
of interest for each day in the week, Manitou has justly
received the palm as the most charming of summer
resorts. Easily accessible, being a station on the Denver
& Rio Grande Railroad, only three hours' ride from Den-
ver or Pueblo, it is thronged each season by the wealth,
cultivation and fashion, not only of Colorado, but also of
the East, from all parts of which may be found represent-
atives whose days of enjoyment here not only secure
their return, but also the presence of their friends, attracted
by the glowing reports of those who have experienced its
manifold attractions.



RHYMES OF THE ROCKIES.



MANITOU.



EDGAR )'. VANGASSEN.

Where the shadow of the mountain
Meets the sunshine of the fountain,
Listen t o these voices singing
And the message tliey are bringing :



SPIRIT OF THE SPRINGS:

Sister spirit of the stream
Is it real or a dream?
Faces in their color change,
Voices take a wider range;
Nature's emerald bosom shows
Charm and color of the rose;
Tell me, spirit, is it true,
All things old give place to new?



SPIRIT OF THE SPRINGS:

Sister spirit of the stream
It is real, not a dream!
Echoes as from Eden wake
Music such as seraphs make
In each glen and through each rift
Where your shining waters drift;
While the song of youth and maid
. Crown each cool and shadowed glade.



SPIRIT OF THE STREAM:

Sister spirit of the spring,
Fresher, clearer voices sing
Of a whiter, later race
Taking the swart Indian's place.
Art to Nature gives her hand;
Fashion waves her magic wand,
And the languorous glamour cast
Veils the glory of the past.



SPIRIT OF THE STREAM:

From the peak down which I flow
With my water born of snow,
To the valley lands that lie
'Neath a warm and sunny sky,
All the air is full of change,
Change as sweet as it is strange ;
And my song forever chimes
To these later, happier times.



THE SPIRITS OF THE SPRINGS AND STREAM:



Whiter tepees crown our hills,
Sweeter lips now touch our rills;
Under Manitou's bright skies
Fairer faces meet our eyes;
And where crystal waters glide
Happy lovers blush and hide;
Dusky features fade away,
Saxon faces crown To-Day.



Flash on fountain, roll on river,

Snow crowned peak and sun- kissed vale /
These are Nature's gifts forever,

Until Nature's self shall fail.




IN CHEYENNE CANON.



RHYMES OF THE ROCKIES.



CHEYENNE CANON.

GiEYENNE CANON is full of surprises. A pleasant
drive of four miles from Colorado Springs brings
one to the place. The vulgar linear measure of its
length is" out of harmony with the winding path, over
rocks, between straight pines and across the rushing waters
of the brook that boils down the whole rocky cut. The
narrow gorge ends in a round well of granite, down one
side of which leaps, slides, , oams and rushes a series of
cascades seven falls in r'ne pouring the water from the
melted snow above into this cup. In this deep hollow
only the noonday sun ever shines. Going up the canon,
with the roar of the waters ihead and the winding path
before one, the loftiness and savage wildness of the walls
catch only a dizzying glance, but coming out their sides
seem to touch the heavens and to be measureless. The
eye can hardly take in the vast 'weight and, with the after-
noon sun touching only the extreme tops, one realizes in
what a crevice and fissure of the rocks the cafion winds.
A comparison between this and the Via Mala and the
other wild gorges of the Alps is impossible, but had legend
and history and poetry followed it for centuries Cheyenne
cafion would have its great features acknowledged. Above
the waterfall, on the eastward slope of Cheyenne mount-
ain, is the grave of one of America's truest poets and most
remarkable women, "H. H." Here the late Helen Hunt
Jackson lies asleep among the scenes she loved.

" Such graves as these are pilgrims' shrines

Shrines to no codes or creed confined,
The Delphian Vales, the Palestines,
The Meccas of the mind."

Cheyenne cafion has henceforth and forever a profounder
meaning, its unexampled beauty being supplemented by
a sacred and tender memory.



16 RHYMES OF THE ROCKIES.



CHEYENNE CANON



STANLEY WOOD.



Oh, Cheyenne cafion! in thy dim defiles,

Where glooms the light, as through cathedral aisles,

Where flash and fall bright waters, pure as air,

Where wild birds brood, wild blossoms bloom, and where

The wind sings anthems through the darkling trees,

A presence breathes the tenderest melodies,

Songs that the finer ears of poets feel
But do not hear, ethereal chords that steal
Upon the soul, as fragrance of the flowers,
Unseen, unknown, from undiscovered bowers,
Enwraps the senses with a deep delight.
Pure as the stars and tender as the night.

For here in Nature's arms there lies asleep
One who loved Nature with a passion deep,
Who knew her language and who read her book,
Who sang her music, which the bird, the brook,
The winds, the woods, the mountains and the seas
Chant ever, in commingling harmonies.

Oh, Cheyenne cafion! through thy dim defiles

The music floats as through cathedral aisles;

The singer silent, but the song is heard

In sigh of wind and carolling of bird.

All these the poet's melodies prolong,

For Nature now sings o'er her loved one's song.



18 RHYMES OF THE ROCKIES.

VETA PASS.

rROM VETA PASS one beholds a scene of great
magnificence, but it is not alone the view that
repays the tourist; the ascent itself is fraught with
the profoundest interest. The Denver & Rio Grande Rail-
road accomplishes the summit by a series of stupendous
grades and the most remarkable curve in the history of
railroad engineering. The "muleshoe curve" is a scientific
achievement worth a trip across the continent to see.
The road is a mere groove cut in the side of the mountain,
which is so steep that a boulder set in motion goes
thundering down and does not stop until it reaches the
bottom of the gorge. But thrilling as this passage is,
up the sinuous roadway along the mountain side, it has
no real elements of danger in it. No accident has ever
happened here and, should a part of the train break away,
it would be stopped in less than a car's length by the
prompt action of the automatic brake with which all
trains on this mountain-climbing system are provided.
But it is from the summit of the Pass that one looks upon
a scene of stupendous magnificence. From the pinnacle
he gazes eastward to the dim horizon line where the
cloudless sky shuts down upon the ever-widening plains,
broken, to the south, by the symmetrical Spanish peaks.
Turning to the west, he sees the majestic form of Sierra
Blanca, the loftiest mountain in the Rocky range, and
rendered more remarkable by its triple peak, while, to
the north, La Veta mountain stands stupendous and
sublime. The climb has been difficult up the tremendous
grade of 211 feet to the mile, but, when the apex has
been reached, the train glides into the timber and halts
at the handsome stone station over nine thousand feet
above the level of the distant sea.



RHYMES OF THE ROCKIES. 19



VETA PASS.

EDGAR PEARSON.

Imperial heights of Veta's star-crowned crest!

Entranced with rapture on the Pass I stand.
San Luis park, an empire, to the west,

Sky-piercing peaks upreared on every hand.

Chiefest of all Sierra Blanca towers,

Monarch of mountains, whose imperial frown

Marks him supreme among these giant powers,
Whose Titan brow upbears a triple crown.

Serenely grand against the azure sky,
Far to the east, the Spanish peaks uprear

Twin pyramids, snow-crowned and high,
A dream of Egypt to the sight appear.

A granite ocean slumbers at my feet,

Whose waves are mountains and whose foam is snow;
The clouds beneath me, like a ghostly fleet,

Sail slowly by, but whither none may know.

Below the serpent path, the sinuous coil,

By which we pass beyond these granite bars,

Bears witness that it is alone by toil

Mankind may reach at last the shining stars.



RHYMES OF THE ROCKIES. 21

SIERRA BLANCA.

SIERRA BLANCA is the monarch of the Rocky
range and the loftiest mountain, with one excep-
tion, in the United States. It is characterized by
the peculiarity of a triple peak and rises directly from the
plain to the stupendous height of 14,469 feet, over two
miles and three-fifths of sheer ascent. A magnificent view
of this mountain is obtained from the cars of the Denver
& Rio Grande Railroad as soon as the descent from Veta
Pass into the San Luis Valley has been made. Surely it
is worth a journey across the continent to obtain a view of
such a mountain! Although a part of the range, it stands
at the head of the valley, like a monarch taking pre-
cedence of a lordly retinue. Two-thirds of its height is
above timber-line, bare and desolate, and except for a
month or two of midsummer, dazzling white with snow,
while in its abysmal gorges it holds eternal reservoirs of ice.

"Oh, sacred mount with kingly crest

Through tideless ether reaching,
The earth-world kneels to hear the prayer

Thy dusky slopes are teaching.
With mystic glow on sunset eyes
All trembling lie thy blood-red leaves,
Their silken veins with gold inwrought.
Oh, glorious is thy world-wide thought!"

The lower slopes of the mountain are clad in vast
forests of pine and hemlock, while its grand triad of gray
granite peaks lift into the sky their sharp pyramidal pin-
nacles, splintered and furrowed by the storm-compelling
and omnipotent hand of the Almighty. To the north and
south, for a distance of nearly two hundred miles, it is
flanked by the serrated crests of the Sangre de Cristo
range, the whole forming a panorama of unexampled
grandeur and beauty.



22



RHYMES OF THE ROCKIES.



SIERRA BLANCA.



PATIENCE STAPLETON.



North star o'er seas of land,
Mountain, serene and grand,
Sentinel of the Rockies stand,

Sierra Blanca;
Dial of recorded time
Reared in solitude sublime.



In the light of that far day

What strange races, who shall say,

Lived their lives and went their way?

Sierra Blanca;

What strange monsters of the deep
Went to dust in death's last sleep?



Poets, raptured, long have told
Of the crown of sunset gold
Resting on thy crest so old,

Sierra Blanca;
In all this land is given
Thee to be nighest Heaven.



Ere that exile on him fell
Once the Indian loved him well,
Happy in thy shades to dwell,

Sierra Blanca;
Now the wolf in hidden lair
Unmolested scents the air.



Vision to the artist rare

Is the purple robe so fair

Thou with kingly grace doth wear,

Sierra Blanca;

And thy velvet pall of night,
Crown stars deck with jewels bright.



Once the Spanish cavalier
Held thee in his heart so dear,
Half in love, half in fear,

Sierra Blanca;

Martyr priests might happy sigh
At thy glorious feet to die.



Once the waves of oceans past
Silver waves rolling fast
Sunny spray o'er thee cast,

Sierra Blanca;

Forests green crept up thy side,
Followed close the ebbing title.



Over all the green plains wide
Peace and joy do now abide,
Happy homes below thee hide,

Sierra Blanca;
High uplifted childish eyes
.Liken thee to Paradise.



24 RHYMES OF THE ROCKIES.




WAGON WHEEL GAP.

k N the Del Norte Branch of the Denver & Rio Grande
Railroad is Wagon Wheel Gap, which has become
the favorite sporting ground for seekers of health
and the lovers of the rod and gun. The scenery is won-
derfully beautiful. As the Gap is approached the valley
narrows until the river is hemmed in between massive
walls of solid rock and rise to such a height on either side
as to throw the passage into twilight shadoXv. The river
rushes roaring down over gleaming gravel or precipitous
ledges. Progressing, the scene becomes wilder and more
romantic, until at last the waters of the Rio Grande pour
through a cleft in the rocks just wide enough to allow the
construction of a road along the river's edge. On the
right, as one enters, tower cliffs to a tremendous height,
suggestive in their appearance to the Palisades of the
Hudson. On the left rises the round shoulder of a massive
mountain. The vast wall is unbroken for more than half
a mile, its crest presenting an almost unserrated sky-line.
Once through the Gap, the traveler, looking toward the
south, sees a valley encroached upon and surrounded by
hills

" Bathed in the tenderest purple of distance,
Tinted and shadowed by pencils of air."

Here is an old stage station, a primitive and pictur-
esque structure of hewn logs, made cool and inviting by
wide-roofed verandas. Not a hundred feet away rolls the
Rio Grande river, swarming with trout. A drive of a mile
along a winding road, each turn in which reveals new
scenic beauties, brings the tourist to the famous springs.
The medicinal qualities of the waters, both of the cold and
hot springs, have be< n thoroughly tested and proved equal,
if not superior, to til : Hot Springs of Arkansas.



RHYMES OF -THE ROCKIES. 25



WAGON WHEEL GAP.

BY H. L. WASSON.

So " pretty " expresses the scene to you

You only gather what meets the eye,
A charming spot for a picture view ;


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Online LibraryDenver and Rio Grande Railroad CompanyRhymes of the Rockies, or, What the poets have found to say of the beautiful scenery on the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, the scenic line of the world → online text (page 1 of 3)