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The Legends of San Francisco   By: (1866-1946)

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Other Books by the Same Author:

Legends of Southern California. Oriental Rambles. Rainbow Stories. The Wizzywab.

By George W. Caldwell, M. D.


My San Francisco on her seven hills is smiling, Beside an opalescent sunset sea; There is a magic in her bracing air beguiling, Yet filling all with tireless energy. The tingling tang of open sea the breeze is giving; The fog rolls in and drives heat languors out, And thrills her loyal subjects with the joy of living, And puts the love of idleness to rout.

When in the valleys, fervent summer heat oppresses, And gives no, respite night or day, There is a City that the cooling fog caresses, Upon the breezy San Francisco Bay. When winter rains and sun have wrought in fragrant flowers A multicolored carpet on the land, A charm is in her circling hills and redwood bowers That only those who see can understand.

She has a mystic charm in all the changing seasons A lure that brings the stranger to her door, And in these pages I will give the Indian's reasons For charms and lures, never told before. The legends of the hills, the fog, the gulls, the waters Idealize the beautiful and true; Allow me, therefore, California's Native Daughters, To dedicate this book of verse to you.


The Maid of Tamalpais The Twin Guardians of the Golden Gate The Sea Gulls The Islands of the Bay The Lake of Merita

The Maid of Tamalpais.

This she told me in the firelight As I sat beside her campfire, In a grove of giant redwoods, On the slope of Tamalpais.

Old she was, and bent and wrinkled, Lone survivor of the Tamals, Ancient tribe of Indian people, Who have left their name and legend On the mountain they held sacred. On the ground she sat and brooded, With a blanket wrapped around her Sat and gazed into the campfire. On her bronze and furrowed features, On her hair of snowy whiteness, Played the shadows and the firelight. Long she gazed into the embers, And I feared I had offended In the question I had asked her. Then she spoke in measured accents, Slowly, with a mournful cadence, And long intervals of silence.

"You have asked me why my people Will not climb Mount Tamalpais Why we hold the mountain sacred. I am old, and when the Raven Calls my spirit to the Father, None will know the ancient story, Sacred legend of the Tamals. Therefore, I will tell the story, I will tell and you shall write it, Else it will be lost forever; I will tell it that the paleface May respect our sacred mountain."

"In the morning of creation All the world was covered over With the flood of troubled waters. Only Beaver and the Turtle Swam about upon the surface. Beaver said, 'I'm very weary.' Turtle said, 'Dive to the bottom.' Beaver dove and brought up gravel, Laid it on the back of Turtle; Dove again and brought a pebble, Then another and another. Pebbles grew to rocks and boulders, As a peak above the waters Thus was Mount Diablo fashioned.

Beaver sat upon the mountain, Gazing out across the waters; Saw a single feather floating; Feather grew into an Eagle; Eagle flew and sat by Beaver. Long they talked about creation, Counseled, planned, and reconsidered, Then they moulded clay with tules; Beaver placed his hair upon it, Eagle breathed into its nostrils Thus Coyote was created. Coyote barked and sat beside them. Many creatures were created; Some with hair, and some with feathers; Some with scales, or shells, or bristles... Continue reading book >>

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