To Charles Rollo Peters

By George Sterling

(Master-Painter of Nocturnes)

The padres have departed from our lands,
    And gone with them is all their gentler lore;
    The mission bells waft yet, beside the shore,
Their music to the hills and lonely sands;
But all in vain the memory demands
    A vision of the mute romance of yore.
    We well had said: "It shall return no more.
We beckon back the past with futile hands."

Nay, it was lost till you, with subtlest wiles,
    Recalled the glamor and the mystery—
        The cypress hushed beneath the evening star,
    And haunted headlands graven by the sea—
Till Beauty that was-fled from darkness smiles,
    And moonlight is a fane to her afar.

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