The burning sun has scorched the rainless ground,
Where the volcano's progeny still lie;
And yet beneath an unrelenting sky
What creatures born to beauty may be found!
Just now we caught a bird's melodious sound
In unison blending with the pine's low sigh,
The while a daisy's all unenvious eye
Watched a near juniper with glory crowned.
But chief of all, behold yon crimson flame
The sun has kindled on the stone's gray breast
Within the Cactus's exulting heart.....
Beside thy light all others seem but tame;--
Thou desert-torch, thou beauty's topmost crest,
No voice could sing how wonderful thou art.