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The Ruined Temple
By Herman Scheffauer

(This, one of the best of the poems inspired by the San Francisco disaster of 1906, describes the splendid ruins of old Grace Church on California Street. It has appeared in a volume of Scheffauer’s poems published by A. M. Robertson of this city.)

A Temple in a Sunset Land I saw,
      Rent with an earthquake’s throes and storms of fire,
And o’er it brooded wide with spells of awe
      The doom that fell on Sidon and on Tyre.

And many an arch and ruinous portal there
      Stood stored with memories of a perished time;
The start stones yielded echoes of a prayer;
      The towers quivered with a ghostly chime.

Faint from the shattered font an infant’s cry
      Came forth, and soft the crumbling pillars shed
The strains of nuptial music blithe and high;
      The paves rolled dolorous music o’er the dead.

But when the moon smote with her wands of white
      The solemn wreck whence all these voices poured,
I heard Time’s pinions beat across the night
      And saw the gleam of Death’s annulling sword.

Poems About San Francisco
Town Talk The Pacific Weekly
June 8, 1912