The Souvenir of Western Women/Scenes About the Home of My Childhood

Scenes about the Home of My Childhood


IN the fair County of Linn is Prairie Home, the donation claim of my father and mother. 'Mid its enchanting scenes my childhood was spent. On the east, near by, is Sand Ridge. Upon its gently rolling surface is the schoolhouse, and not far away the burying ground. Just beyond, Washington Butte stands like a benign guardian of the peaceful homes and happy people clustered about its base, or spread out over the expanse of the beautiful prairie. The prairie is charmingly diversified by the woods that skirt the banks of the streams, and in spring time over its verdant landscape wind broad sloughs like ribands of silver. Back lie the hills and mountains and further beyond rise majestically five snow peaks—Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson and the Three Sisters. Some distance to the north is little Knox Butte, fair to look upon with its smooth round knolls and plain and wooded slopes of evergreen. To the south standing out from their sister hills are Ward's and Saddle Buttes, with faces bare and bold, but beautiful in their graceful outlines. West, across the Willamette Valley and beyond the Willamette River—pride of Oregon—stretches the Coast Range densely wooded and low, but high enough to seem a protection to the valley against Old Ocean with his threatening roar when wintry storms rage 'round him. This scene in its entirety, be it in sunshine, or when "Oregon rains are raining," or when the harvest moon shines pale and calm upon it, holds memory's eyes entranced by its loveliness and grandeur, but no other part of its sublime whole is so near and dear to us, or has left upon our hearts an impression so indelible, as the buttes. They seem to have stepped out from the mother range to make friendly overtures to the valleys and the prairie, to reach down in their gentle slopes and say to the denizens of the plain, "Come up out of the vale, and from our heights catch a broader view; in the enchantment of the beauty spread out before you forget the greed and strife that mar the lives of men."

Buttes of Linn! Buttes of Linn!
Ye speak to me in tones as clear
As when my infant eyes looked on thee
And girlhood's dreamy thoughts
Spun 'round thee strange sweet fantasies.

Upon thy face, Washington,
A picture I could see so true
It all but spake to me.
It was of him the great and good
Who gave the name of Washington.
Our country's own whose name is thine.
Strong-featured, beautiful thou ai't!
A down thy sides on north and south
The waving trees seem like the locks
That flowed from his great brow.
His noble face adorning.

At evening time, when day's last beams
Shed o'er thee soft and gentle light.
How oft I've seen my mother stand.
In awe enwrapt, and gaze on thee.
And low, in words, scarce whispered, say
"How beautiful! how beautiful."
Through long years past come back to me
Re-echoed from thy face her words,
"How beautiful! how beautiful!"

O Buttes of Linn! Buttes of Linn!
Ever to me the story tell
What ye alone can say,
Of happiest days, of loves most loved.
Of glorious dreams of future deeds.
speak! and let me feel once more
The thrill that warmed me then;
The fireside love and hearthstone dreams
Within the walls of home.

Buttes of Linn! Buttes of Linn!
The world is wide and fair.
But nowhere in its great expanse
Can any place, however grand,
Bring to my heart the solace sweet
I find imprinted in thy forms,
For love and home are pictured there.