The Weather Vane.
When good St. Francis was a lad
He lived in Italy;
He founded there a brotherhood,
And taught these precepts three:
Obedience and chastity,
And sternest poverty.
He freely lavished all his wealth
Upon the needy poor;
He made himself a medicant,
And begged from door to door;
His piety and holy zeal
Made converts by the score.
His brotherhood grew large and spread
To countries far away;
In strange and distant lands they built
Their monasteries gray;
They strove to keep their three-fold vow,
They strove to watch and pray.
At last, to this far western shore,
A few Franciscans came;
With earnestness and zeal they sought
More proselytes to gain;
They suffered poverty and toil,
But suffered not in vain.
They build adobe missions
At a very early day,
And showed the Indians how to make
The bricks of unburnt clay;
They taught them other useful arts,
And taught them how to pray.
Within their cloistered mission walls
Our mission fathers stay;
They tell their beads and chant their hymns
In the old established way;
Long gowns of brown with rope girt 'round
They're wearing still, today.
Now you see why, for reasons true,
Our patron saint must be,
Of all the saints in the calendar,
Francis of Assisi,
Patron of all our missions old,
And Mission Inn, is he.
And furthermore because 'tis true
There's something in a name;
Of our landlord, he's patront saint,
And stands there on the vane,
Erect and strong, with kindly smile,
And cross upheld, so plain.
Above the wide old chimney top,
Where many in years agone
Have gathered 'round the cheerful blaze
With merry game or song.
Or travelers' tales of other lands,
To pass the time along.
When we look up at the weather vane,
And the good saint's image see,
We wish our sunny Western land,
The modern Italy,
May bring forth sons as truly great
As Francis of Assisi.
~ Isabella Hardenberg Miller.
First Lady of The Master Of The Mission Inn, Riverside California, founded by Frank A. Miller