Volume XVI - 1950
The Prodigal's Prayer
By Hugh Peyton, Park Ranger
Take me back, O Mountains,
Let your gods be mine again
I've felt the fangs of doubt
In the muddled creeds of men.
I've seen their spires spring
From cities steeped in sin,
And trodden pulseless pavements,
And mingled with the din.
I've gazed on grand cathedrals
That man has built to God
With aisles colored crimson
Where feet of War have trod.
I've felt mad oceans roll,
Watched them curl and foam,
Now I'm wander-weary -
O Mountains, take me home.
O, let your lone trails lure me
From the fevered call of men;
Blend me with your mysteries;
Make me one with you again.
Lead me through sylvan stillness
To my cabin by the stream,
Let me dream again at twilight
When the golden embers gleam.
Let your vastness be my temple,
And your ermine peaks the shrines,
All wrapped in wordless worship,
And plumed with frosted pines.
And let me ride your ranges' rim
Whose moonlit marvels rise,
Works of God there is no doubting,
Etched against the skies.
Let me hear your winds at twilight,
With their vesper voice sublime,
As they brush the chords of space
To the velvet dance of time.
Let the sunsets tip my shrines,
With a glowing glaze of gold;
Robe my soul in silken silence,
Let me worship as of old.
Take me back, O Mountains,
Till my earthly trail is done,
Then shroud me in the shadows
Of the crimson setting sun.
Encoffin me in hush eternal,
Bury me deep in sylvan gloom,
Let a summit be my headstone,
Let a canyon be my tomb.
During the past two summer seasons, Protestant church services were
held each Sunday in the Community House on the rim. On several occasions
"The Prodigal's Prayer" by Hugh Peyton, Superintendent, Millerton Lake
National Recreational Area, Friant, California, was read to the
audience. There were numerous requests for copies of the poem.
Mr. Peyton was in the U.S. Army during World War I and went through
the thick of it in France. He wrote the poem upon his return to the
mountains of Montana that he loves so dearly. He served as Park Ranger
and Chief Ranger of Glacier National Park before taking over similar
duties in Yellowstone National Park. "The Prodigal's Prayer" was
published in Glacial Drift, Notes From Glacier National Park,
Volume 4, Page 89, 1931.
Courtesy of Oregon State Highway Commission, Salem, Oregon
Crater Lake Natural History Association
This organization was founded in 1942 to promote and assist the
ranger-naturalist program, to further the investigation of subjects of
popular interest and importance and to aid in the distribution of
information on all subjects pertaining to the park. Toward this end it
sponsors NATURE NOTES and makes the following publications available for
|Oh Ranger!, Albright and Taylor||$3.00|
|Exploring Our National Parks, Devereux Butcher (Paper Bound)||2.00|
|Exploring Our National Parks, Devereux Butcher (Cloth Bound)||3.50|
|Meeting the Mammals, Victor H. Cahalane.||2.50|
|Birds of Oregon, Ira N. Gabrielson and Stanley G. Jewett||5.00|
|Mammals of California, Ingles||4.00|
|Pacific Coast Trees, McMinn and Maino.||4.00|
|A Manual of the Higher Plants of Oregon, Morton E. Peck.||5.00|
|A Field Guide to Western Birds, Roger Tory Peterson.||3.50|
|How to Know Your Birds, Roger Tory Peterson.||2.00|
|Amphibians & Reptiles, Pickwell.||4.00|
|Your Western National Parks, Dorr Yeager.||3.50|
|1948 Crater Lake Nature Notes||.15|
|1949 Crater Lake Nature Notes||.15|
|1950 Crater Lake Nature Notes||.20|
|Topographic Map of Crater Lake National Park, (U.S.G.P.I.)|
With geological sketch by Francois T. Matthes
Your membership in the association would greatly aid the
furtherance of these worthwhile purposes as well as bring you NATURE
NOTES without charge. A liberal discount is given to members on all
except government publications. The annual membership fee is $2.00.