Poetry

Robinson Jeffers, I Shall Laugh Purely, excerpt.

        In Europe we shall beware of starving dogs and political commissars, and of the police in America.
        We shall rant on our makeshift stages in our cracked voices:"Oh Christian era,
        Era of chivalry and the barbarians and the machines, era of science and the saints,
        When you go down make a good sunset.
        Never linger superfluous, old and holy and paralytic like India,
        Go down in conclusive war and a great red sunset, great age go down,
        For all will be worse confounded soon."

        We shall tour to the last verge and the open Pacific, we shall sit on the yellow cliffs at Hurricane Point
        And watch the centaurs come from the sea; their splayed hooves plunge and stutter on the tide-rocks, watch them swarm up,
        The hairy and foamy flanks, the naked destructive shoulders, the brutal faces and the bent bows,
        Horde after horde under the screaming gulls: my old men will cough in the fog and baa like sheep,
        “Here comes the end of a civilization. Give nature time,”
        And spit, and make lewd jokes. But I shall laugh purely,
        Remembering what old enthusiast named a girl's beauty and England's battle
        Among the lights of his time: she being by then a dyed hag, or more likely
        One of those embalmer-fingered smiles in the subsoil; and England will be
        Not admirable. I shall laugh purely, knowing the next age
        Lives on not-human beauty, waiting on circumstance and its April, weaving its winter chrysalis;
        Thin snow falls on historical rocks.