Showing posts with the label Robinson Jeffers

All the Little Hoof-Prints

by Robinson Jeffers Farther up the gorge the sea’s voice fainted and ceased. We heard a new noise far away ahead of us, vague and metallic, it might have been some unpleasant bird’s voice Bedded in a matrix of long silences. At length we came to a little cabin lost in the redwoods, An old man sat on a bench before the doorway filing a cross-cut saw; sometimes he slept, Sometimes he filed. Two or three horses in the corral by the streamside lifted their heads To watch us pass, but the old man did not. In the afternoon we returned the same way, And had the picture in our minds of magnificent regions of space and mountain not seen before. (This was The first time that we visited Pigeon Gap, whence you look down behind the great shouldering pyramid- Edges of Pico Blanco through eagle-gulfs of air to a forest basin Where two-hundred-foot redwoods look like the pile on a Turkish carpet.) With such extensions of the idol- Worshipping mind we came down the streamside. The old man was

New Year’s Dawn, 1947

by Robinson Jeffers Two morning stars, Venus and Jupiter, Walk in the pale and liquid light Above the color of these dawns; and as the tide of light Rises higher the great planet vanishes While the nearer still shines. The yellow wave of light In the east and south reddens, the opaque ocean Becomes pale purple: Oh the delicate Earnestness of dawn, the fervor and the pallor. —Stubbornly I think again: The state is a blackmailer, Honest or not, with whom we make (within reason) Our accommodations. There is no valid authority In church or state, custom, scripture nor creed, But only in one’s own conscience and the beauty of things. Doggedly I think again: One’s own conscience is a trick oracle, Worked by parents and nurse-maids, the pressure of people, And the delusions of dead prophets: trust it not. Wash it clean to receive the transhuman beauty: then trust it.

How Beautiful It Is

by Robinson Jeffers It flows out of mystery into mystery: there is no beginning— How could there be? And no end—how could there be? The stars shine in the sky like the spray of a wave Rushing to meet no shore, and the great music Blares on forever, but to us very soon It will be blind. Not we, nor our children nor the human race Are destined to live forever, the breath will fail, The eyes will break—perhaps of our own explosive vile Vented upon each other—or a stingy peace Makes parents fools—but far greater witnesses Will take our places. It is only a little planet But how beautiful it is.