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Robinson Jeffers - Fire On The Hills

The deer were bounding like blown leaves
Under the smoke in front the roaring wave of the brush-fire;
I thought of the smaller lives that were caught.
Beauty is not always lovely; the fire was beautiful, the terror
Of the deer was beautiful; and when I returned
Down the back slopes after the fire had gone by, an eagle
Was perched on the jag of a burnt pine,
Insolent and gorged, cloaked in the folded storms of his shoulders
He had come from far off for the good hunting
With fire for his beater to drive the game; the sky was merciless
Blue, and the hills merciless black,
The sombre-feathered great bird sleepily merciless between them.
I thought, painfully, but the whole mind,
The destruction that brings an eagle from heaven is better than men.

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 4757 times | Comments and analysis of Fire On The Hills by Robinson Jeffers Comments (2)

Fire On The Hills - Comments and Information

Poet: Robinson Jeffers
Poem: Fire On The Hills
Volume: Tamar
Poem of the Day: Apr 27 2010

Comment 2 of 2, added on December 21st, 2014 at 7:20 AM.

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Comment 1 of 2, added on October 24th, 2009 at 8:30 PM.

The text above unfortunately contains a serious corruption in the final line. The last word of the poem is "mercy," not "men." "Mercy" makes sense in the context; "men" does not.

Rob Kafka from United States

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