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Robinson Jeffers - July Fourth By The Ocean

The continent's a tamed ox, with all its mountains,
Powerful and servile; here is for plowland, here is
     for park and playground, this helpless
Cataract for power; it lies behind us at heel
All docile between this ocean and the other. If
     flood troubles the lowlands, or earthquake
Cracks walls, it is only a slave's blunder or the
     natural
Shudder of a new made slave. Therefore we happy
     masters about the solstice
Light bonfires on the shore and celebrate our power.
The bay's necklaced with fire, the bombs make crystal
     fountains in the air, the rockets
Shower swan's-neck over the night water.... I
     imagined
The stars drew apart a little as if from troublesome
     children, coldly compassionate;
But the ocean neither seemed astonished nor in awe:
If this had been the little sea that Xerxes whipped,
     how it would have feared us.

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July Fourth By The Ocean - Comments and Information

Poet: Robinson Jeffers
Poem: July Fourth By The Ocean
Poem of the Day: Sep 28 2008
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