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Vachel Lindsay - The City That Will Not Repent

Climbing the heights of Berkeley 
Nightly I watch the West. 
There lies new San Francisco, 
Sea-maid in purple dressed, 
Wearing a dancer's girdle 
All to inflame desire: 
Scorning her days of sackcloth, 
Scorning her cleansing fire. 

See, like a burning city 
Sets now the red sun's dome. 
See, mystic firebrands sparkle 
There on each store and home. 
See how the golden gateway 
Burns with the day to be  
Torch-bearing fiends of portent 
Loom o'er the earth and sea. 

Not by the earthquake daunted 
Nor by new fears made tame, 
Painting her face and laughing 
Plays she a new-found game. 
Here on her half-cool cinders 
'Frisco abides in mirth, 
Planning the wildest splendor 
Ever upon the earth. 

Here on this crumbling rock-ledge 
'Frisco her all will stake, 
Blowing her bubble-towers, 
Swearing they will not break, 
Rearing her Fair transcendent, 
Singing with piercing art, 
Calling to Ancient Asia, 
Wooing young Europe's heart. 
Here where her God has scourged her 
Wantoning, singing sweet: 
Waiting her mad bad lovers 
Here by the judgment-seat! 

'Frisco, God's doughty foeman, 
Scorns and blasphemes him strong. 
Tho' he again should smite her 
She would not slack her song. 
Nay, she would shriek and rally  
'Frisco would ten times rise! 
Not till her last tower crumbles, 
Not till her last rose dies, 
Not till the coast sinks seaward, 
Not till the cold tides beat 
Over the high white Shasta, 
'Frisco will cry defeat. 

God loves this rebel city, 
Loves foemen brisk and game, 
Tho', just to please the angels, 
He may send down his flame. 
God loves the golden leopard 
Tho' he may spoil her lair. 
God smites, yet loves the lion. 
God makes the panther fair. 

Dance then, wild guests of 'Frisco, 
Yellow, bronze, white and red! 
Dance by the golden gateway  
Dance, tho' he smite you dead! 

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Added: Jun 15 2005 | Viewed: 2695 times | Comments and analysis of The City That Will Not Repent by Vachel Lindsay Comments (2)

The City That Will Not Repent - Comments and Information

Poet: Vachel Lindsay
Poem: The City That Will Not Repent
Poem of the Day: Feb 19 2009

Comment 2 of 2, added on August 11th, 2012 at 9:52 PM.

Knocekd my socks off with knowledge!

Jonay from Iceland
Comment 1 of 2, added on February 19th, 2009 at 10:41 AM.

I think this poem may be about San Fransicos strong homosexual base....maybe....

Johnny from United States

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