Black-Bordered Poetry Corner

Shine, Perishing Republic

By Robinson Jeffers

While this America settles in the mould of its vulgarity, heavily thickening to empire,
And protest, only a bubble in the molten mass, pops and sighs out, and the mass hardens,
I sadly smiling remember that the flower fades to make fruit, the fruit rots to make earth.
Out of the mother; and through the spring exultances, ripeness and decadence; and home to the mother.
You making haste haste on decay: not blameworthy; life is good, be it stubbornly long or suddenly
A mortal splendor: meteors are not needed less than mountains: shine, perishing republic.
But for my children, I would have them keep their distance from the thickening center; corruption
Never has been compulsory, when the cities lie at the monster’s feet there are left the mountains.
And boys, be in nothing so moderate as in love of man, a clever servant, insufferable master.
There is the trap that catches noblest spirits, that caught—they say—God, when he walked on earth.

About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
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3 Responses to Black-Bordered Poetry Corner

  1. Withywindle says:

    Yup. A favorite poem over at A & J.

  2. My favorite poem in times of misanthropic depression. Thank you!

  3. I first read Jeffers in the 12th grade–the little Vintage edition of Selected Poems. As a Christian, there were aspects of his unbelief that I was never sure what to do with, but his astringent clarity about human folly always resonated.

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