Robinson Jeffers

Continent's End

At the equinox when the earth was veiled in a late rain, wreathed with wet poppies, 
   waiting spring,
The ocean swelled for a far storm and beat its boundary, the ground-swell shook the 
   beds of granite.

I gazing at the boundaries of granite and spray, the established sea-marks, felt behind 
Mountain and plain, the immense breadth of the continent, before me the mass and 
   double stretch of water.

I said: You yoke the Aleutian seal-rocks with the lava and coral sowings that flower the 
Over your flood the life that sought the sunrise faces ours that has followed the evening 

The long migrations meet across you and it is nothing to you, you have forgotten us, 
You were much younger when we crawled out of the womb and lay in the sun's eye on 
   the tideline.

It was long and long ago; we have grown proud since then and you have grown bitter; 
   life retains
Your mobile soft unquiet strength; and envies hardness, the insolent quietness of 

The tides are in our veins, we still mirror the stars, life is your child, but there is in me
Older and harder than life and more impartial, the eye that watched before there was 
   an ocean.   

That watched you fill your beds out of the condensation of thin vapor and watched you 
   change them,
That saw you soft and violent wear your boundaries down, eat rock, shift places with 
   the continents.

Mother, though my song's measure is like your surf-beat's ancient rhythm I never 
   learned it of you.   
Before there was any water there were tides of fire, both our tones flow from the older