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The Deer Lay Down Their Bones - Poem by Robinson Jeffers

I followed the narrow cliffside trail half way up the mountain
Above the deep river-canyon. There was a little cataract crossed the path,
flinging itself
Over tree roots and rocks, shaking the jeweled fern-fronds, bright bubbling
water
Pure from the mountain, but a bad smell came up. Wondering at it I clam-
bered down the steep stream
Some forty feet, and found in the midst of bush-oak and laurel,
Hung like a bird's nest on the precipice brink a small hidden clearing,
Grass and a shallow pool. But all about there were bones Iying in the grass,
clean bones and stinking bones,
Antlers and bones: I understood that the place was a refuge for wounded
deer; there are so many
Hurt ones escape the hunters and limp away to lie hidden; here they have
water for the awful thirst
And peace to die in; dense green laurel and grim cliff

Make sanctuary, and a sweet wind blows upward from the deep gorge.--I
wish my bones were with theirs.
But that's a foolish thing to confess, and a little cowardly. We know that life
Is on the whole quite equally good and bad, mostly gray neutral, and can
be endured
To the dim end, no matter what magic of grass, water and precipice, and
pain of wounds,
Makes death look dear. We have been given life and have used it--not a
great gift perhaps--but in honesty
Should use it all. Mine's empty since my love died--Empty? The flame-
haired grandchild with great blue eyes
That look like hers?--What can I do for the child? I gaze at her and wonder
what sort of man
In the fall of the world . . . I am growing old, that is the trouble. My chil-
dren and little grandchildren
Will find their way, and why should I wait ten years yet, having lived sixty-
seven, ten years more or less,
Before I crawl out on a ledge of rock and die snapping, like a wolf
Who has lost his mate?--I am bound by my own thirty-year-old decision:
who drinks the wine
Should take the dregs; even in the bitter lees and sediment
New discovery may lie. The deer in that beautiful place lay down their
bones: I must wear mine.


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Poems About Deer

  1. 1. A Wounded Deer&Mdash;Leaps Highest , Emily Dickinson
  2. 2. The Deer Lay Down Their Bones , Robinson Jeffers
  3. 3. Deer Dancer , Joy Harjo
  4. 4. Deer Hunting Time Is Here Again , Kathleen West
  5. 5. The Tamed Deer , Edmund Spenser
  6. 6. The White-Footed Deer , William Cullen Bryant
  7. 7. Deer Hunt , Judson Jerome
  8. 8. Wild Deer. , Shams al-Din Hafiz Shirazi
  9. 9. On The Banks O' Deer Crick , James Whitcomb Riley
  10. 10. The Deer And The Snake , Kenneth Patchen
  11. 11. R. S. S., At Deer Island On The Merrimac , John Greenleaf Whittier
  12. 12. Deer , Ellis Parker Butler
  13. 13. The Laplander To His Rein-Deer , Felicia Dorothea Hemans
  14. 14. I Ran Into Light Like A Joyful Deer , Dr. Antony Theodore
  15. 15. Tiger And Deer , Sayeed Abubakar
  16. 16. Environment 4 - The Deer Park Environment , Dr. Geeta Radhakrishna Menon
  17. 17. Deer People , Mikael Ejdemyr
  18. 18. Dear Deer , Rahman Henry
  19. 19. A Deer Loses Its Life , Gajanan Mishra
  20. 20. To My Friend Lisa Deer , Frank Lisa IndiRa Francesca ..
  21. 21. Dongting Lake, Inscribed On The Deer Ant.. , Lu Zhi
  22. 22. O Fleeting Deer! , Rachel Baldwin
  23. 23. With The Deer , Daniel Brick
  24. 24. Limerick: The Trophy Deer , Kim Barney
  25. 25. A Golden Deer Dear To Me , Freni Karaluthara
  26. 26. The Pair Of Deer , Muzahidul Reza
  27. 27. Roe Deer (Haiku) -Ζαρκάδι (Χαϊκού) , Kostas Lagos
  28. 28. A Deer Hunt , nimal dunuhinga
  29. 29. Why Deer Hunting Is Special To Me , Roger Horsch
  30. 30. Standing Deer , Jane Hirshfield
  31. 31. Phantom Deer.... [very Short; True; Vis.. , Bri Edwards
  32. 32. Night, North Woods Deer Camp , David Welch
  33. 33. The Herd Of Deer , Muzahidul Reza
  34. 34. Where Will These Bewildered Deer Go? , NHIEN NGUYEN MD
  35. 35. The Fallow Deer At The Lonely House , Thomas Hardy
  36. 36. Deer Hunting , Randy Johnson
  37. 37. Fish, Deer And Woman , Gajanan Mishra
  38. 38. Grassy Key Deer , Barry Middleton
  39. 39. The Deer May Dance , Hasmukh Amathalal
  40. 40. Deer In Canvas , Nassy Fesharaki
  41. 41. Deer In The Bush , Edward Kofi Louis
  42. 42. Poor Deer , Gajanan Mishra
  43. 43. Ramayan Part 28 - Mareecha Turned Golden.. , Rajaram Ramachandran
  44. 44. A Memory Of A Deer , Russell Thornton
  45. 45. Deer Accompany Deer , Gajanan Mishra
  46. 46. Deer In My Garden , David McLansky
  47. 47. The Deer-Star (A Paiute Legend) , Mary Austin
  48. 48. Death Of The Deer (Nicolae Labis) , Paul Abucean
  49. 49. The Red Deer Of Halls Gap , Francis Duggan
  50. 50. Here Is A Deer , Gajanan Mishra
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