I had walked since dawn and lay down to rest on a bare hillside
Above the ocean. I saw through half-shut eyelids a vulture wheeling
high up in heaven,
And presently it passed again, but lower and nearer, its orbit
While this America settles in the mould of its vulgarity, heavily thickening
And protest, only a bubble in the molten mass, pops and sighs out, and the
That public men publish falsehoods
Is nothing new. That America must accept
Like the historical republics corruption and empire
Has been known for years.
The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder,
The wing trails like a banner in defeat,
civilization is a transient sickness.
How shall the dead taste the deep treasure they have?
The love of freedom has been the quality of Western man.
He is strong and pain is worse to the strong, incapacity is worse.
This wild swan of a world is no hunter's game.
John Robinson Jeffers was an American poet, known for his work about the central California coast. Most of Jeffers' poetry was written in classic narrative and epic form, but today he is also known for his short verse, and considered an icon of the environmental movement.
Jeffers was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania (now part of Pittsburg ...