Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO THE ROCK THAT WILL BE A CORNERSTONE OF THE HOUSE, by ROBINSON JEFFERS



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TO THE ROCK THAT WILL BE A CORNERSTONE OF THE HOUSE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Old garden of grayish and ochre lichen
Last Line: How dear you will be to me when I too grow old, old comrade.
Subject(s): Houses; Time


Old garden of grayish and ochre lichen,
How long a time since the brown people who have vanished from here
Built fires beside you and nestled by you
Out of the ranging seawind? A hundred years, two hundred,
You have been dissevered from humanity
And only known the stubble squirrels and the headland rabbits,
Or the long-fetlocked plow horses
Breaking the hilltop in December, sea-gulls following,
Screaming in the black furrow; no one
Touches you with love, the gray hawk and the red hawk touched you
Where now my hand lies. So I have brought you
Wine and white milk and honey for the hundred years of famine
And the hundred cold ages of seawind.

I did not dream the taste of wine could bind with granite,
Nor honey and milk please you; but sweetly
They mingle down the storm-worn cracks among the mosses,
Interpenetrating the silent
Wing-prints of ancient weathers long at peace, and the older
Scars of primal fire, and the stone
Endurance that is waiting millions of years to carry
A corner of the house, this also destined.
Lend me the stone strength of the past and I will lend you
The wings of the future, for I have them.
How dear you will be to me when I too grow old, old comrade.





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