Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SIERRA GRANDE DEL NORTE, by CINCINNATUS HEINE MILLER

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SIERRA GRANDE DEL NORTE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Like fragments of an uncompleted world
Last Line: A line of battle-tents in everlasting snow.
Alternate Author Name(s): Miller, Joaquin
Variant Title(s): By The Sun-down Seas;the Sierras
Subject(s): Sierra Nevada Mountains

Like fragments of an uncompleted world,
From bleak Alaska, bound in ice and spray,
To where the peaks of Darien lie curl'd
In clouds, the broken lands loom bold and gray.
The seamen nearing San Francisco Bay
Forget the compass here; with sturdy hand
They seize the wheel, look up, then bravely lay
The ship to shore by rugged peaks that stand
The stern and proud patrician fathers of the land.

They stand white stairs of heaven, -- stand a line
Of lifting, endless, and eternal white.
They look upon the far and flashing brine,
Upon the boundless plains, the broken height
Of Kamiakin's battlements. The flight
Of time is underneath their untopp'd towers.
They seem to push aside the moon at night,
To jostle and to loose the stars. The flowers
Of heaven fall about their brows in shining showers.

They stand in line of lifted snowy isles
High held above the toss'd and tumbled sea, --
A sea of wood in wild unmeasured miles:
White pyramids of Faith where man is free;
White monuments of Hope that yet shall be
The mounts of matchless and immortal song. . .
I look far down the hollow days; I see
The bearded prophets, simple-soul'd and strong,
That strike the sounding harp and thrill the heeding throng.

Serene and satisfied! supreme! as lone
As God, they loom like God's archangels churl'd;
They look as cold as kings upon a throne;
The mantling wings of night are crush'd and curl'd
As feathers curl. The elements are hurl'd
From off their bosoms, and are bidden go,
Like evil spirits, to an under-world.
They stretch from Cariboo to Mexico,
A line of battle-tents in everlasting snow.

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