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Song of Quietness by Robinson Jeffers | Poets.org

Song of Quietness
by Robinson Jeffers

Drink deep, drink deep of quietness,

And on the margins of the sea

Remember not thine old distress

Nor all the miseries to be.

Calmer than mists, and cold

As they, that fold on fold

Up the dim valley are rolled,

Learn thou to be.

 

The Past--it was a feverish dream,

A drunken slumber full of tears.

The Future--O what wild wings gleam,

Wheeled in the van of desperate years!

Thou lovedst the evening: dawn

Glimmers; the night is gone:--

What dangers lure thee on,

What dreams more fierce?

 

But meanwhile, now the east is gray,

The hour is pale, the cocks yet dumb,

Be glad before the birth of day,

Take thy brief rest ere morning come:

Here in the beautiful woods

All night the sea-mist floods,--

Thy last of solitudes,

Thy yearlong home.

 

About This Poem

"Song of Quietness" first appeared in Jeffers's collection Californians, published not long after he began his lifelong residence in the state.
Robinson Jeffers was born on January 10, 1887, in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, a town which is now part of Pittsburgh. The interest in nature apparent in his poetry extended into his daily life; he even built his own stone cottage overlooking Carmel Bay in California. Jeffers died in 1962.
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