After Vacation

By George Sterling

Below her now the storming city rolls
  The tireless thunder of a sadder sea
Than that between the planet's frozen poles
  And she is captive who awhile was free.

Far out across the dusty roofs her gaze
  Beholds the turbid vapors jetting forth,
And tow'r and spire unhidden by the haze
  Tell where the hungered city reaches north.

So little time ago it was she stood
  Where the unhurried sea-wind offered her
The clean, wild fragrance of the cedar wood,
  And made the little grasses dip and stir.

But here the sea-wind tells not of the wave,
  Smearing the smoke-plumes on the tainted sky;
And lost the blossoms that the summer gave—
The nameless meadow-flowers, aloof and shy.

It is another fairness she must seek,
  Here where the cold and stately dungeons soar—
Some hint of what the chiseled granites speak,
  Some iron beauty at the world's deep core.

But grant her time a little longer. She
  Has yet of memory a vanished day;
Her dreams are of the spaces of the sea,
  And snowlike sands about a turquoise bay.

Los Angeles Times, October 15th, 1914, pg. II4

Bibliography Entry