Gun-Practice

By George Sterling

                    San Francisco

Dull, on the somber headlands of the Gate,
    Where morning winds of the Pacific go,
    The giant mortars toll, pulsed blow on blow
As of a mace that in the grasp of Fate
Swings, and the thundering coasts reverberate.
    To silence now the vast vibrations now,
    Where burns the sun on seas without a foe
And the far cliffs rise cold and desolate.

But in this heart aware of good and ill,
    The grave and mighty echoes persevere,
        Till now the vision that is mine transmutes
The speech of cannon, and a whisper chill
    Sinks as the hiss of serpents in mine ear;
        "Sons of destruction, ye arc yet as brutes!"

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