Menace

By George Sterling

        Said the Sea: "The mountains stand
            Far and haughty. Rise, O wind!
            On their summits you shall find
Chords to master, harps to cry mine ancient message to the land."

        Woke the sea-wind swift and strong,
            Lifting pinions broad and sure
            Where untrodden sands lay pure,—
Hurling eastward in his passion with the undelivered song.

        Then upon the scornful height
            Rose his bidden voice divine
            From the organ-breasted pine—
Singing of his master's empire and his slow and patient might.

        "He will come, O shafts of stone !
            Granite ramparts, he will come!
            In a little I am dumb,
But my captain's purpose fails not, tho his ends remain unknown.

        Like a mist the pines shall pass,
            For the seasons of the rock
            Are but seconds of Time's clock,
And the towers you lift shall vanish like a shadow on the grass.

        You shall crumble slowly down
            With the rain at chink and flaw;
            At your throne a Worm will gnaw,
And the truceless deep, advancing, will reach upward for your crown

        He will thunder at your wall
            Till you bend your knees to him,
            And in ages far and dim
He will sap your deep foundations and your battlements shall fall.

        Tho the time be far away,
            He is patient, he is vast,
            And the year shall come at last
When his waves on gulfs uncharted roll between you and the day."

        Then the song and sigh were done,
            And the messenger fell dead
            Where the eagle's young are fed
And at bay the stubborn mountains gaze in silence on the sun.

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