Miocene

By George Sterling

Here, where this wall of sandstone leaves the ground,
  Soaring in massive ramparts to the sky,
Beat once a surf that never human eye
  Beheld, or human ear conceived in sound.
Dimly we trace, or think we trace, the bound
  Of that forgotten ocean—slopes long dry,
  Where once the wounded monster came to die,
Where now the fossils of the shark are found.

The flowers foam where foamed that ancient sea,
Their nectar given to the prowling bee.
  The noon is on the pastures like a flame,
  And where, long since, that mournful thunder broke,
Whose universal voice is still the same,
  The cattle drowse beneath the shading oak.

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