The Last Monster

By George Sterling

In backward vision, from the primal dusk
I saw them writhe, reptile and hornÚd asp,
Lizard and hydra, serpents of the fen,
Abominable. Then the waddling bulks,
With fangs of death emergent from the slime
Primordial, rose to the light of suns.
Thereafter quaked the rank and steaming earth
To tread of mammoths, and the giant bear,
Insatiate, loomed shaggy on the night,
Contending with the tiger for his glut.
Then sprang the apes, malevolent and swift,
Upon the stage of being—part of life
That lived on life. Then a new darkness fell,
Pierced by the moans of mighty shapes that died.
Whereat the sun rose elder and austere,
And mute against the dawn, alert for death,
With engines of destruction left and right,
Scanning the skies stood the last monster, Man.

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