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Wise Men In Their Bad Hours

Robinson Jeffers

Wise men in their bad hours have envied 
The little people making merry like grasshoppers 
In spots of sunlight, hardly thinking 
Backward but never forward, and if they somehow 
Take hold upon the future they do it 
Half asleep, with the tools of generation 
Foolishly reduplicating 
Folly in thirty-year periods; the eat and laugh too, 
Groan against labors, wars and partings, 
Dance, talk, dress and undress; wise men have pretended 
The summer insects enviable; 
One must indulge the wise in moments of mockery. 
Strength and desire possess the future, 
The breed of the grasshopper shrills, "What does the future 
Matter, we shall be dead?" Ah, grasshoppers, 
Death's a fierce meadowlark: but to die having made 
Something more equal to the centuries 
Than muscle and bone, is mostly to shed weakness. 
The mountains are dead stone, the people 
Admire or hate their stature, their insolent quietness, 
The mountains are not softened nor troubled 
And a few dead men's thoughts have the same temper. 

Submitted by Holt

Added: 20 May 2003 | Last Read: 17 Jan 2019 12:47 PM | Viewed: 13761 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/9139/ | Viewed on 17 January 2019.
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