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Delusion Of Saints

Robinson Jeffers 1887 (Allegheny) – 1962 (Carmel-by-the-Sea)



The old pagan burials, uninscribed rock,
Secret-keeping mounds,
Have shed the feeble delusions that built them,
They stand inhumanly
Clean and massive; they have lost their priests.
But the cross-bearing stones
Still foot corruption, and their faces carved
With hopes and terrors
At length too savagely annulled to be left
Even ridiculous.
Long-suffering saints, flamelike aspirers,
You have won your reward:
You sleep now as easily as any dead murderer
Or worn-out lecher.
To have found your faith a liar is no thorn
In the narrow beds,
Nor laughter of unfriends nor rumor of the ruinous
Churches will reach you.
As at Clonmacnoise I saw them all ruined,
And at Cong, at Glendalough,
At Monasterboice; and at Kilrnacduagh
All ruined, all roofless
But the great cyclopean-stoned spire
That leans toward its fall.
A place perfectly abandoned of life,
Except that we heard
One old horse neighing across the stone hedges
In the flooded fields.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Robinson Jeffers

John Robinson Jeffers was an American poet, known for his work about the central California coast. more…

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