The Brown Forest

I entered the life of the brown forest

And the great life of the ancient peaks, the patience of stone,

I felt the changes in the veins

In the throat of the mountain…

and I was the stream

Draining the mountain wood; and I the stag drinking;

and I was the stars,

Boiling with light, wandering alone, each one the lord of his

own summit; and I was the darkness

Outside the stars, I included them, they were part of me.

I was mankind also, a moving lichen

On the cheek of the round stone…they have not made words for it,

to go behind things, beyond hours and ages,

And be all things in all time, in their returns and passages,

in the motionless and timeless center,

In the white of the fire…how can I express the excellence

I have found, that has no color but clearness;

No honey but ecstasy; nothing wrought nor remembered;

no undertone nor silver second murmur

That rings in love’s voice.

(Robinson Jeffers)

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