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July Fourth By The Ocean

 The continent's a tamed ox, with all its mountains,
Powerful and servile; here is for plowland, here is
 for park and playground, this helpless
Cataract for power; it lies behind us at heel
All docile between this ocean and the other.
If flood troubles the lowlands, or earthquake Cracks walls, it is only a slave's blunder or the natural Shudder of a new made slave.
Therefore we happy masters about the solstice Light bonfires on the shore and celebrate our power.
The bay's necklaced with fire, the bombs make crystal fountains in the air, the rockets Shower swan's-neck over the night water.
I imagined The stars drew apart a little as if from troublesome children, coldly compassionate; But the ocean neither seemed astonished nor in awe: If this had been the little sea that Xerxes whipped, how it would have feared us.

by Robinson Jeffers
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