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Fire On The Hills

 The deer were bounding like blown leaves
Under the smoke in front the roaring wave of the brush-fire;
I thought of the smaller lives that were caught.
Beauty is not always lovely; the fire was beautiful, the terror Of the deer was beautiful; and when I returned Down the back slopes after the fire had gone by, an eagle Was perched on the jag of a burnt pine, Insolent and gorged, cloaked in the folded storms of his shoulders He had come from far off for the good hunting With fire for his beater to drive the game; the sky was merciless Blue, and the hills merciless black, The sombre-feathered great bird sleepily merciless between them.
I thought, painfully, but the whole mind, The destruction that brings an eagle from heaven is better than men.

by Robinson Jeffers
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