BLACK CAT POEMS
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Serene, indifferent of Fate,
Thou sittest at the Western Gate;
Upon thy heights so lately won
Still slant the banners of the sun;
Thou seest the white seas strike their tents,
O Warder of two Continents!
And scornful of the peace that flies
Thy angry winds and sullen skies,
Thou drawest all things, small or great,
To thee, beside the Western Gate.
* * *
O lion's whelp! that hidest fast
In jungle growth of spire and mast,
I know thy cunning and thy greed,
Thy hard high lust and wilful deed,
And all thy glory loves to tell
Of specious gifts material.
Drop down, O fleecy Fog! and hide
Her sceptic sneer, and all her pride.
Wrap her, O Fog, in gown and hood
Of her Franciscan Brotherhood.
Hide me her faults, her sin and blame;
With thy gray mantle cloak her shame!
So shall she, cowlèd, sit and pray
Till morning bears her sins away.
Then rise, O fleecy Fog, and raise
The glory of her coming days;
Be as the cloud that flecks the seas
Above her smokey argosies.
When forms familiar shall give place
To stranger speech and newer face;
When all her throes and anxious fears
Lie hushed in the repose of years;
When Art shall raise and Culture lift
The sensual joys and meaner thrift,
And all fulfilled the vision, we
Who watch and wait shall never see,--
Who, in the morning of her race,
Toiled fair or meanly in our place,--
But, yielding to the common lot,
Lie unrecorded and forgot.
poems by Bret Harte