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Ina Donna Coolbrith (Ина Донна Кулбрит)

* * *

In ended days, a child, I trod thy sands,
The sands unbuilded, rank with brush and brier
And blossom—chased the sea-foam on thy strands,
Young city of my love and my desire!
I saw thy barren hills against the skies,
I saw them topped with minaret and spire,
On plain and slope thy myriad walls arise,
Fair city of my love and my desire.
With thee the Orient touched heart and hands;
The world's rich argosies lay at thy feet;
Queen of the fairest land of all the lands—
Our Sunset-Glory, proud and strong and sweet!
I saw thee in thine anguish! tortured, prone.
Rent with earth-throes, garmented in fire!
Each wound upon thy breast upon my own.
Sad city of my love and my desire.
Gray wind-blown ashes, broken, toppling wall
And ruined hearth—are these thy funeral pyre?
Black desolation covering as a pall—
Is this the end, my love and my desire?
Nay, strong, undaunted, thoughtless of despair,
The Will that builded thee shall build again,
And all thy broken promise spring more fair.
Thou mighty mother of as mighty men.
Thou wilt arise invincible, supreme!
The earth to voice thy glory never tire,
And song, unborn, shall chant no nobler theme,
Proud city of my love and my desire.
But I—shall see thee ever as of old!
Thy wraith of pearl, wall, minaret and spire,
Framed in the mists that veil thy Gate of Gold,
Lost city of my love and my desire.

Ina Donna Coolbrith's other poems:
  1. Bret Harte (A stir of pines in the forest)
  2. Meadowlarks
  3. Two
  4. Siesta
  5. Memorial Poem

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