Friday, October 17, 2014

On the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906

In early darkness
Temblor wakes, shakes the city
Many shall perish.

The Bay rippled, shook,
Like teacup in aged hands,
with ships unsettled.

As wind through the leaves,
The shock through earth upturning
Buildings, livestock, lives.

Fire found its food,
The glories of the city;
It devoured the past.

How lonely she sits,
That once was full of people,
A mourning widow.

For years her tears fell,
In cottage-cities, waiting,
Building slowly back.

No Phoenix-bird this,
The ashes of industry
Do not bear such fruit.

The city returned,
Her glory much abated,
No coastal queen now.

The man-works fall so,
When God in glory speaking
Shatters the cedars.

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