When I considered it too closely, when I wore it like an elementand smelt it like water,
Life is become less lovely, the net nearer than the skin, alittle troublesome, a little terrible.I pledged myself awhile ago not to seek refuge, neither in deathnor in a walled garden,
In lies nor gated loyalties, nor in the gates of contempt, thateasily lock the world out of doors.Here on the rock it is great and beautiful, here on the foam-wetgranite sea-fang it is easy to praise
Life and water and the shining stones: but whose cattle are theherds of the people that one should love them?If they were yours, then you might take a cattle-breeder'sdelight in the herds of the future. Not yours.
Where the power ends let love, before it sours to jealousy.Leave the joys of government to Caesar.Who is born when the world wanes, when the brave soul of theworld falls on decay in the flesh increasing
Comes one with a great level mind, sufficient vision, sufficientblindness, and clemency for love.This is the breath of rottenness I smelt; from the worldwaiting, stalled between storms, decaying a little,
Bitterly afraid to be hurt, but knowing it cannot draw thesavior Caesar but out of the blood-bath.The apes of Christ lift up their hands to praise love: butwisdom without love is the present savior,
Power without hatred, mind like a many-bladed machine subduingthe world with deep indifference.The apes of Christ itch for a sickness they have never known;words and the little envies will hardly
Measure against that blinding fire behind the tragic eyes theyhave never dared to confront.II
Point Lobos lies over the hollowed water like a humped whaleswimming to shoal; Point Lobos
Was wounded with that fire; the hills at Point Sur endured it;the palace at Thebes; the hill Calvary.Out of incestuous love power and then ruin. A man forcing theimaginations of men,
Possessing with love and power the people: a man defiling hisown household with impious desire.King Oedipus reeling blinded from the palace doorway, red tearspouring from the torn pits
Under the forehead; and the young Jew writhing on the domed hillin the earthquake, against the eclipseFrightfully uplifted for having turned inward to love thepeople: -that root was so sweet O dreadful agonist? -
I saw the same pierced feet, that walked in the same crime toits expiation; I heard the same cry.A bad mountain to build your world on. Am I another keeper ofthe people, that on my own shore,
On the gray rock, by the grooved mass of the ocean, thesicknesses I left behind me concern me?Here where the surf has come incredible ways out of the splendidwest, over the deeps
Light nor life sounds forever; here where enormous sundownsflower and burn through color to quietness;Then the ecstasy of the stars is present? As for the people, Ihave found my rock, let them find theirs.
Let them lie down at Caesar's feet and be saved; and he in histime reap their daggers of gratitude.III
Yet I am the one made pledges against the refuge contempt, thateasily locks the world out of doors.
This people as much as the sea-granite is part of the God fromwhom I desire not to be fugitive.I see them: they are always crying. The shored Pacific makesperpetual music, and the stone mountains
Their music of silence, the stars blow long pipings of light:the people are always crying in their hearts.One need not pity; certainly one must not love. But who has seenpeace, if he should tell them where peace
Lives in the world...they would be powerless to understand; andhe is not willing to be reinvolved.IV
How should one caught in the stone of his own person dare tellthe people anything but relative to that?
But if a man could hold in his mind all the conditions at once,of man and woman, of civilizedAnd barbarous, of sick and well, of happy and under torture, ofliving and dead, of human and not
Human, and dimly all the human future: -what should persuade himto speak? And what could his words change?The mountain ahead of the world is not forming but fixed. Butthe man's words would be fixed also,
Part of that mountain, under equal compulsion; under the samepresent compulsion in the iron consistency.And nobody sees good or evil but out of a brain a hundredcenturies quieted, some desert
Prophet's, a man humped like a camel, gone mad between the mud-walled village and the mountain sepulchres.V
Broad wagons before sunrise bring food into the city from theopen farms, and the people are fed.
They import and they consume reality. Before sunrise a hawk inthe desert made them their thoughts.VI
Here is an anxious people, rank with suppressedbloodthirstiness. Among the mild and unwarlike
Gautama needed but live greatly and be heard, Confucius neededbut live greatly and be heard:This people has not outgrown blood-sacrifice, one must writhe onthe high cross to catch at their memories;
The price is known. I have quieted love; for love of the peopleI would not do it. For power I would do it.--But that stands against reason: what is power to a dead man,dead under torture? --What is power to a man
Living, after the flesh is content? Reason is never a root,neither of act nor desire.For power living I would never do it; they'are not delightful totouch, one wants to be separate. For power
After the nerves are put away underground, to lighten theabstract unborn children toward peace...A man might have paid anguish indeed. Except he had found thestanding sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peacethat quiets the desire even of praising it.VII
Yet look: are they not pitiable? No: if they lived forever theywould be pitiable:
But a huge gift reserved quite overwhelms them at the end; theyare able then to be still and not cry.And having touched a little of the beauty and seen a little ofthe beauty of things, magically grow
Across the funeral fire or the hidden stench of burialthemselves into the beauty they admired,Themselves into the God, themselves into the sacred steepunconsciousness they used to mimic
Asleep between lamp's death and dawn, while the last drunkardstumbled homeward down the dark street.They are not to be pitied but very fortunate; they need nosavior, salvation comes and takes them by force,
It gathers them into the great kingdoms of dust and stone, theblown storms, the stream's-end ocean.With this advantage over their granite grave-marks, of havingrealized the petulant human consciousness
Before, and then the greatness, the peace: drunk from bothpitchers: these to be pitied? These not fortunateBut while he lives let each man make his health in his mind, tolove the coast opposite humanity
And so be freed of love, laying it like bread on the waters; itis worst turned inward, it is best shot farthest.Love, the mad wine of good and evil, the saint's and murderer's,the mote in the eye that makes its object
Shine the sun black; the trap in which it is better to catch theinhuman God than the hunter's own image.
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