The Caucasus


The Caucasus, below. I stand on the peak
Alone at the edge of the cliff and the snow.
An eagle that far-off crags must know
Comes hovering evenly here - t a bleak
Birthplace of mountain-stream and storm
Where awesome avalanches form.

Here at my feet float quiet clouds
Threaded by throaty waterfalls;
Below the falls, bare boulder-walls;
And lower, dry scrub , mossy shrouds;
And at last the green shade of a grove
Where birds twitter and deer rove.

Men's huts nestle there in the hills,
And the sheep drift on the grassy slopes,
And the shepherd goes down to the valley of his hopes,
The dark banks where the Aragva spills,
And the starving rider hides in the pass,
And the Terek rolls in a wild glad mass -

Rolling and roaring, a young beast at play,
Eyeing the food from its iron cage,
Lashing its shores in useless rage,
Licking its boulders with hungry spray ...
Vain play! It finds no food, no rest,
Its guards are dumb, its will suppressed.

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