American Poetry 1922/The Rock

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For works with similar titles, see The Rock.


This rock, too, was a word;
A word of flame and force when that which hurled
The stars into their places in the night
First stirred.

And, in the summer's heat,
Lay not your hand on it, for while the iron hours beat
Gray anvils in the sky, it glows again
With unfulfilled desire.

Touch it not; let it stand
Ragged, forlorn, still looking in the land;
The dry blue chaos of mountains in the distance,
The slender blades of grass it shelters are
Its own dark thoughts of what is near and far.
Your thoughts are yours, too; naked let them stand.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1926.

The author died in 1977, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 30 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.