Boats in a Fog

by Robinson Jeffers

Sports and gallantries, the stage, the arts, the antics of
The exuberant voices of music,
Have charm for children but lack nobility; it is bitter
That makes beauty; the mind
Knows, grown adult.
A sudden fog-drift muffled the ocean,
A throbbing of engines moved in it,
At length, a stone's throw out, between the rocks and
the vapor,
One by one moved shadows
Out of the mystery, shadows, fishing-boats, trailing each
Following the cliff for guidance,
Holding a difficult path between the peril of the sea-fog
And the foam on the shore granite.
One by one, trailing their leader, six crept by me,
Out of the vapor and into it,
The throb of their engines subdued by the fog, patient
and cautious,
Coasting all round the peninsula
Back to the buoys in Monterey harbor. A flight of
Is nothing lovelier to look at;
The flight of the planets is nothing nobler; all the arts
lose virtue
Against the essential reality
Of creatures going about their business among the equally
Earnest elements of nature.

Last updated May 08, 2023