by Wallace Stevens
The doctor of Geneva stamped the sand
That lay impounding the Pacific swell,
Patted his stove-pipe hat and tugged his shawl.
Lacustrine man had never been assailed
By such long-rolling opulent cataracts,
Unless Racine or Bossuet held the like.
He did not quail. A man who used to plumb
The multifarious heavens felt no awe
Before these visible, voluble delugings,
Which yet found means to set his simmering mind
Spinning and hissing with oracular
Notations of the wild, the ruinous waste,
Until the steeples of his city clanked and sprang
In an unburgherly apocalypse.
The doctor used his handkerchief and sighed.
Last updated January 14, 2019