The City That Will Not Repent
Climbing the heights of Berkeley
Nightly I watch the West.
There lies new San Francisco,
Sea-maid in purple dressed,
Wearing a dancer's girdle
All to inflame desire:
Scorning her days of sackcloth,
Scorning her cleansing fire.
See, like a burning city
Sets now the red sun's dome.
See, mystic firebrands sparkle
There on each store and home.
See how the golden gateway
Burns with the day to be —
Torch-bearing fiends of portent
Loom o'er the earth and sea.
Not by the earthquake daunted
Nor by new fears made tame,
Painting her face and laughing
Plays she a new-found game.
Here on her half-cool cinders
'Frisco abides in mirth,
Planning the wildest splendor
Ever upon the earth.
Here on this crumbling rock-ledge
'Frisco her all will stake,
Blowing her bubble-towers,
Swearing they will not break,
Rearing her Fair transcendent,
Singing with piercing art,
Calling to Ancient Asia,
Wooing young Europe's heart.
Here where her God has scourged her
Wantoning, singing sweet:
Waiting her mad bad lovers
Here by the judgment-seat!
'Frisco, God's doughty foeman,
Scorns and blasphemes him strong.
Tho' he again should smite her
She would not slack her song.
Nay, she would shriek and rally —
'Frisco would ten times rise!
Not till her last tower crumbles,
Not till her last rose dies,
Not till the coast sinks seaward,
Not till the cold tides beat
Over the high white Shasta,
'Frisco will cry defeat.
God loves this rebel city,
Loves foemen brisk and game,
Tho', just to please the angels,
He may send down his flame.
God loves the golden leopard
Tho' he may spoil her lair.
God smites, yet loves the lion.
God makes the panther fair.
Dance then, wild guests of 'Frisco,
Yellow, bronze, white and red!
Dance by the golden gateway —
Dance, tho' he smite you dead!
Vachel Lindsay's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (The City That Will Not Repent by Vachel Lindsay )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
- Bijay Kant Dubey
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
- The Indian Babas And Their Sex Scandals, Bijay Kant Dubey
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
Poem of the Day
- Asleep, Luo Zhihai
- Pickled with fate and time, Aftab Alam
- A Preface to My Autobiography, Valsa George
- Haiku - Life, chandra thiagarajan
- An educational song., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
- Not permanent, hasmukh amathalal
- UNKNOWN, Fatima Obaid
- My Fight, Rusty (Ed) Gibson
- Remembering Poem, Kyle Schlicher
- In HIm Alone, david kush