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 )
- SHE - a love poem, Thomas Kay
- Upon Me, Edward Kofi Louis
- Global Pie-in-the-sky, stephen ifill
- Fifty Percent, Tom Higgins
- Yamine, Edward Kofi Louis
- I want eyes, Nassy Fesharaki
- One More For The Road., Tom Higgins
- We don't accept anything anytime...., MOHAMMAD SKATI
- Tread, read!, Edward Kofi Louis
- Against A Stone, Edward Kofi Louis
Poem of the Day
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
- Heather Burns
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)