I've changed my ways a little; I cannot now
Run with you in the evenings along the shore,
Except in a kind of dream; and you,
If you dream a moment,
you see me there.

So leave awhile the paw marks on the front door

Where I used to scratch to go out or in,
And you'd soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
The marks of my drinking-pan.
I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
On the warm stone,
Nor at the foot of your bed; no, all the nights through I lie alone.

But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
Outside your window where firelight so often plays,
And where you sit to read-and I fear often
Grieving for me-

Every night your lamplight lies on my place.

You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard
To think of you ever dying.
A dog would get tired, living so long.
I hope that when you are lying
Under the ground like me your lives will appear

As good and joyful as mine.
No, that's too much hope; you are not
So well cared for as I have been.

And never have known the passionate, undivided
Fidelities that I knew.
Your minds are perhaps too active,
Too many-sided...
But to me you were true.

You were never masters, but friends.
I was your friend.
I loved you well, and was loved.
Deep love endures to the end and far past the end.
If this is my end,
I am not lonely.
I am not afraid.
I am still yours.

Robinson Jeffers, 1941 Selected Poems.


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