Robert Francis


If to the taunting peneplain the peak
Is standpat, relic, anachronism,
Fossil, the peak can stand the taunt.

There was a time the peak was not a peak
But granite and resistant core,
Something that refused to wear

Away when time and wind and rivers wore
The rest away. Here is the thing
The nervous rivers left behind.

Endurance is the word, not exaltation.
Two words: endurance, exaltation.
Out of endurance, exaltation.

Robert Francis, Robert Francis: Collected Poems,
1936-1976, University of Massachusetts Press,