They have watered the street, It shines in the glare of lamps, Cold, white lamps, And lies Like a slow-moving river, Barred with silver and black. Cabs go down it, One, And then another, Between them I hear the shuffling of feet. Tramps doze on the window-ledges, Night-walkers pass along the sidewalks. The city is squalid and sinister, With the silver-barred street in the midst, Slow-moving, A river leading nowhere. Opposite my window, The moon cuts, Clear and round, Through the plum-coloured night. She cannot light the city: It is too bright. It has white lamps, And glitters coldly. I stand in the window and watch the moon. She is thin and lustreless, But I love her. I know the moon, And this is an alien city.
Amy Lowell - 1874-1925
The Congressional Library [excerpt]
Where else in all America are we so symbolized As in this hall? White columns polished like glass, A dome and a dome, A balcony and a balcony, Stairs and the balustrades to them, Yellow marble and red slabs of it, All mounting, spearing, flying into color. Color round the dome and up to it, Color curving, kite-flying, to the second dome, Light, dropping, pitching down upon the color, Arrow-falling upon the glass-bright pillars, Mingled colors spinning into a shape of white pillars, Fusing, cooling, into balanced shafts of shrill and interthronging light. This is America, This vast, confused beauty, This staring, restless speed of loveliness, Mighty, overwhelming, crude, of all forms, Making grandeur out of profusion, Afraid of no incongruities, Sublime in its audacity, Bizarre breaker of moulds, Laughing with strength, Charging down on the past, Glorious and conquering, Destroyer, builder, Invincible pith and marrow of the world, An old world remaking, Whirling into the no-world of all-colored light.