Crepuscule du Matin

Amy Lowell - 1874-1925
          All night I wrestled with a memory
           Which knocked insurgent at the gates of thought.
           The crumbled wreck of years behind has wrought
          Its disillusion; now I only cry
          For peace, for power to forget the lie
           Which hope too long has whispered. So I sought
           The sleep which would not come, and night was fraught
          With old emotions weeping silently.
          I heard your voice again, and knew the things
           Which you had promised proved an empty vaunt.
          I felt your clinging hands while night's broad wings
          Cherished our love in darkness. From the lawn
           A sudden, quivering birdnote, like a taunt.
          My arms held nothing but the empty dawn.

More by Amy Lowell

A London Thoroughfare. 2 A.M.


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.

Opal

You are ice and fire,
The touch of you burns my hands like snow.
You are cold and flame.
You are the crimson of amaryllis,
The silver of moon-touched magnolias.
When I am with you,
My heart is a frozen pond
Gleaming with agitated torches.

The Taxi

When I go away from you
The world beats dead 
Like a slackened drum.
I call out for you against the jutted stars
And shout into the ridges of the wind.
Streets coming fast,
One after the other,
Wedge you away from me,
And the lamps of the city prick my eyes
So that I can no longer see your face.
Why should I leave you,
To wound myself upon the sharp edges of the night?