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
Must all of worth be travailled for, and those Life's brightest stars rise from a troubled sea? Must years go by in sad uncertainty Leaving us doubting whose the conquering blows, Are we or Fate the victors? Time which shows All inner meanings will reveal, but we Shall never know the upshot. Ours to be Wasted with longing, shattered in the throes, The agonies of splendid dreams, which day Dims from our vision, but each night brings back; We strive to hold their grandeur, and essay To be the thing we dream. Sudden we lack The flash of insight, life grows drear and gray, And hour follows hour, nerveless, slack.