To the "Flat Iron"

On roof and street, on park and pier, 
The springtide sun shines soft and white, 
Where the “Flat Iron,” gaunt, austere, 
Lifts its huge tiers in limpid light. 

   From the city’s stir and madd’ning roar
   Your monstrous shape scars in massive flight, 
    And ’mid the breezes the ocean bore
    Your windows flame in the sunset light. 

        Lonely and lithe, o’er the nocturnal city’s 
        Flickering flames, you proudly tower, 
        Like some ancient, giant monolith, 
        Girt with the stars and mists that lower. 

All else we see fade fast and disappear, 
Only your prow-like form looms gaunt, austere, 
As in a sea of fog, now veiled, now clear. 

      Iron structure of the time, 
         Rich, in showing no pretense, 
           Fair, in frugalness sublime, 
        emblem staunch of common sense, 
            Well may you smile over Gotham’s vast domain, 
              As dawn greets your pillars with roseate flame, 
               For future ages will proclaim 
                      Your beauty, boldly, 
                              Without shame. 

From Drifting Flowers of the Sea and Other Poems (1904) by Sadakichi Hartmann. This poem is in the public domain.