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
Francis II, King of Naples Written
Poor foolish monarch, vacillating, vain, Decaying victim of a race of kings, Swift Destiny shook out her purple wings And caught him in their shadow; not again Could furtive plotting smear another stain Across his tarnished honour. Smoulderings Of sacrificial fires burst their rings And blotted out in smoke his lost domain. Bereft of courtiers, only with his queen, From empty palace down to empty quay. No challenge screamed from hostile carabine. A single vessel waited, shadowy; All night she ploughed her solitary way Beneath the stars, and through a tranquil sea.