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
Frankincense and Myrrh
My heart is tuned to sorrow, and the strings Vibrate most readily to minor chords, Searching and sad; my mind is stuffed with words Which voice the passion and the ache of things: Illusions beating with their baffled wings Against the walls of circumstance, and hoards Of torn desires, broken joys; records Of all a bruised life's maimed imaginings. Now you are come! You tremble like a star Poised where, behind earth's rim, the sun has set. Your voice has sung across my heart, but numb And mute, I have no tones to answer. Far Within I kneel before you, speechless yet, And life ablaze with beauty, I am dumb.