Loon Point

- 1874-1925
          Softly the water ripples
           Against the canoe's curving side,
          Softly the birch trees rustle
           Flinging over us branches wide.

          Softly the moon glints and glistens
           As the water takes and leaves,
          Like golden ears of corn
           Which fall from loose-bound sheaves,

          Or like the snow-white petals
           Which drop from an overblown rose,
          When Summer ripens to Autumn
           And the freighted year must close.

          From the shore come the scents of a garden,
           And between a gap in the trees
          A proud white statue glimmers
           In cold, disdainful ease.

          The child of a southern people,
           The thought of an alien race,
          What does she in this pale, northern garden,
           How reconcile it with her grace?

          But the moon in her wayward beauty
           Is ever and always the same,
          As lovely as when upon Latmos
           She watched till Endymion came.

          Through the water the moon writes her legends
           In light, on the smooth, wet sand;
          They endure for a moment, and vanish,
           And no one may understand.

          All round us the secret of Nature
           Is telling itself to our sight,
          We may guess at her meaning but never
           Can know the full mystery of night.

          But her power of enchantment is on us,
           We bow to the spell which she weaves,
          Made up of the murmur of waves
           And the manifold whisper of leaves.

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?