Market Day

Amy Lowell - 1874-1925
          White, glittering sunlight fills the market square,
           Spotted and sprigged with shadows. Double rows
           Of bartering booths spread out their tempting shows
          Of globed and golden fruit, the morning air
          Smells sweet with ripeness, on the pavement there
           A wicker basket gapes and overflows
           Spilling out cool, blue plums. The market glows,
          And flaunts, and clatters in its busy care.
           A stately minster at the northern side
          Lifts its twin spires to the distant sky,
           Pinnacled, carved and buttressed; through the wide
          Arched doorway peals an organ, suddenly —
           Crashing, triumphant in its pregnant tide,
          Quenching the square in vibrant harmony.

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?