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
From One Who Stays
How empty seems the town now you are gone! A wilderness of sad streets, where gaunt walls Hide nothing to desire; sunshine falls Eery, distorted, as it long had shone On white, dead faces tombed in halls of stone. The whir of motors, stricken through with calls Of playing boys, floats up at intervals; But all these noises blur to one long moan. What quest is worth pursuing? And how strange That other men still go accustomed ways! I hate their interest in the things they do. A spectre-horde repeating without change An old routine. Alone I know the days Are still-born, and the world stopped, lacking you.