The Promise of the Morning Star

Amy Lowell - 1874-1925
          Thou father of the children of my brain
           By thee engendered in my willing heart,
           How can I thank thee for this gift of art
          Poured out so lavishly, and not in vain.

          What thou created never more can die,
           Thy fructifying power lives in me
           And I conceive, knowing it is by thee,
          Dear other parent of my poetry!

          For I was but a shadow with a name,
           Perhaps by now the very name's forgot;
           So strange is Fate that it has been my lot
          To learn through thee the presence of that aim

          Which evermore must guide me. All unknown,
           By me unguessed, by thee not even dreamed,
           A tree has blossomed in a night that seemed
          Of stubborn, barren wood. For thou hast sown

          This seed of beauty in a ground of truth.
           Humbly I dedicate myself, and yet
           I tremble with a sudden fear to set
          New music ringing through my fading youth.

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?