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
The Promise of the Morning Star
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.