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
I Our meeting was like the upward swish of a rocket In the blue night. I do not know when it burst; But now I stand gaping, In a glory of falling stars. II Hola! Hola! shouts the crowd, as the catherine-wheels sputter and turn. Hola! They cheer the flower-pots and set pieces. And nobody heeds the cries of a young man in shirt-sleeves, Who has burnt his fingers setting them off. III A King and Queen, and a couple of Generals, Flame in colored lights; Putting out the stars, And making a great glare over the people wandering among the booths. They are very beautiful and impressive, And all the people say "Ah!" By and by they begin to go out, Little by little. The King's crown goes first, Then his eyes, Then his nose and chin. The Queen goes out from the bottom up, Until only the topmost jewel of her tiara is left. Then that, too, goes; And there is nothing but a frame of twisted wires, With the stars twinkling through it.