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 know a country laced with roads, They join the hills and they span the brooks, They weave like a shuttle between broad fields, And slide discreetly through hidden nooks. They are canopied like a Persian dome And carpeted with orient dyes. They are myriad-voiced, and musical, And scented with happiest memories. O Winding roads that I know so well, Every twist and turn, every hollow and hill! They are set in my heart to a pulsing tune Gay as a honey-bee humming in June. 'T is the rhythmic beat of a horse's feet And the pattering paws of a sheep-dog bitch; 'T is the creaking trees, and the singing breeze, And the rustle of leaves in the road-side ditch. A cow in a meadow shakes her bell And the notes cut sharp through the autumn air, Each chattering brook bears a fleet of leaves Their cargo the rainbow, and just now where The sun splashed bright on the road ahead A startled rabbit quivered and fled. O Uphill roads and roads that dip down! You curl your sun-spattered length along, And your march is beaten into a song By the softly ringing hoofs of a horse And the panting breath of the dogs I love. The pageant of Autumn follows its course And the blue sky of Autumn laughs above. And the song and the country become as one, I see it as music, I hear it as light; Prismatic and shimmering, trembling to tone, The land of desire, my soul's delight. And always it beats in my listening ears With the gentle thud of a horse's stride, With the swift-falling steps of many dogs, Following, following at my side. O Roads that journey to fairyland! Radiant highways whose vistas gleam, Leading me on, under crimson leaves, To the opaline gates of the Castles of Dream.