The City

buildings
corrupted in the dark
mixed with the light
of strangers
 
          *
 
hurried feet
step by step on pavement—
and the dirt is deep
as little by little
they mark their souls
 
          *
 
organism of souls
who have their moment
and sink back down
to dark oblivion
 
          *
 
steam in the streets
with century old pipes bursting—
dreams of the riders
new as the city is old
 
          *
 
dark and still
the buildings watch

A Lark's Flight

In the quiet City park,
Between the dawn and the dark,
Loud and clear,
That all may hear,
Sings the Lark.

Beyond the low black line
Of trees the dawn peeps red, —
Clouds blow woolly and fine
In the ether overhead,
Out of the air is shaken
A fresh and glistening dew,
And the City begins to awaken
And tremble thro' and thro';
See! (while thro' street and lane
The people pour again,
And lane and alley and street
Grow hoarse to a sound of feet,)
Here and there
A human Shape comes, dark

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Typhoon Signal No. 1

This is where the typhoon starts—
inside the fourth paragraph,
ten city blocks away,

where the neurosurgeon halfs
La Celestina, where you occupy
the spot under that Tiffany lamp,

where Edgar Rice Burroughs laughs,
where sugar cane is thigh
high, where you apply lipstick,

where the address numbers
are transposed, where hearts
take on airs of Parisian avenues,

where Mexican silver coins
are exchanged for salt, where
there is no fine line between art


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Two Wishes XI

In the silence of the night Death descended from God toward the earth. He hovered above a city and pierced the dwellings with his eyes. He say the spirits floating on wings of dreams, and the people who were surrendered to the Slumber.

When the moon fell below the horizon and the city became black, Death walked silently among the houses -- careful to touch nothing -- until he reached a palace. He entered through the bolted gates undisturbed, and stood by the rich man's bed; and as Death touched his forehead, the sleeper's eyes opened, showing great fright.


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Travel

I should like to rise and go
Where the golden apples grow;--
Where below another sky
Parrot islands anchored lie,
And, watched by cockatoos and goats,
Lonely Crusoes building boats;--
Where in sunshine reaching out
Eastern cities, miles about,
Are with mosque and minaret
Among sandy gardens set,
And the rich goods from near and far
Hang for sale in the bazaar;--
Where the Great Wall round China goes,
And on one side the desert blows,
And with the voice and bell and drum,


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True Diffidence

My boy, you may take it from me,
That of all the afflictions accurst
With which a man's saddled
And hampered and addled,
A diffident nature's the worst.
Though clever as clever can be -
A Crichton of early romance -
You must stir it and stump it,
And blow your own trumpet,
Or, trust me, you haven't a chance.

Now take, for example, MY case:
I've a bright intellectual brain -
In all London city
There's no one so witty -
I've thought so again and again.
I've a highly intelligent face -


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Tristia

I have studied the Science of departures,
in night’s sorrows, when a woman’s hair falls down.
The oxen chew, there’s the waiting, pure,
in the last hours of vigil in the town,
and I reverence night’s ritual cock-crowing,
when reddened eyes lift sorrow’s load and choose
to stare at distance, and a woman’s crying
is mingled with the singing of the Muse.

Who knows, when the word ‘departure’ is spoken
what kind of separation is at hand,
or of what that cock-crow is a token,


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Train Ride

For Horace Gregory

After rain, through afterglow, the unfolding fan
of railway landscape sidled onthe pivot
of a larger arc into the green of evening;
I remembered that noon I saw a gradual bud
still white; though dead in its warm bloom;
always the enemy is the foe at home.
And I wondered what surgery could recover
our lost, long stride of indolence and leisure
which is labor in reverse; what physic recall the smile
not of lips, but of eyes as of the sea bemused.
We, when we disperse from common sleep to several


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Train

After Max Ernst's 'Europe after the Rain'

In the dark
each sits alone
clutching his flag

I have more than my one death
to attend to
there is a sickness about
and the magician has vanished

But I sit with my twenty six years
spread on my palms
and I wait for the silence
when the programme is interrupted
and the speakers have no script.
And I think how to carry my children
into the sewers.

Roll up the cities.
Let the window explode


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Tour Abroad of Wilfrid the Great

By Jean Baptiste Trudeau.


W'en Queen Victoria calls her peup's
For mak' some Jubilee,
She sen' for men from all de worl' --
And from her colonie.

But mos' of all, she sen' dis word
To dis Canadian shore,
"If Wilfrid Laurier do not come,
I will be glad no more."

Den Wilfrid not hard-hearted, he
Lif' w'at you call de hat,
An' say, "Ma reine, you mus' not fret,
For little t'ing lak' dat.

"To Londres, on de day in June
You mention, I will come,


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