Verse > Anthologies > Louis Untermeyer, ed. > Modern British Poetry
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Louis Untermeyer, ed. (1885–1977). Modern British Poetry.  1920.
 
Osbert Sitwell. 1892–
 
170. Progress
 
THE city's heat is like a leaden pall— 
Its lowered lamps glow in the midnight air 
Like mammoth orange-moths that flit and flare 
Through the dark tapestry of night. The tall 
Black houses crush the creeping beggars down,         5
Who walk beneath and think of breezes cool, 
Of silver bodies bathing in a pool; 
Or trees that whisper in some far, small town 
Whose quiet nursed them, when they thought that 
Was merely metal, not a grave of mould  10
In which men bury all that's fine and fair. 
When they could chase the jewelled butterfly 
Through the green bracken-scented lanes or sigh 
For all the future held so rich and rare; 
When, though they knew it not, their baby cries  15
Were lovely as the jewelled butterflies. 
 
 
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