Verse > Anthologies > Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed. > The Book of New York Verse
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Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed.  The Book of New York Verse.  1917.
 
New York
By Don Marquis
 
SHE is hot to the sea that crouches beside,
  Human and hot to the cool stars peering down,
  My passionate city, my quivering town,
And her dark blood, tide upon purple tide,
With throbs as of thunder beats,        5
  With leaping rhythms and vast, is swirled
Through the shaken lengths of her veinèd streets—
  She pulses, the heart of a world!
 
I have thrilled with her ecstasy, agony, woe—
Hath she a mood that I do not know?        10
The winds of her music tumultuous have seized me and swayed me,
  Have lifted, have swung me around
  In their whirls as of cyclonic sound;
Her passions have torn me and tossed me and brayed me;
Drunken and tranced and dazzled with visions and gleams,        15
  I have spun with her dervish priests;
  I have searched to the souls of her haunted beasts
    And found love sleeping there;
I have soared on the wings of her flashing dreams;
    I have sunk with her dull despair;        20
I have sweat with her travails and cursed with her pains;
  I have swelled with her foolish pride;
I have raged through a thick red mist at one with her branded Cains,
  With her broken Christs have died.
 
O beautiful half-god city of visions and love!        25
  O hideous half-brute city of hate!
O wholly human and baffled and passionate town!
  The throes of thy burgeoning, stress of thy fight,
Thy bitter, blind struggle to gain for thy body a soul,
  I have known, I have felt, and been shaken thereby!        30
    Wakened and shaken and broken,
For I hear in thy thunders terrific that throb through thy rapid veins
    The beat of the heart of a world.
 
 
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