Verse > Anthologies > Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. > The Little Book of Modern Verse
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Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. (1869–1948).  The Little Book of Modern Verse.  1917.
 
3. On a Subway Express
 
By Chester Firkins
 
 
I, WHO have lost the stars, the sod,
  For chilling pave and cheerless light,
Have made my meeting-place with God
  A new and nether Night—
 
Have found a fane where thunder fills        5
  Loud caverns tremulous;—and these
Atone me for my reverend hills
  And moonlit silences.
 
A figment in the crowded dark,
  Where men sit muted by the roar,        10
I ride upon the whirring Spark
  Beneath the city’s floor.
 
In this dim firmament, the stars
  Whirl by in blazing files and tiers;
Kin meteors graze our flying bars,        15
  Amid the spinning spheres.
 
Speed! speed! until the quivering rails
  Flash silver where the head-light gleams,
As when on lakes the Moon impales
  The waves upon its beams.        20
 
Life throbs about me, yet I stand
  Outgazing on majestic Power;
Death rides with me, on either hand,
  In my communion hour.
 
You that ’neath country skies can pray,        25
  Scoff not at me—the city clod;—
My only respite of the Day
  Is this wild ride—with God.
 

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