Verse > Anthologies > Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed. > The Book of New York Verse
Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed.  The Book of New York Verse.  1917.
The Shadowy City Looms
By Lloyd Mifflin
New York from the North River

IN deepening shades the haunting vision swims;
  A denser greyness settles o’er the stream;
The domes are veiled; the wondrous City dims—
      Dims as a dream:
The night transforms it to a palace vast        5
  Lit with a thousand lamps from cryptic wires;
The vaporous walls are phantoms of the Past,
      Strange with vague spires:
Huge, peopled monoliths that touch the skies,
  Whose indeterminate bases baffle sight,        10
Each with its Argus, incandescent eyes
      Pierces the night:
Undreamt-of heights of glimmering marble loom
  Like some enchanted fabric wrought of air;
Gigantic shafts of insubstantial gloom        15
      Lift, shadowy, there:
Could fabled Camelot of the poet’s dream
  Surpass these towers soaring from the mist?—
These steel-ribbed granite miracles that gleam
      Dim amethyst?…        20
Slow on the tide, from murky coves remote,
  The freighted barges move, laboriously,
While some palatial, golden-lighted boat
      Steams for the sea:
Now that the moon is breaking through the cloud        25
  The radiant halo o’er the City pales;
Shimmer the dusky wharves with mast and shroud
      And furlèd sails:
Soft strains of music, hovering, drift away;
  In cloudy turrets toll the spectral bells;        30
While the sea-voices, from the wastes of grey,
      Send faint farewells:
The homing sloops are sheltered in the slip:
  The silence deepens; and up-stream, afar,
A fading lantern on an anchored ship        35
      Seems a lost star.

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