Verse > Anthologies > Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed. > The Book of New York Verse
Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed.  The Book of New York Verse.  1917.
The City
By Edith M. Thomas
NOT mine with infancy’s film’d eyes
  To greet first light from past thy towers,
That soar and dream in stainless skies,
  Nor heard I first thy chime told hours:
Far, far from here my childhood’s morn—        5
But here was I reborn.
Not mine to taste the keen, salt spray,
  That tingling smites thy downward face—
That stirs the blood, that breaks the fray
  Of life, in street and marketplace,        10
Where, wearied, none be soon outworn!
But here was I reborn.
Here where ’twas given to indraw
  The air of larger freedom, yet
To know the closer bond of law,        15
  Here where Fate’s lusty blows are met,
But not the pinprick and the thorn—
Here where I was reborn!
In million beating hearts (thine own),
  A one pulsed world-heart first I felt;        20
Then, down upon thy paving stone,
  In thankfulness, I could have knelt,
At one with all—of selfhood shorn—
Here where I was reborn!
Dear unto each his native earth,        25
  Renascent life thou gavest me,
O city of my glad rebirth!
  I am thy native; shut from thee
What but an exile most forlorn,
I who was here reborn!        30
Let who will count thee but as part
  Of this wide land—I, in my soul
(More in the gravure on my heart)
  Proclaim thee greater than the whole!
I am thy patriot. Do not scorn        35
Thy singer here reborn.

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