Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
City Storm
By Harold Monro
THE HEAVY sounds are over-sweet
That droop above the hooded street,
At any moment ripe to fall and lie;
And when that wind will swagger up the town
They’ll bend a moment, then will fly        5
All clattering down.
Troops come and go of urchin breeze;
They flick your face or smack the trees,
Then round the corner spin and leap
With whistling cries,        10
Rake their rubbish in a heap
And throw it in your eyes.
(Much preparation of the earth and air
Is needed everywhere
Before that first large drop of rain can fall.)        15
Smells of the sea, or inland grass,
Come staring through the town and pass.
Brilliant old Memories drive in state
Along the way, but cannot wait;
And many a large unusual bird        20
Hovers across the sky half-heard.
But listen. It is He—
At last he comes:
Gigantic tyrant panting through the street,
Slamming the windows of our little homes,        25
Banging the doors, knocking the chimneys down.
Oh, his loud tramp: how scornfully he can meet
Great citizens, and lash them with his sleet!
Everything will be altered in our town.
He’ll wipe the film of habit clean away.        30
While he remains,
His cloak is over everything we do,
And the whole town complains.
A sombre scroll;
An inner room.        35
A crystal bowl:
Waters of gloom.
Oh, the darkened house—
Into silence creep.
The world is cold;        40
The people weep.

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