Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Bus-ride in a Fog
By V. H. Friedlaender
OUT from the house to the street—
From the colored and sounding house
To the thin grey shape of the street as it steals
Before one’s feet
Like a mouse.        5
A wavering lamp competes
With the darkness; from vacancy spring
Tall trees by the pavement’s edge, till it wheels
To the high street’s
Beckoning.        10
The ’bus … Up a phantom stair,
And alone on a spectral seat;
And the endless purr of the wheels as we go
(To a bell somewhere)
Down the street.        15
And the street is a tale that is told;
And a wraith is London town;
Under ochre seas—oh, far below!—
Is her glory, her gold
Gone down!        20
From shadows among the shades,
In a city that once has been,
Here a muted voice swims half into ken,
There a white face fades
Half seen.        25
And still the drone of the ’bus,
Like a coma, a swoon, a drug:
“Dead, dead—down, down—among all dead men;
And your grave with us
Is dug …”        30
Out from the sulphurous soul,
Out from the tortured heart
Of the purgatorial city, where death
Is the goal
And the better part.        35
The journey’s end?—to arrive?
How queer, how almost pain
To stretch stiff limbs and recover breath—
To come alive
Again!        40

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