Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, IN THE BELFRY OF THE NIEUWE KERK, by THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH



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IN THE BELFRY OF THE NIEUWE KERK, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Not a breath in the stifled, dirty street
Last Line: Mortals dwelling upon the height!
Subject(s): Amsterdam, Netherlands


(AMSTERDAM.)

NOT a breath in the stifled, dingy street!
On the Stadhuis tiles the sun's strong glow
Lies like a kind of golden snow.
In the square one almost sees the heat.
The mottled tulips over there
By the open casement pant for air.
Grave, portly burghers, with their vrouws,
Go hat in hand to cool their brows.

But high in the fretted steeple, where
The sudden chimes burst forth and scare
The lazy rooks from the belfry beam,
And the ring-doves as they coo and dream
On flying-buttress or carven rose --
Up here, mein Gott! a tempest blows!--
Such a wind as bends the forest tree,
And rocks the great ships out at sea.

Plain simple folk, who come and go
On humble levels of life below,
Little dream of the gales that smite
Mortals dwelling upon the height!





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