Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A STREET MOTHER, by WILLIAM ROSE BENET



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A STREET MOTHER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: My eyes were staring high
Last Line: Swooned at her feet!
Subject(s): Courage; Desire; Mothers; Valor; Bravery


My eyes were staring high
Aloft for dreams of rapture and of awe,
And she—she passed me by
Before I saw!

A roaring gulch of fire
The street,—and brilliant stars possessed its skies.
But purer with their passionate desire,
Her dauntless eyes!

The profile calm and strong,
Yet wistful with the hint of alien race ...
Oh, like a battle-song
Her thrilling face!

The coarse, dark hair above the tawdry shawl,
The mothering bosom where her baby clung,—
And all the burden of her life, with all
Her blood so young!

Her face uplifted in the blue arc-light,
She moved with that high courage none would mark,—
Turned at the corner, wonderful and bright
Against the dark,—

And, as her grave lips parted, and her eyes
Sought her child's eyes with whispers soft and sweet,
All the proud stars, the vast imperial skies
Swooned at her feet!





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