Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE NEW YORK CLUBWOMAN MEDITATES ON HAMLET, by OLIVE TAIT SUTHERLAND



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THE NEW YORK CLUBWOMAN MEDITATES ON HAMLET, by            
First Line: To be on time, or not to be; that is the question
Last Line: Thus conscience does make cowards of us all.
Subject(s): City Traffic; Clubs (associations); Lateness; New York City; Manhattan; New York, New York; The Big Apple


To be on time, or not to be; that is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler on the feet to suffer
The crowds and violence of outrageous Subways,
Or to take arms against a sea of pushers
And in a Bus avoid them? To sit, to doze;
No jam; and, with a seat, to say we end
The footache, and the thousand maddening jabs
That Subway flesh is heir to, 'tis a mode of travel
Devoutly to be wished. To sit, to crawl;
To crawl, perchance be late; ay, there's the rub;
For that by being late, we reap the scowls
Of fellow members who arrived on time,
Must give us pause. There's the sad thought
That makes calamity of so slow going;
For who of us would bear the quibs and scorn of crowds,
The closing door, the guard's strong push,
The pangs of despised shoves, the sudden lurch,
The insolence of elbows, and the stares
Of men upon whose outstretched feet we tread,
When she herself might her way make
To a calm Bus. Who of us would bear
To grunt and sway under a swinging strap,
But that the dread of something in those eyes,
The undisguised hostility from whose glare
No late-comer escapes, freezes the will,
And makes us rather bear those Subway ills
Than crawl in seated comfort to our Clubroom, late?
Thus Conscience does make cowards of us all.





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