Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CITY OF DREADFUL NIGHT: 9, by JAMES THOMSON (1834-1882)



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE CITY OF DREADFUL NIGHT: 9, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: It is full strange to him who hears and feels
Last Line: But have been strangled by that city's curse.
Alternate Author Name(s): B. V.; Bysshe Vanolis


It is full strange to him who hears and feels,
When wandering there in some deserted street,
The booming and the jar of ponderous wheels,
The trampling clash of heavy ironshod feet:
Who in this Venice of the Black Sea rideth?
Who in this city of the stars abideth
To buy or sell as those in daylight sweet?

The rolling thunder seems to fill the sky
As it comes on; the horses snort and strain,
The harness jingles, as it passes by;
The hugeness of an overburthened wain:
A man sits nodding on the shaft or trudges
Three parts asleep beside his fellow-drudges:
And so it rolls into the night again.

What merchandise? whence, whither, and for whom?
Perchance it is a Fate-appointed hearse,
Bearing away to some mysterious tomb
Or Limbo of the scornful universe
The joy, the peace, the life-hope, the abortions
Of all things good which should have been our portions,
But have been strangled by that City's curse.







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