Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CLOTH-OF-GOLD, by WINIFRED WELLES



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CLOTH-OF-GOLD, by            
First Line: Ferries never go to sea like the steamers
Last Line: In plaids of gold and silver, lighter than a dream.
Alternate Author Name(s): Shearer, Harold H., Mrs.
Subject(s): Ferrets


Ferries never go to sea like the steamers
That are frilled with soft smoke, that curtsey to the town,
And turn towards Spain with a stir of lacy streamers --
For all of that, a ferry, cracked and brown
And wistful as an old shoe, though it only scuttles
Over a steel river worn to rusty red,
Is the same as any steamer if you say that both are shuttles
On one enormous loom, but with different lengths of thread.

Steamers' wakes are fine-spun silk, moon-spotted
And sun-striped, unrolling over spools of clear blue glass;
And ferries' tracks, as coarse as hemp, and clotted
With the grit of minutes, jerk through tarnished brass.
This is a heavy cloth they weave with horror, pity,
Tenderness and courage in every sagging seam --
Yet in the dusk it falls across a tired city
In plaids of gold and silver, lighter than a dream.





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