Fleet Street

Poem By Arthur Henry Adams

BENEATH this narrow jostling street,
Unruffled by the noise of feet,
Like a slow organ-note I hear
The pulses of the great world beat.

Unseen beneath the city’s show
Through this aorta ever flow
The currents of the universe—
A thousand pulses throbbing low!

Unheard beneath the pavement’s din
Unknown magicians sit within
Dim caves, and weave life into words
On patient looms that spin and spin.

There, uninspired, yet with the dower
Of mightier mechanic power,
Some bent, obscure Euripides
Builds the loud drama of the hour!

There, from the gaping presses hurled,
A thousand voices, passion-whirled,
With throats of steel vociferate
The incessant story of the world!

So through this artery from age
To age the tides of passion rage,
The swift historians of each day
Flinging a world upon a page!

And then I pause and gaze my fill
Where cataracts of traffic spill
Their foam into the Circus. Lo!
Look up, the crown on Ludgate Hill!

Remote from all the city’s moods,
In high, untroubled solitudes,
Like an old Buddha swathed in dream,
St. Paul’s above the city broods!

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One moment mankind rides the crested wave,
A moment glorious, beyond recall;
And then the wave, with slow and massive fall,
Obliterates the beauty that it gave.

China 1899

She lies, a grave disdain all her defence,
Too imperturbable for scorn. She hears
Only the murmur of the flowing years
That thunder slowly on her shores immense

Nemesis

All things must fade. There is for cities tall
The same tomorrow as for daffodils:
Time's wind, that casts the seed, the petal spills.
Grim London's ruined arches yet shall fall

Lovers

I thought, because we had been friends so long,
That I knew all your dear lips dared intend
Before they dawned to speech. Our thoughts would blend,
I dreamed, like memories that faintly throng.

A Pair Of Lovers In The Street

A PAIR of lovers in the street!
I dare not mock: with reverence meet
My unforgetting heart I cheat.

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In her grey majesty of ancient stone
She queens it proudly, though the sun's caress
Her piteous cheeks, ravished of bloom, confess,
And her dark eyes his bridegroom glance have know.