Here In The Furnace City

Here in the furnace city, in the humid air they faint,
God's pallid poor, His people, with scarcely space for breath:
So foul their teeming houses, so full of shame and taint,
They cannot crowd within them for the frightful fear of Death.

Yet somewhere, Lord, Thine open seas are singing with the rain,
And somewhere underneath Thy skies the cool waves crash and beat;
Why is it here, and only here, are huddled Death and Pain,
And here the form of Horror stalks, a menace in the street!

The burning flagstones gleam like glass at morning and at noon.
The gloomy walls shut out the breeze -- If any breeze should blow,
And high above the smothered town at midnight hangs the moon,
A red medallion in the sky, a monster cameo.

Yet, somewhere, God, drenched roses bloom by fountains draped with mist,
In old, old gardens of the earth made lyrical with rain;
Why is it here a million brows by hungry Death are kissed,
And here is packed, one summer night, a whole world's fiery Pain?

by Charles Hanson Towne

Other poems of CHARLES HANSON TOWNE (106)

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