The posters shout, their gorgeous motley blares,
The signboards' groaning fills the street,
And from the shops a shrill light sharply flares,
As cries of triumph mock defeat.
Behind the glimmering panes soft fabrics sleep,
And diamonds pour their poison daze,
Above massed coins the lottery numbers leap
Like northern lights ablaze.
The burning streets like long canals of light
Flow on—the city is alive.
It swarms to celebrate the dawn of night
Like some unloosed and monstrous hive.
The sky and all its sentient stars are hid
By scattered arc-lamps beaming blue.
And harlots jostle sages where they thrid
The dancers in a rippling queue.
Between the gay quadrilles that form and break,
Among the waltzers, clanking slide
The tramways, with blue lightnings in their wake;
Like sheaves of fire, the motors glide.
Shame, like a leader his bright baton wielding
To the rank music of the wheels,
Has fused the thousand-throated throng, that yielding
As one, a holy chorus peals:
"Dust, we enthrone thee; brief and radiant Dust,
Dancing the round, we glorify,
About electric altars where they thrust
Their spears into the empty sky."