BLACK CAT POEMS
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Atlantes of the firmament! abrupt
The granite monsters of Manhattan frown,--
Phalanx of Titans, stark and interrupt,
Their tyrannous grim bulks oppress the town.
Their gonfalons and vaporous plumes at play
Stream rhythmic to the city's stormy beat,
Her giant pulse that goads the groaning day
To pile its mortal labor at their feet.
The stunned sea clasps the aching iron isle
That holds eternal tumult in its heart,
While Greed's great laugh from pile to towering pile,
Leaps in relentless triumph o'er the mart.
Incessant roars her fevered race of lives
Crushed through the sunless channels of her stone,
Or flung across the paths where Mammon drives
His chariot wheels o'er ways of flesh and bone.
What brand upon the brow of man? what mark
That hounds worn spirits toward a glittering goal?
Where Luxury lifts her ashen husks, and dark
Earth idols force their usury from the soul.
O thunder-wrought Manhattan! shaped of gold
Thy tongue, thine eyes of bline basalt, of steel
Thy smothered breasts still young--yet bleak and old
The mountainous gray weariness they feel.
Thy life is eaten by thine eagerness,
And round thy doomward sandals whirlwinds roar,
And round thy wreck-mad walls the tempest's stress
Riots from adamantine shore to shore.
Now Anarchs of Annihilation take
Their sleep of golden torpor in the glow
Of thy sky-storming summits--when they wake
What ruin red shall their war-trumpets blow?
poems by Herman Scheffauer