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Poem by Elinor Wylie

The Child on the Curbstone

The headlights raced; the moon, death-faced, 
Stared down on that golden river. 
I saw through the smoke the scarlet cloak 
Of a boy who could not shiver.

His fathers hand forced him to stand, 
The traffic thundered slaughter; 
One foot he thrust in the whirling dust 
As it were running water.

As in a dream I saw the stream 
Scatter in drops that glistened; 
They flamed, they flashed, his brow they splashed, 
And dangers son was christened.

The portent passed; his fate was cast, 
Sea-farer, desert-ranger. 
Tearless I smiled on that fearless child 
Dipping his foot in Danger.

Elinor Wylie

Elinor Wylie's other poems:
  1. Madmans Song
  2. Primavera in the North
  3. Curious Circumstance
  4. The Lost Path
  5. Venetian Interior

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