A Few Figs from Thistles

Publisher: DigiLibraries.com
Language: English
Published: 6 days ago
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Second Fig

  Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:
  Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!


  We were very tired, we were very merry—
  We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
  It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable—
  But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
  We lay on a hill-top underneath the moon;
  And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon.

  We were very tired, we were very merry—
  We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;
  And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear,
  From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere;
  And the sky went wan, and the wind came cold,
  And the sun rose dripping, a bucketful of gold.

  We were very tired, we were very merry,
  We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
  We hailed, "Good morrow, mother!" to a shawl-covered head,
  And bought a morning paper, which neither of us read;
  And she wept, "God bless you!" for the apples and pears,
  And we gave her all our money but our subway fares.


  And if I loved you Wednesday,
    Well, what is that to you?
  I do not love you Thursday—
    So much is true.

  And why you come complaining
    Is more than I can see.
  I loved you Wednesday,—yes—but what
    Is that to me?

To the Not Impossible Him

  How shall I know, unless I go
    To Cairo and Cathay,
  Whether or not this blessed spot
    Is blest in every way?

  Now it may be, the flower for me
    Is this beneath my nose;
  How shall I tell, unless I smell
    The Carthaginian rose?

  The fabric of my faithful love
    No power shall dim or ravel
  Whilst I stay here,—but oh, my dear,
    If I should ever travel!

Macdougal Street

  As I went walking up and down to take the evening air,
    (Sweet to meet upon the street, why must I be so shy?)
  I saw him lay his hand upon her torn black hair;
    ("Little dirty Latin child, let the lady by!")

  The women squatting on the stoops were slovenly and fat,
    (Lay me out in organdie, lay me out in lawn!)
  And everywhere I stepped there was a baby or a cat;
    (Lord God in Heaven, will it never be dawn?)

  The fruit-carts and clam-carts were ribald as a fair,
    (Pink nets and wet shells trodden under heel)
  She had haggled from the fruit-man of his rotting ware;
    (I shall never get to sleep, the way I feel!)

  He walked like a king through the filth and the clutter,
    (Sweet to meet upon the street, why did you glance me by?)
  But he caught the quaint Italian quip she flung him from the gutter;
    (What can there be to cry about that I should lie and cry?)

  He laid his darling hand upon her little black head,
    (I wish I were a ragged child with ear-rings in my ears!)
  And he said she was a baggage to have said what she had said;
    (Truly I shall be ill unless I stop these tears!)

The Singing-Woman from the Wood's Edge

  What should I be but a prophet and a liar,
  Whose mother was a leprechaun, whose father was a friar...?