Home  »  A Library of American Literature  »  Night in New York

Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Night in New York

By George Parsons Lathrop (1851–1898)

(See full text.)

STILL as death are the places of life;

The city seems crumbled and gone,

Sunk ’mid invisible deeps—

The city so lately rife

With the stir of brain and brawn.

Haply it only sleeps;

But what if indeed it were dead,

And another earth should arise

To greet the gray of the dawn?

Faint then our epic would wail

To those who should come in our stead.

But what if that earth were ours?

What if, with holier eyes,

We should meet the new hope, and not fail?

Weary, the night grows pale:

With a blush as of opening flowers

Dimly the east shines red.

Can it be that the morn shall fulfil

My dream, and refashion our clay

As the poet may fashion his rhyme?

Hark to that mingled scream

Rising from workshop and mill—

Hailing some marvellous sight;

Mighty breath of the hours,

Poured through the trumpets of steam;

Awful tornado of time,

Blowing us whither it will.

God has breathed in the nostrils of night,

And behold, it is day!