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Vagary

 


  Up and down the dusty street,
  I hurry with my burning feet;
  Against my face the wind-waves beat,
  Fierce from the city-sea of heat.
      Deep in my heart the vision is,
      Of meadow grass and meadow trees
      Blown silver in the summer breeze,
      And ripe, red, hillside strawberries.


  My sense the city tumult fills,--
  The tumult that about me reels
  Of strokes and cries, and feet and wheels.
      Deep in my dream I list, and, hark!
      From out the maple's leafy dark,
      The fluting of the meadow lark!


  About the throng├ęd street I go:
  There is no face here that I know;
  Of all that pass me to and fro
  There is no face here that I know.
      Deep in my soul's most sacred place,
      With a sweet pain I look and trace
      The features of a tender face,
      All lit with love and girlish grace.


  Some spell is on me, for I seem
  A memory of the past, a dream
  Of happiness remembered dim,
      Unto myself that walk the street
      Scathed with the city's noontide heat,
      With puzzled brain and burning feet.


 

William Dean Howells