A Face In The Street.

A poem by George Parsons Lathrop

Poor, withered face, that yet was once so fair,
Grown ashen-old in the wild fires of lust -
Thy star-like beauty, dimm'd with earthly dust,
Yet breathing of a purer native air; -
They who whilom, cursed vultures, sought a share
Of thy dead womanhood, their greed unjust
Have satisfied, have stripped and left thee bare.
Still, like a leaf warped by the autumn gust,
And driving to the end, thou wrapp'st in flame
And perfume all thy hollow-eyed decay,
Feigning on those gray cheeks the blush that Shame
Took with her when she fled long since away.
Ah God! rain fire upon this foul-souled city
That gives such death, and spares its men, - for pity!

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