Manhattan

A poem by Lola Ridge

Out of the night you burn, Manhattan,
In a vesture of gold -
Span of innumerable arcs,
Flaring and multiplying -
Gold at the uttermost circles fading
Into the tenderest hint of jade,
Or fusing in tremulous twilight blues,
Robing the far-flung offices,
Scintillant-storied, forking flame,
Or soaring to luminous amethyst
Over the steeples aureoled -

Diaphanous gold,
Veiling the Woolworth, argently
Rising slender and stark
Mellifluous-shrill as a vender's cry,
And towers squatting graven and cold
On the velvet bales of the dark,
And the Singer's appraising
Indolent idol's eye,
And night like a purple cloth unrolled -

Nebulous gold
Throwing an ephemeral glory about life's vanishing points,
Wherein you burn...
You of unknown voltage
Whirling on your axis...
Scrawling vermillion signatures
Over the night's velvet hoarding...
Insolent, towering spherical
To apices ever shifting.

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