The Morning Street

I WALK alone the Morning Street,
Filled with the silence strange and sweet:
All seems as lone, as still, as dead,
As if unnumbered years had fled,
Letting the noisy Babel be
"Without a breath, a memory.
The light wind walks with me, alone,
Where the hot day like flame was blown;
Where the wheels roared and dust was beat,
The dew is in the Morning Street.

Where are the restless throngs that pour
Along this mighty corridor
While the noon flames ? the hurrying crowd
Whose footsteps make the city loud ?
The myriad faces ? hearts that beat
No more in the deserted street ?—
Those footsteps, in their dream-land maze,
Cross thresholds of forgotten days ;
Those faces brighten from the years
In morning suns long set in tears ;
Those hearts—-far in the Past they beat—
Are singing in their Morning Street.

A city ’gainst the world’s gray Prime,
Lost in some desert, far from Time,
Where noiseless Ages, gliding through,
Have only sifted sands and dew,
"Were not more lone to one who first
Upon its giant silence burst,
Than this strange quiet, where the tide
Of life, upheaved on either side,
Hangs trembling, ready soon to beat
With human waves the Morning Street.

Ay, soon the glowing morning flood
Pours through this charmed solitude ;
All silent now, this Memnon-stone
Will murmur to the rising sun ;
The busy life this vein shall beat,—
The rush of wheels, the swarm of feet ;
The Arachne-threads of Purpose stream
Unseen within the morning gleam;
The Life will move, the Death be plain;
The bridal throng, the funeral train,
Together in the crowd will meet,
And pass along the Morning Street.