Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
The City
By Lyon Sharman
 
From “Designs in Chinese Color”

A CITY man had vowed to worship Buddha
  As should be meet.
He chose a pagoda on a lonely hilltop
  For his retreat.
Yet wandering went his eyes—daily wandering—        5
To where the city thrived, getting and squandering.
Between him and that city quivering trees
Moved rhythmic tops like waves upon the seas.
 
“Alas!” he cried, “I am not blown like gossamer
  Quickly above!        10
Down go my thoughts, down with that small footpath
  Through the bamboo grove
To where the city people utter words
Like numerous flocks of cheeping noisy birds.
A captive in a wicker cage is my poor heart,        15
Bruising its wings, where it is hung apart.
 
“Though this pagoda on the mountain’s crest
  Is my lone cell,
What shall avail its seven heavenward stairs
  Or wind-rung bell?        20
What use is solitude or prayer forlorn,
While I still love the place where I was born?
Would I could shut the city from my thought,
Then might I worship Buddha undistraught.”
 
 
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