Friday, August 19, 2016

IN A TENEMENT, a poem

I THINK our alley 's darker now
     Since once I went away—
I can't exactly tell you how—
     In a strange place to play
With other children like myself,
     A whole long summer's day!

It was n't really there, I 'm sure—
     That place so strange to me,
For nobody was cold or poor:
     It just was green, and free,
And up above there seemed of blue
     A million miles to be.

The fairies live there!—little Ruth
     The lame girl told me so:
Yes; and I know it for a truth
     That there the fairies go,
And cover over all the trees
     With flowers white as snow.

The flowers made in Fairyland
     Have breath—oh, breath that 's sweet!
For once I held them in my hand—
     Far off from this dull street!—
And looked down in their hearts and saw
     The tracks of fairy feet.

I dream at night of that strange place,
     And in my dream, quite near,
They dance about before my face,—
     The fairies kind and dear;
And, oh, I want to go to them!
     You see, they can't come here.
"In a Tenement" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Harper's Weekly (9 September 1911), The Unconquered Air (1912) and Poems (1916) Volume I.

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