Alarm Clocks
When Dawn strides out to wake a dewy farm
   Across green fields and yellow hills of hay
   The little twittering birds laugh in his way
And poise triumphant on his shining arm.
He bears a sword of flame but not to harm
   The wakened life that feels his quickening sway
   And barnyard voices shrilling “It is day!”
Take by his grace a new and alien charm.
But in the city, like a wounded thing
   That limps to cover from the angry chase,
He steals down streets where sickly arc-lights sing,
   And wanly mock his young and shameful face;
And tiny gongs with cruel fervor ring
   In many a high and dreary sleeping place.

Webpage © 2001 ELC
Lane Core Jr. (
Created April 3, 2001; not revised.