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St. Louis


Hushed in the smoky haze of summer sunset,

When I came home again from far-off places,

How many times I saw my western city

Dream by her river.


Then for an hour the water wore a mantle

Of tawny gold and mauve and misted turquoise

Under the tall and darkened arches bearing

Gray, high-flung bridges.


Against the sunset, water-towers and steeples

Flickered with fire up the slope to westward,

And old warehouses poured their purple shadows

Across the levee.


High over them the black train swept with thunder,

Cleaving the city, leaving far beneath it

Wharf-boats moored beside the old side-wheelers

Resting in twilight.


                                        Sara Teasdale


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