Its glittering emptiness it brings -
This little lane of useless things.
Here peering envy arm in arm
With ennui takes her saunterings.
Here fretful boredom, to appease
The nagging of her long disease,
Comes day by day to dabble in
This foamy sea of fripperies.
The languid women driven through
Their wearied lives, and in their view,
Patient about the bakers' shops,
The languid children, two and two!
The champing horses standing still,
Whose veins with life's impatience thrill;
And - dead beside the carriage door -
The footman, masked and immobile!
And bloated pugs - those epicures
Of darkened boudoirs . . . and of sewers -
Lolling high on their cushioned thrones
Blink feebly on their dainty wooers!
And in the blossoming window-shows
Each month another summer glows;
They pay the price of human souls
To rear one rich and sickly rose.
And a suave carven god of jade,
By some enthralled old Asian made,
With that thin scorn still on his lips,
Waits, in a window-front displayed:
The hurrying, streaming crowds he sees.
With the same smile he watches these
As from his temple-dusk he saw
The passing of the centuries!