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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.

by Joyce Kilmer
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