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The Child on the Curbstone

 The headlights raced; the moon, death-faced, 
Stared down on that golden river.
I saw through the smoke the scarlet cloak Of a boy who could not shiver.
His father's hand forced him to stand, The traffic thundered slaughter; One foot he thrust in the whirling dust As it were running water.
As in a dream I saw the stream Scatter in drops that glistened; They flamed, they flashed, his brow they splashed, And danger's son was christened.
The portent passed; his fate was cast, Sea-farer, desert-ranger.
Tearless I smiled on that fearless child Dipping his foot in Danger.

by Elinor Wylie
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