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Poem by Amy Levy


Ballade of a Special Edition


He comes; I hear him up the street--
Bird of ill omen, flapping wide
The pinion of a printed sheet,
His hoarse note scares the eventide.
Of slaughter, theft, and suicide
He is the herald and the friend;
Now he vociferates with pride--
A double murder in Mile End!

A hanging to his soul is sweet;
His gloating fancys fain to bide
Where human-freighted vessels meet,
And misdirected trains collide.
With Shocking Accidents supplied,
He tramps the town from end to end.
How often have we heard it cried--
A double murder in Mile End.

War loves he; victory or defeat,
So there be loss on either side.
His tale of horrors incomplete,
Imaginations aid is tried.
Since no distinguished man has died,
And since the Fates, relenting, send
No great catastrophe, hes spied
This double murder in Mile End.

Fiend, get thee gone! no more repeat
Those sounds which do mine ears offend.
It is apocryphal, you cheat,
Your double murder in Mile End.



Amy Levy


Amy Levy's other poems:
  1. On the Wye in May
  2. On the Threshold
  3. The Two Terrors
  4. The Old Poet
  5. To E.


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