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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 fancy’s 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, Imagination’s aid is tried. Since no distinguished man has died, And since the Fates, relenting, send No great catastrophe, he’s 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's other poems:
English Poetry. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org