Sunday Chimes in the City

By Louise Imogen Guiney 1861–1920
Across the bridge, where in the morning blow
The wrinkled tide turns homeward, and is fain
Homeward to drag the black sea-goer’s chain,
And the long yards by Dowgate dipping low;
Across dispeopled ways, patient and slow,
Saint Magnus and Saint Dunstan call in vain:
From Wren’s forgotten belfries, in the rain,
Down the blank wharves the dropping octaves go.

Forbid not these! Tho’ no man heed, they shower
A subtle beauty on the empty hour,
From all their dark throats aching and outblown;
Aye in the prayerless places welcome most,
Like the last gull that up a naked coast
Deploys her white and steady wing, alone.

Source: American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century (The Library of America, 1993)

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Poet Louise Imogen Guiney 1861–1920

Subjects Cities & Urban Life, Social Commentaries

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 Louise Imogen Guiney

Biography

Louise Imogen Guiney is known for her lyrical, Old English-style poems that often recall the literary conventions of seventeenth-century English poetry. Informed by her religious faith, Guiney's works reflect her concern with the Catholic tradition in literature and often emphasize moral rectitude and heroic gallantry. Today Guiney is praised for her scholarship in both her poetry and in her numerous literary and historical . . .

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SUBJECT Cities & Urban Life, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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