Poetry of Kansas


There dwelt in one wide city people three:
A man whose lands,__an emerald sea,__
Ran east and west. Who, clothed in purple fine,
From jeweled goblets drank his amber wine.
A woman like the morning, wondrous fair,
With rays of 'prisoned sunshine in her hair;
Whose life ran like a river, strong and sweet,
While hearts, like autumn leaves, dropped at her
A drunkard with blear eyes and bloated face,
Who on God's earth had no sweet resting-place;
Who ate with swine, in filthy gutters slept,
Forgot his own, and neither smiled nor wept.
When, over the wide city ran a breath
Of fell disease, and these three slept in death,
Fear-stricken, awed, the world forgot its pride,-
Wealth, beauty, beggary, lay side by side.

And Mother Nature took them to her breast,
Wrapped her strong arms about them in their
Her children all! Then o'er each lowly bed
Her coverlet of grass and daisies spread.

__Annie F. Burbank..

Kansas in Literature
Part 1. Poetry
Edited by W. M. Davidson
(Topeka: Crane & Co. 1900)
Page 57-58

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November 19, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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