Broadway, New York 1916

By George Sterling

Indifferent to a world in agony,
    The drunken wasters crowd the cabaret,
    Whose midnight orgies end but with the day.
O Liberty, are these the fruits of thee—
This swarm of vampires that the dark sets free,
    To batten upon murder, and decay?
    Are these our masters and the race their prey,
And hast thou long to live when such things be?

So in the wake of war do jackals come
    To feast on those that perish in thy name,
And when the wounded breasts at last are dumb,
        To howl exultant to the setting moon,
    Till, frightened by the sun's returning flame,
        They scamper to their holes and sleep by noon.

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