On a City Street

By George Sterling

And what the end of these, the toil and care
    That earn but access of to-morrow's pain?
    They labor that the morning rise again
On the same dregs of pleasure and despair;
That night but summon to the candle's flare
    The giddy moth, and slumber held in vain
    Refashioned hopes for the deluded brain,
And set fresh lures in life's betraying snare.

Or do such shadows of belief but seem?
    Could we see all the Plan, we might behold
        The dust flame into seraphim whose call
    Were Time's requital for the shames of old.
Alas! we cannot know! Yet must we dream
        Love is somehow the answer of it all.

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