Return, Romance!

By George Sterling

The poets call forth the little grey words
That click like pebbles and twitter like birds.
The little grey words creep out like mice-
As cold as beetles and as sharp as ice.

The little grey words they gnaw at art:
They gnaw at wonder and gnaw at the heart;
They gnaw at sunsets and skies of blue,
And gnaw at the beauty I dream is you.

The little grey words are hungry and keen:
They gnaw on shadows and things unseen;
They'll gnaw at the land and sea and sky
Till nothing is left but a capital I.

May the good Lord send us a tiger-cat,
Bigger than any that ever spat,
With bands of orange and stripes of black
And an extra red one down his back.

That cat'll have eyes as bleak as a star,
And talons sharper than iron spar.
He'll howl like a cat with ninety-nine souls
And chase those little grey mice to their holes.

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