Amy Lowell (1874-1925)

from Sword Blades and Poppy Seed (1914)

Spread on the roadway,
With open-blown jackets,
Like black, soaring pinions,
They swoop down the hillside,
    The Cyclists.

Seeming dark-plumaged
Birds, after carrion,
Careening and circling,
Over the dying
    Of England.

She lies with her bosom
Beneath them, no longer
The Dominant Mother,
The Virile -- but rotting
    Before time.

The smell of her, tainted,
Has bitten their nostrils.
Exultant they hover,
And shadow the sun with