Poems (Coates 1916)/Volume I/In a Tenement

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For other versions of this work, see In a Tenement.


I THINK our alley 's darker now
Since once I went away—
I can't exactly tell you how—
In a strange place to play
With other children like myself,
A whole long summer's day!

It was n't really there, I 'm sure—
That place so strange to me,
For nobody was cold or poor:
It just was green, and free,
And up above there seemed of blue
A million miles to be.

The fairies live there!—little Ruth
The lame girl told me so:
Yes; and I know it for a truth
That there the fairies go,
And cover over all the trees
With flowers white as snow.

The flowers made in Fairyland
Have breath—oh, breath that 's sweet!
For once I held them in my hand—
Far off from this dull street!—
And looked down in their hearts and saw
The tracks of fairy feet.

I dream at night of that strange place,
And in my dream, quite near,
They dance about before my face,—
The fairies kind and dear;
And, oh, I want to go to them!
You see, they can't come here.