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Poetry: History


They come, in settling flocks,
swarthy and gleaming as ravens,
their voices, raised, raucous and foreign;
lowered, incomprehensible as
the murmur or trees.    They come,
and settle, and do not leave.

Their darker cast dims the crowds
in the streets and marketplaces --
as if some distant fire had spread
fine soot over clean marble, as if
some distant fire were, just now,
thickening the horizon with warning
of its arrival.
                 They come, darkskinned
and darkhaired, unfamiliar with
the ways of the City:  they come,
and settle, like soot from a distant fire,
and sift among us, admiring our power,
doing the work not fit for citizens.
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