A Rhyme About an Electrical Advertising Sign by Vachel Lindsay
I LOOK on the specious electrical light Blatant, mechanical, crawling and white, Wickedly red or malignantly green Like the beads of a young Senegambian queen. Showing, while millions of souls hurry on, The virtues of collars, from sunset till dawn, By dart or by tumble of whirl within whirl, Starting new fads for the shame-weary girl, By maggotry motions in sickening line Proclaiming a hat or a soup or a wine, While there far above the steep cliffs of the street
The stars sing a message elusive and sweet. Now man cannot rest in his pleasure and toil His clumsy contraptions of coil upon coil Till the thing he invents, in its use and its range, Leads on to the marvelous CHANGE BEYOND CHANGE Some day this old Broadway shall climb to the skies, As a ribbon of cloud on a soul-wind shall rise. And we shall be lifted, rejoicing by night, Till we join with the planets who choir their delight. The signs in the street and the signs in the skies Shall make me a Zodiac, guiding and wise, And Broadway make one with that marvelous stair That is climbed by the rainbow-clad spirits of prayer.