The dark days now begin, when in afternoon
The Great Night Lantern makes a razor-edge
Of black and white in the streets.
And one comes, called the Lamplighter,
And the straight stiff lamps of these stiff London streets,
At his quick touch burst into light.
At this shy hour
I see from my unshaded window
Bright girls, hair flowing, go by with shuttered faces,
Holding close captive their warm insurgent bosoms.
And then, at the corner,
Some slender lad of bold and upright carriage
Greets them, and the shuttered lanterns of their faces
Burst with light at the touch of the lamplighter.
Oh, kind ingenious lamplighter,
Will you please step this way?