The cipher had a key, the verse a rhyme;
His heart lay open to the stranger friend;
Inkstained and weary, he staggered to the end
Of cheap puffs and the galley proofs of fame.
The clock whose face was hidden ceased to blame;
Debts and lost letters drifted down; the band
Stand emptied to the sound of trumpets; and
The snow all night dissolved the genteel grime.
Ghastly, the gas-lit century blazed beyond
The frozen genius in its public park;
Only in Paris did the plaster cast
Speak, and the speechless prince of tears respond.
Meanwhile, in Richmond, Baltimore, New York,
The beggars watched beside his marble bust.