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The drug clerk stands bcliiii't the counter, Young and dapper, debonair. Before him bum Ihe great unwinking lights, The hectic stars 01* city uijrhts, Red as hell's pit, ■; recti as a mermaid's hair. A queer, half-acrid smell is in the air. Behind bitn on I lie shelves in ordered rows With strange abbrei iafecl names Dwell half Hie fuels <.■[ life. That yottnj; man knows Bottled a.nd bo::ed and powdered here Dumb tragedies, deceptions, secret shames, And comedy and fear. Sleep slumbers here, like a proaf quiet sea. Shrunk to this bottle's compass, sleep that, brings. Sweet respiie from Hie ieeili of paiu To those jioor tossing things That the while nurses watch so thoughtfully. And hero again Dwell the shy souls of May time f! >wcrs Thar shall make sweeter si ill ; ha-o pennant hours When wide-eyed youlh looks on the <>. cc of love. And, for those others who nave found too I a to The bitter fruit, thereof, Here are cosmetics, powders, paints—the arts That hunted women use to hunt again With scented ilesh for bail. And here is comfort for the hearts Of suckling babes in their first, teething pain. Hero dwells the substance of huge fervid dreams, Fantastic, man;.-colored, shot with ilcams Of ecstasy and madness, that shall eomc To some, pale twitching sleeper in a. bunk. And here is courage, cheaply bought, To cure a sick blue funk. And dearly paid tor in (be iinal sum. Hero in this powdered fly is caught De>ire more ravishing than Tarquiu's rape And bloody-handed murder. And at last, When the one weary hone, is past. Here is the sole escape, The little postern in rJio house o[ breath Where pallid fugitives keep tryst with death. All this the drug clerk knows, and there he Elands Young and dapper, debonair. . . * He rests a pair of slender hands, Much manicured, upon the. counter there And speaks: " No, we, don't cany no pomado. We only cater to the high-class trade." —Eunice Tietjens, in the 'Masses.'

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Bibliographic details

"WE ONLY CATER TO THE HIGHCLASS TRADE", Evening Star, Issue 15696, 9 January 1915

Word Count

"WE ONLY CATER TO THE HIGHCLASS TRADE" Evening Star, Issue 15696, 9 January 1915