By Emily Bunker
You are called the most wonderful Queen of the Sea,
And I say the city of water you be.
Crowned with the gold of many far lands,
The fate of the world’s wealth is in your hands.
Wide, clear-blue waterways, main streets they are,
Cool, damp back alleys, dirty and dark.
The former is told of, the latter is not;
The first is clean, without soiled spot.
It is transparent, crystalline blue,
And all of its merchants are honest and true.
The dirty back alleys are cold and damp,
Slime covers the bridges, the homes of the tramp.
The water is filthy; the light is quite dim,
Here live the souls stricken with sin.
Here is the man who raises the tax,
Here are the doctors that are useless quacks,
There is a child with no wealth or home,
See! There is a maiden sitting alone.
A turn to the right, and back we have come
To our clean water alleys, bright under the sun.
The water! It sparkles like diamonds, an azure blue.
The bridges are limestone, perfect and new.
The tension is gone, joy has now come;
All is happy here under the sun!
But oh! I can never forget the face of the maiden so fair;
All skin and bones with tangled black hair
Standing on the balcony, eyes heavenward bound,
Her pale lips move, but make not a sound.
Then she turns and disappears like a ghost in the night;
She has vanished forever from all morning light.
The face of the child: a nightmare come true!
The eyes portray hope is lost; there is nothing to do.
The rags that were clothes, muddy and brown,
This is the worst part of the town.
All through the city, suffering and pain!
Horrid, black evil may seem to reign—
But stirring, ever stirring, in everyone’s heart,
Is the call of the Kingdom, take up your part.
Emily Bunker is a 13-year-old poetry and fiction writer from Western Australia. She’s a passionate book lover and spends most of her free time reading books, writing, and brainstorming new plot ideas. She’s always got something planned to do with her fantastic (and hilarious) fun-loving family. She draws a great deal of inspiration from her family life and awesome friends, who always make her laugh. When she’s not chatting or participating in some book-related activity, she can often be found with one of her four pets, or simply enjoying a good cup of tea.