This post is for the person(s) who continues to vist this blog because they are googling the phrase "Edgar Lee Masters Poem About the Demise of the Hotel Chelsea." Here is a copy of the poem as printed in Florence Turner's book, At The Chelsea. I'm not certain of the date the poem was written, but it does forecast a sad future for the Last Outpost of Bohemia.
Wreckers will wreck it, and in its stead
More lofty walls will swell
About its ancient grandeur, marble stairs,
Its paintings, onyx-mantels, courts, the heirs
Of a time now long ago?
Who will then know that Mark Twain used to stroll
In the gorgeous dining-room, that princesses,
Poets and celebrated actresses
Lived here and made its soul;
In after years, so often made and unmade
By the changing generations, until today
It stands a tomb of happiness passed away,
Of an era long overlaid?
What children born here, and what mourners went
Out of its doors, what peace and what lament
These rooms knew, long obscured
Will be more lost when fifty years from hence
The place thereof will have no memory,
When men must hunt its picture, so to see
What it looked like amid this turbulence!
Few now remember even the noted names
That loved its hospitality in past years.
Who will remember me when wrecking shears
Clip like a leaf this room of troubled aims,
By which I sat looking into the court?
This table that I write on will not report
My dreams, gone by without a trace.
There will not be a seat for any ghost,
No room left for a musing ghost to smile
On kisses, vows, regrets, that for a while
Made life, and then were lost.
The blue-eyed woman who went out and in
The entrance door, time and the tooth thereof
Will take her, take the man who gave her love,
Both will be lost ere twenty years begin.
With purest love this woman was beloved;
With pain her lover looked upon her grief,
Her past, and strove to give her heart relief,
Himself by Life so moved.
All this will be but currents of the air
Veering and lost. Tell me how souls can be
Such flames of suffering and of ecstasy,
Then fare as the winds fare?
Tell me how love that fills the human heart
With a sense of things eternal must submit
To what is eyeless, and is infinite,
And hears so soon the word ‘depart/”
Anita! You can perpetuate by thought
What we have lived, when this hotel is gone.
Passing its site remember I was one
Who sought for peace and found it not.
Remember that I loved you, scarce could bear
My helplessness to give your spirit thrift –
Remember this as with the tide you drift,
Others will not remember, nor even care.