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So they paved it with granite and pitch,
Turning each stone the wrong side,
And left it uneven and rough.

When will a man, good and wise,
With a hand both sturdy and strong,
With a heart at once willing and brave,
Better laws plan, and devise
Measures coercive of wrong,
Striving the weak to save,

Map out a novel town,

Regarding air and light,

And pleasure conducive to health;

Turn London upside down,

Relieve its wretched plight,

And with wisdom employ its wealth.

See! there ! by a noble pile,
Costing thousands of pounds,
Erected with princely taste:
A building, all squalid and vile,
Shadowing those once beauteous grounds,
Now running wild and waste.

Look at that palace built

In the Strand, in ancient days,

Planned by great Somerset's mind.

Close by have folly and guilt
Assembled, hovels to raise,
For haunts of vice designed.

Parliament meets within walls,
Designed and raised by hands,
Worthy of Britain's isle.
The smoke descends in the halls—
For an architect claims the plans—
And blackens the noble pile.

In the park, by the beautiful drive,
A monument rises in grace,
Like to which we have few;
But the trees so plentifully thrive,
That their branches around embrace,
Shutting it out from view.

Not far off a building is raised,
For a house of science and art,
As in the Middle Ages dark.
But so near the road is it placed,
That to use it the people must part,
With a piece of their beautiful park.

Things like this, everywhere,
Walking in London we see,
Disgraceful to sense or heart.
We can only utter a prayer,
That He who lets all beauty be,
Will better feelings impart.

If He wills, London may be
What, long ere this, it had been
If people had studied these things.
A Metropolis worthy the free,
The greatest the world had e'er seen,
A fit home for queens and kings.

III.

I leave the busy town,
Wander towards the West.

This is the Grove of St. John,
In suburban beauty dressed.

I passed the busy Strand,

Regent Street, blithe and gay,

And sumptuous Portland Place,
Glistening in youthful May.

Regent's Park I crossed,

And linger along these streets, Shaded with beautiful trees,

Embowering pretty retreats.

Folks who in the town,

All day midst toil and strife,

In office or the like,

Combat the stream of life,

Here, when the day is o'er,
And their daily duty done:

Return to their family nests,
To enjoy the comforts of home.

The sun just passed overhead,
Declines towards the West,

Along the Grove End Road,
My echoing footsteps pressed.

A mansion, called The Grove,
Stands there midst garden ground,

With roses and scented shrubs,
And all kinds of plants around.

Once, some time ago,

I spent an afternoon there;

I remember children at play,
Who promised then to be fair.

What of them now 1 I fear,
If their beauties rivalled the sun,

They will be spoilt by praise,
Heart-ruined, ere life has begun.

Let me pass on my way,

My eager throbbing brain Is fevered still, as in

Those days of anger and shame.

Had I not lost my all 1

When my loved one gave her hand At the altar, veiled in white

By another I saw her stand.

I heard the response given,

She erewhile had promised to me,

To one, who with jewels and gold,
Had wooed her successfully.

I watched her face that day;

No token of shame it gave, No thought on the deceit,

That had ruined her hapless slave.

Then I cursed the world in wrath,

I cursed hell's minister, gold, I cursed the jewels, the gems,

I cursed the heart that was sold.

I vowed to seclude myself,

To hate each female thing, Each falsely beautiful face,

Concealing a serpent's sting.

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