I don’t always remember to participate in Poetry Friday, but with a topic like New York City it seemed that I couldn’t go wrong in finding a poem. That view wasn’t quite accurate, as many a verse that describes the Big Apple does so with disdain. This selection does end on a down note, but I loved the extolling of the city and the old references. As I look at my budget for the two weeks, the five cents’ fare is a particularly dreamy notion.
Jottings of New York: A Descriptive Poem
Your buildings are magnificent, the truth be it told,
They were the only thing that seemed to arrest my eye,
Because many of them are thirteen storeys high.
And as for Central Park, it is lovely to be seen,
Especially in the summer season when its shrubberies and trees are green;
And the Burns’ statue is there to be seen,
Surrounded by trees, on the beautiful sward so green;
Also Shakespeare and Sir Walter Scott,
Which by Englishmen and Scotchmen will ne’er be forgot.
All loud, in conversation and searching for sport,
Some of them viewing the menagerie of wild beasts there,
And also beautiful black swans, I do declare.
And there’s beautiful boats to be seen there,
And the joyous shouts of the children do rend the air,
While the boats sail along with them o’er Lohengrin Lake,
And the fare is five cents for children and adults ten is all they take.
And there’s also summer-house shades and merry-go-rounds,
And with the merry laughter of the children the Park resounds
During the livelong Sabbath day,
Enjoying the merry-go-round play.
Which the inhabitants can see and hear night and day passing by,
Oh! such a mass of people daily do throng,
No less than five hundred thousand daily pass along,
And all along the City you can get for five cents,
And, believe me, among the passengers there are few discontent.
Read the rest of the poem by Knight of the White Elephant of Burmah William McGonagall at Poetry Foundation. Poetry Friday is hosted today at The Opposite of Indifference. Pictures are from vintage postcards available at Timefreeze.