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Vauxhall and Ranelagh! I then had heard
Of your green groves, and wilderness of lamps
Dimming the stars, and fireworks magical,
And gorgeous ladies, under splendid domes,
Floating in dance, or warbling high in air
The songs of spirits! Nor had Fancy fed
With less delight upon that other class
Of marvels, broad-day wonders permanent :
The river proudly bridged; the dizzy top
And Whispering Gallery of St. Paul's; the tombs
Of Westminster; the giants of Guildhall;
Bedlam, and those carved maniacs at the gates,
Perpetually recumbent; statues man,
And the horse under him - in gilded pomp
Adorning flowery gardens, mid vast squares;
The Monument, and that Chamber of the Tower
Where England's sovereigns sit in long array,
Their steeds bestriding, every mimic shape
Cased in the gleaming mail the monarch wore,
Whether for gorgeous tournament addressed,
Or life or death upon the battle-field.
Those bold imaginations in due time
Had vanished, leaving others in their stead:
And now I looked upon the living scene;
Familiarly perused it; oftentimes,
In spite of strongest disappointment, pleased
Through courteous self-submission, as a tax
Paid to the object by prescriptive right.

Ries, up thou monstrous ant-hill on the plain Of a too busy world! Before me flow,

Thou endless stream of men and moving things!
Thy every-day appearance, as it strikes -
With wonder heightened, or sublimed by awe
On strangers of all ages; the quick dance

Of colors, lights, and forms; the deafening din;
The comers and the goers face to face,

Face after face; the string of dazzling wares,
Shop after shop, with symbols, blazoned names,
And all the tradesman's honors overhead:
Here fronts of houses, like a title-page,
With letters huge inscribed from top to toe,
Stationed above the door, like guardian saints;
There, allegoric shapes, female or male,
Or physiognomies of real men,

Land-warriors, kings, or admirals of the sea,
Boyle, Shakespeare, Newton, or the attractive head
Of some quack-doctor, famous in his day.

Meanwhile the roar continues, till at length,
Escaped as from an enemy, we turn
Abruptly into some sequestered nook,

Still as a sheltered place when winds blow loud!
At leisure, thence, through tracts of thin resort,
And sights and sounds that come at intervals,
We take our way. A raree-show is here,
With children gathered round; another street
Presents a company of dancing dogs,
Or dromedary, with an antic pair
Of monkeys on his back; a minstrel band
Of Savoyards; or, single and alone,

An English ballad-singer. Private courts,

Gloomy as coffins, and unsightly lanes
Thrilled by some female vender's scream, belike
The very shrillest of all London cries,
May then entangle our impatient steps;
Conducted through those labyrinths, unawares,
To privileged regions and inviolate,

Where from their airy lodges studious lawyers
Look out on waters, walks, and gardens green.

Thence back into the throng, until we reach, Following the tide that slackens by degrees, Some half-frequented scene, where wider streets Bring straggling breezes of suburban air. Here files of ballads dangle from dead walls; Advertisements, of giant size, from high Press forward, in all colors, on the sight; These, bold in conscious merit, lower down; That, fronted with a most imposing word, Is, peradventure, one in masquerade. As on the broadening causeway we advance, Behold, turned upwards, a face hard and strong In lineaments, and red with over-toil.

"T is one encountered here and everywhere;
A travelling cripple, by the trunk cut short,

And stumping on his arms. In sailor's garb
Another lies at length, beside a range

Of well-formed characters, with chalk inscribed
Upon the smooth flat stones: the nurse is here,
The bachelor, that loves to sun himself,

The military idler, and the dame,

That field-ward takes her walk with decent steps.

Now homeward through the thickening hubbub, where See, among less distinguishable shapes, The begging scavenger, with hat in hand; The Italian, as he thrids his way with care, Steadying, far-seen, a frame of images Upon his head; with basket at his breast, The Jew; the stately and slow-moving Turk, With freight of slippers piled beneath his arm!

Enough; - the mighty concourse I surveyed
With no unthinking mind, well pleased to note
Among the crowd all specimens of man,

Through all the colors which the sun bestows,
And every character of form and face:

The Swede, the Russian; from the genial South,
The Frenchman and the Spaniard; from remote
America the hunter-Indian; Moors,

Malays, Lascars, the Tartar, the Chinese,
And negro ladies in white muslin gowns.


William Wordsworth.

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is a goodly sight through the clear air,

From Hampstead's heathy height to see at once England's vast capital in fair expanse,

Towers, belfries, lengthened streets, and structures fair.
St. Paul's high dome amidst the vassal bands
Of neighboring spires, a regal chieftain stands,
And over fields of ridgy roofs appear,
With distance softly tinted, side by side
In kindred grace, like twain of sisters dear,

The towers of Westminster, her Abbey's pride:
While far beyond the hills of Surrey shine
Through thin soft haze, and show their wavy line.
Viewed thus, a goodly sight! but when surveyed
Through denser air when moistened winds prevail,
In her grand panoply of smoke arrayed,
While clouds aloft in heavy volumes sail,
She is sublime. She seems a curtained gloom
Connecting heaven and earth,


a threatening sign of

With more than natural height, reared in the sky,
"Tis then St. Paul's arrests the wondering eye;
The lower parts in swathing mist concealed,
The higher through some half-spent shower revealed,
So far from earth removed, that well, I trow,
Did not its form man's artful structure show,
It might some lofty alpine peak be deemed,
The eagle's haunt, with cave and crevice seamed.
Stretched wide on either hand, a rugged screen
In lurid dimness, nearer streets are seen
Like shoreward billows of a troubled main
Arrested in their rage. Through drizzly rain
Cataracts of tawny sheen pour from the skies,
Of furnace smoke black curling columns rise,
And many tinted vapors slowly pass
O'er the wide draping of that pictured mass.

So shows by day this grand imperial town,

And, when o'er all the night's black stole is thrown, The distant traveller doth with wonder mark

Her luminous canopy athwart the dark,

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