Poetry: The Crowded Street
First published in the March 1843 issue of Graham's Magazine.
Let me move slowly through the strcet, Fillcd wiih an evershifting trnin, Amid the sound of steps tliat beat The inurmuring walks likc arttumn rain. How fast the flitting figures come! The mild, the fierce, the stony face; Sonie bnght with thoughtless s i i'e?, nnd sÃ¶mc VVhere secret lears have left their trace. They puss - to toil, to strife, to rest; To halls in which the least is spread; To cliambers where the funeral guest In silence sits bside the dead. And .orre to hnppy homes repair, Where chÃ¼lrcn, pressing clieek to c'ieek, With niu'e caresses sli.ill declare The tenJernesa they cannot spcak. Andsomo. whi walk in calmncs here, Shal! shudder as thc reach i lic d or Where one who made their dweiling dcar, lts flower, its light. is seen no more. Youth, wilh pnle cheek and s'cuder fÃame, And dreans of grentnrs in thine cye! Ooest thou to buitd an early name, Or carly in tlie task to die? Keen son of trade, with enger brow! Wlio is now fiattering in thinnre? Thy golde:i fort unes. tower they now, Or meÃt the glittering spires in air? Who of this crowd, to-night, slmll tread The dance i! dny-light clenms ag;iin? Who sorrows o'cr the uniiniely dead? Who wrilhe in tliroes of mortal pain? Sonie, famine-struck, shall ihink how long Tne coid dark hours, how slow the light! And somn. who ilnnnt amid the throng, SlÃ¯aH hide in dens of shame to-night. Each, wlicre 'nis tnsks or plensures cali, They pass. and heed each other not. There is who heeds, who holds (hem al', In his larg'Ã© lÃ³ve und boundlcfS ihought. These struggling tidesoflife that seem In wayward, aimless couise to tend, Are eddiss of the niigh'ty stren m That rolls to jts predest ined end.
William Cullen Bryant
Signal of Liberty