Verse > Anthologies > Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed. > The Book of New York Verse
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Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed.  The Book of New York Verse.  1917.
 
At Trinity
By Andrew E. Watrous
 
WHERE Wall Street’s head from full Broadway
Takes portions of the surge and spray,
By silent night, and roaring day,
      Its graves it guardeth.
 
The jetsam of the swollen stream,        5
Profounder far their peace doth seem,
For tossing drift that from their dream,
      The still close wardeth.
 
In days when Bleecker Street was rus,
And Murray Hill as is to us        10
Champlain, Au Sable; when this fuss
      And fret were quiet;
 
When ladies yet might think it queer
To date in 18—; when all here,
In brief, was up-town—in the year,        15
      Say ’08,—I spy it.
 
Perchance, in there among the pews,
Turned down his Sunday buckled shoes,
Knight Lawrence—ere that latest cruise—
      The stainless sinner!        20
 
Trite wonder, where his tomb doth stand.
Had he a thought? The rector’s hand
He pressed, most like. Just back to land,
      And drove to dinner.
 
Yet, haply, here from me a span,        25
Some stopped to chat of the new man
In Portugal, and his great plan
      For Boney brewing.
 
How Burr’d turned up again, some said,
Young Irving made abroad great head,        30
And how of Gallic power the spread
      We’d all be ruing.
 
Splash, splash! the midnight’s fresh laid dust
The swift aids churn the mud—needs must,
The troops, from off Long Island thrust,        35
      Are marching nor’ward.
 
Lord Sterling’s taken, and his men
All slain—the field was but a pen
Of slaughter: we’re the King’s again
      From this time forward.        40
 
It buffets back the lines-men’s drum,
Steel-fringed the scarlet ribbons come,
Strong silence through the sullen hum
      St. George back bringing.
 
Even the gliding of their files,        45
In step that tells upon the miles,
They wheel—cling, clang, upon the aisles
      Their muskets ringing.
 
Strain pipe and bellows! Belfry sway!
Roar street and slip! We greet to-day        50
Primmest of patres patriæ,
      Great George!—it endeth.
 
Scant gleaner I amid the dead;
The reaper closely harvested;
A gesture here, a word there said,        55
      Are all he lendeth.
 
What point or purpose had their fate?
They lived, and unlived; like a slate
Their old place is—our names the late
      Their places borrow.        60
 
Rubbed out, writ in; it seemeth strange
To me, and plain to you—we’ll change;
The old thought and the new will range
      This time to-morrow.
 
And, silent ones, if what one saith,        65
You hear, and comforts life in death
As death in life, you’ll wish for breath
      To make me know it.
 
For, somehow, when first seen the place,
It seemed to nourish more the grace        70
Of kinship than did all the space
      Above, below it.
 
Come on, friend—here we may not lie;
Our place is taken, yet may I,
And you, find some day time to die—        75
      A rest remaineth.
 
Some spot is ours—a quiet nook,
Where shade and shine make pipe and book
To idlers pleasant: thither look,
      Where peace sole reigneth.        80
 
 
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