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.
 
On a Forgotten By-way
By Andrew E. Watrous
 
THE SHABBY street-cars jingling go
  Where modish coach-wheels rolled and ran,
And back here from the roaring Row
  That leads from Beekman Street to Ann,
 
En route to sup at Philip Hone’s        5
  And quiz our New World belles and beaux,
Her feet tripped o’er these very stones—
  Fair Kemble. And thy magic toes,
 
Thou fairer Fanny, Ellsler named,
  Twinkled adown the pavement drear,        10
While (for thy lissome sake defamed)
  Followed—with wraps—thy Chevalier.
 
A gown of white, a girlish form,
  Footsteps unused that trembling pause!
’Tis Garcia, frightened by the storm        15
  Of this, her début night’s applause.
 
Again, oh, crinoline and mitts!
  Oh, blue and brass with ruffles dight!
A decorous mob of worthy cits—
  The ball to “Boz” is at its height.        20
 
’Tis Theatre Alley, yet its name
  They’ve spared. A squalid place by day,
Where wrangling boys for coppers game,
  Where sottish vagrants snooze or stray.
 
But when the sun shines slant and low        25
  O’er Trinity’s subduing vane,
Vanish these sordid shapes, and so
  The alley grows itself again.
 
And when the dusk in deeper gloom
  Is whelmed, and o’er the flag-stones damp,        30
As if the old stage-door to ’lume,
  Glimmers that lonely, midway lamp.
 
These dear, dead ladies, they that thrilled
  The gay world of the “old Park’s” time,
Are with me, and—a vow fulfilled—        35
  To their sweet manes this light rhyme.
 
 
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