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.
 
Five Points, 1838 (extract from The Vision of Rubeta)
By Laughton Osborn
 
FAST by the dike, where frown the granite eaves
Of the huge dome Manhattan rears for thieves,
A range of filthy dwelling houses stood,
Fac’d with dull brick, and bridg’d with steps of wood.
Here, in chalk’d spaces, seven feet by four,        5
Crowd various families a common floor;
The night’s straw sack their musty couch by day,
While on the loathsome plank their broken victuals lay.
Dogs, cats, and children in one litter cry,
And mud-cak’d pigs encroach upon the sty.        10
Without, all wreck and nastiness; within,
Starvation, sickness, vermin, stench, and sin.
Such hives as still are found, with ev’n less room,
In Laurens Street, the southern side of Broom.
 
 
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