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.
 
Brown, of Grace Church, 1864
By Peter Marié
 
O GLORIOUS Brown! thou medley strange
  Of church-yard, ball-room, saint, and sinner;
Flying by morn through Fashion’s range,
  And burying mortals after dinner—
Walking one day with invitations,        5
Passing the next at consecrations,
Tossing the sod at eve on coffins,
With one hand drying tears of orphans
And one unclasping ball-room carriage,
Or cutting plum-cake up at marriage—        10
Dusting by day the pew and missal—
Sounding by night the ball-room whistle—
Admitted free through Fashion’s wicket,
And skilled at psalms, at punch, at cricket;
Relate by what mysterious art        15
Thou canst so well fulfil thy part—
And how, thus sorely tasked each week,
Thou look’st so happy, fat and sleek.
Repeat to us the prittle-prattle
About thine ears must daily rattle,        20
When marching round through Fashion’s quarters
Thou’rt questioned oft by Eve’s fair daughters,
And tell us why seek up, seek down,
O’er all the earth, there’s but one Brown—
One man alone whom church and state        25
At once consent to consecrate,
With license boundless to combine
The pew, the ball, the hearse, the wine!
 
 
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