Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > England
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV.  1876–79.
 
Leeds
Leeds
John Dyer (1700?–1758)
 
(From The Fleece)

                            WIDE around
Hillock and valley, farm and village, smile;
And ruddy roofs and chimney-tops appear,
Of busy Leeds, up-wafting to the clouds
The incense of thanksgiving: all is joy;        5
And trade and business guide the living scene,
Roll the full cars, adown the winding Aire
Load the slow-sailing barges, pile the pack
On the long tinkling train of slow-paced steeds.
As when a sunny day invites abroad        10
The sedulous ants, they issue from their cells
In bands unnumbered, eager for their work;
O’er high, o’er low, they lift, they draw, they haste
With warm affection to each other’s aid;
Repeat their virtuous efforts, and succeed.        15
Thus all is here in motion, all is life:
The creaking wain brings copious store of corn;
The grazier’s sleeky kine obstruct the roads;
The neat-dressed housewives, for the festal board
Crowned with full baskets, in the field-way paths        20
Come tripping on; the echoing hills repeat
The stroke of axe and hammer; scaffolds rise,
And growing edifices; heaps of stone,
Beneath the chisel, beauteous shapes assume
Of frieze and column. Some, with even line,        25
New streets are marking in the neighboring fields,
And sacred domes of worship. Industry,
Which dignifies the artist, lifts the swain,
And the straw cottage to a palace turns,
Over the work presides. Such was the scene        30
Of hurrying Carthage, when the Trojan chief
First viewed her growing turrets. So appear
The increasing walls of busy Manchester,
Sheffield, and Birmingham, whose reddening fields
Rise and enlarge their suburbs.        35
 
 
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