The City of Extremity.

There is a place, a dreadful place,1
Where all things go at whirlwind’s pace ;2
We call it, for its piteous case,3
The City of Extremity !4
Two millions swelter darkly there,5
Beset with toil; and want, and care,6
And many herd with black Despair,7
In the City of Extremity !8
Each man his neighbour screws and racks,9
Each sinew pays its utmost tax,10
And human nature strains and cracks,11
In the City of Extremity !12
Horse nature, too, as sorely worn,13
Tears, chafes, and grinds, both night and morn ;14
O God, the sufferings dumbly borne15
In the City of Extremity !16
Miles off, you see the smoke arise17
Of these two millions’ sacrifice,18
And hear the roaring agonies19
Of the City of Extremity !20
God kindly gave the fruitful earth21
For all who draw from it their birth ;22
But ’tis a gift of doubtful worth23
In the City of Extremity !24
There labour is a deadly fight,25
From which, at best, you snatch a bite26
And you may starve in thousands’ sight,27
In the City of Extremity !28
Men hate the unchristian work they do,29
And would a better course pursue,30
Did Fancied Fate not bind them to31
The City of Extremity !32
They loathe the place they do it in,33
Plunged amid dirt, and smoke, and din,34
Polluted air, disease, and sin,35
In the City of Extremity !36
They fly from both when fly they can,37
As neither being fit for man38
As if just Heaven had laid its ban39
On the City of Extremity !40
Oh, dear-loved friends, do not forget,41
The world has true and good things yet,42
Though all is base and counterfeit43
In the City of Extremity !44
Still, still the larks at heaven’s gate sing,45
Still flowers beside the streamlet spring,46
Unlike their ghastly blossoming47
In the City of Extremity !48
There healthful work and honest gain49
Keep young and old in cheerful strain,50
Unlike the harrowing hurricane51
Of the City of Extremity !52
Come forth, then, from this frightful town,53
And let its monstrous size die down,54
Ere a new deluge come to drown55
The City of Extremity !56