Urbanus Loquitur.

Let others sing the country’s charm :1
The whispering trees ; the tangled lane ;2
The perfume-burdened air ; the trills3
Of lark and nightingale ; the wain,4
That homeward brings the scented hay,5
When evening’s peace absorbs the day.6
Let others laud those primal cares,7
Which fill the country hours with bliss :8
The timely rest ; clear eyes, that greet9
Earth waking ’neath Aurora’s kiss ;10
The easy, sauntering, walk ; the toil,11
That waits upon the bounteous soil.12
Let others paint with fresh delight13
The country maiden’s cheek of rose ;14
Her lover’s artless, amorous, gifts,15
Which pure affection’s heart enclose ;16
The children nestling round their sire17
At night-fall, by the winter’s fire.18
For me, for me, another world’s19
Enchantments hold my heart in thrall :20
These London pavements, low’ring sky,21
Store secrets, on mine eyes that fall ;22
More curious far, than earth or air23
By country paths can make appear.24
The stern reformer scowls aghast,25
Mid the doomed city’s trackless woe :26
Apelles veils his shuddering gaze,27
Its ugliness “ offends him so” :28
The dainty-eared musician dies29
In torment, of its raucous cries.30
Yet are there souls of coarser grain,31
Or else more flexible, who find32
Strange, infinite, allurements lurk,33
Undreamed of by the simpler mind,34
Along these streets, within the walls35
Of cafés, shops, and music-halls.36
’Twixt jar of tongues, at endless strife37
On art, religion, social needs,38
How many a keen thought springs to birth39
In him, this dubious book that reads !40
For curious eyes no hours are spent,41
That bring not interest, content.42
I’ll call not these the best, nor those ;43
The country fashions, or the town :44
On each descend heaven’s bounteous rains ;45
On each the impartial sun looks down.46
Why should we gird and argue, friend ;47
Not follow, where our natures tend ?48
The secret’s this : where’er our lot,49
To read, mark, learn, digest them well,50
The devious paths we mortals take,51
To gain, at length, our heaven or hell :52
Alike in some still, rural, scene,53
Or Regent Street and Bethnal Green.54