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.
 
Bowling Green
By Louise Morgan Sill
 
WHERE the city’s rushing throng
Beats its burly way along
      Whitehall Street,
Up where giant buildings frown
On the pygmy people, down        5
      At their feet,
 
Lies a modest bit of park
That the people seldom mark
      In their haste,
As they scatter to and fro,        10
And like winds of heaven go,
      Fury-paced.
 
But within this green enclosed—
Where the burghers, once reposed
      At their ease,        15
Or at bowls displayed their skill
Summer afternoons to kill,
      If you please—
 
Reigns some magic of the past
That, amid the noisy blast        20
      All around,
Sets a charm upon your ear
As you enter, and you hear
      Not a sound;
 
Not a murmur, save the tone        25
Of a Dutchman, or the drone
      Of a bee;
Or the laughter of a child
As he scampers free and wild
      On the lea.        30
 
You can see the Maying-time,
When the maidens’ voices chime
      Joyous notes;
When the Neltjies and the rest
Are arrayed in all their best        35
      Petticoats.
 
And they dance with such a grace,
And they blush with such a face—
      Rose-and-cream—
As they curtsey, sweet and shy,        40
That you wonder why you sigh
      As you dream.
 
For they’ve vanished long ago,
Burgher, goede vrow and beau,
      Damsel fair;        45
And the smile that meets your eye,
And the steps that patter by
      Are but air.
 
Yet, ’tis said that every night
When the moon is shining bright        50
      On the scene,
Still the Dutchmen’s placid souls
Play their solemn game of bowls
      On the Green.
 
 
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