I love the woods, the fields, the streams,
The wild flowers fresh and sweet,
And yet I love no less than these
The crowded city street;
For haunts of men, where’er they be,
Awake my deepest sympathy.
I see within the city street
Life’s most extreme estates;
The gorgeous domes of palaces;
The dismal prison gates;
The hearths by household virtues blest,
The dens that are the serpent’s nest.
I see the rich man, proudly fed
And richly clothed, pass by;
I see the shivering, houseless wretch
With hunger in his eye;
For life’s severest contrasts meet
Forever in the city street.
Hence is it that a city street
Can deepest thoughts impart,
For all its people, high and low,
Are kindred to my heart;
And with a yearning love I share
In all their joy, their pain, their care.