Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BOWLING GREEN, by LOUISE MORGAN SILL



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BOWLING GREEN, by            
First Line: Where the city's rushing throng
Last Line: On the green.
Subject(s): Bowling Green, New York City; Leisure; New York City - Dutch Period


Where the city's rushing throng
Beats its burly way along
Whitehall Street,
Up where giant buildings frown
On the pygmy people, down
At their feet,

Lies a modest bit of park
That the people seldom mark
In their haste,
As they scatter to and fro,
And like winds of heaven go,
Fury-paced.

But within this green enclosed—
Where the burghers, once reposed
At their ease,
Or at bowls displayed their skill
Summer afternoons to kill,
If you please—

Reigns some magic of the past
That, amid the noisy blast
All around,
Sets a charm upon your ear
As you enter, and you hear
Not a sound;

Not a murmur, save the tone
Of a Dutchman, or the drone
Of a bee;
Or the laughter of a child
As he scampers free and wild
On the lea.

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
Petticoats.

And they dance with such a grace,
And they blush with such a face—
Rose-and-cream—
As they curtsey, sweet and shy,
That you wonder why you sigh
As you dream.

For they've vanished long ago,
Burgher, goede vrow and beau,
Damsel fair;
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
On the scene,
Still the Dutchmen's placid souls
Play their solemn game of bowls
On the Green.





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