Songs of Manhattan

Songs of Manhattan.

There’s Asia on the avenue And Europe in the street,
      And Africa goes plodding Beneath my window-seat.
This is the wondrous city,
      Where worlds and nations meet;
Say not romance is napping: Behold the city street!


A son of Dante’s singing dells vends lemonade and creams,
In younger days, enthralled of art, he reared a dome of dreams;
But now, before his little shop, pale children dance with glee,
And he smiles to think, though stars may fall, how happy men may be.


“Wine and whiskey, ale and rum,
Bottles of dreams for the years to come,”
This is the tune that the beggars hum
From Battery Park to Cooper Square,
When the rain beats hard and the days are fair,
When the summer’s green and the winter’s bare.
O the tune is merry and the tale is old,
And the bar-rooms ring with a beggar’s gold,
For a beggar’s blessings are manifold.
No kin has he to love and tell
Of the stinging lashes of a living hell,
And so he sings — to dream is well.
                              M. A. BEER.


There are smiling beggars, fools of fate,
      In sun and rain who roam
From Cooper Square to the harbor’s gate,
      And never wander home.
For them the streets are paved with gold,
      And life with promise sings,
Though river winds bite often cold
      And youth has taken wings.
For a nickel buys a glass of dreams,
      And a dime an iron bed,
And the lodging house — a heaven gleams
      When a hungry man is fed.

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