Ella Wheeler Wilcox

5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin

The City

I own the charms of lovely Nature; still,
In human nature more delight I find.
Though sweet the murmuring voices of the rill,
I much prefer the voices of my kind.

I like the roar of cities. In the mart,
Where busy toilers strive for place and gain,
I seem to read humanity's great heart,
And share its hopes, its pleasures, and its pain.

The rush of hurrying trains that cannot wait,
The tread of myriad feet, all say to me:
'You are the architect of your own fate;
Toil on, hope on, and dare to do and be.'

I like the jangled music of the loud
Bold bells; the whistle's sudden shrill reply;
And there is inspiration in a crowd-
A magnetism flashed from eye to eye.

My sorrows all seem lightened and my joys
Augmented when the comrade world walks near;
Close to mankind my soul best keeps its poise.
Give me the great town's bustle, strife, and noise,
And let who will, hold Nature's calm more dear.
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