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.
 
When Broadway Was a Country Road
By Charles Coleman Stoddard
 
NO rushing cars, nor tramping feet
  Disturbed the peaceful summer days
That shone as now upon the street
  That knows our busy noisy ways.
  And blushing girls and awkward jays        5
Strolled slowly home, and cattle lowed
  As fell the purple twilight haze,
When Broadway was a country road.
 
No tailored dandies, trim and neat;
  No damsels of the latest craze        10
Of form and fashion; no conceit
  To catch the fancy or amaze,
  No buildings met the skyward gaze;
Nor myriad lights that nightly glowed
  To set the midnight hour ablaze—        15
When Broadway was a country road.
 
Then shady lanes with blossoms sweet
  Led gently down to quiet bays
Or to the sheltered, hedged retreat
  Some falling mansion now betrays.        20
  The stage-coach here no longer pays
Its daily call, nor farmer’s goad
  Their oxen, as in olden days
When Broadway was a country road.
 
  Little indeed to meet the praise        25
Of modern times the picture showed.
  And yet the fancy fondly strays
To Broadway as a country road.
 
 
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