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.
 
Wouter Van Twiller, 1633
By Clinton Scollard
 
WHEN Wouter Van Twiller sailed over the sea,
A shrewd store of wit in his noodle had he;
And while he was sent as the Company’s son,
His eye was alert to enrich number one;
It was his pocket foremost—that busy old filler,—        5
Very aldermanlike was good Wouter Van Twiller!
 
A fine strip of land if he chanced to divine
He straightway bethought him “that farm shall be mine!”
And worthily working this excellent plan,
Erelong he annexed all Sapponikan;        10
He pinched like a mercer, took toll like a miller;
Truly aldermanlike was good Wouter Van Twiller!
 
In Minetta Water, when noontides were blue,
He trouted from Fifth through to Sixth Avenue;
And when (it was frequent) he’d mornings to spare,        15
He hunted the duck over Washington Square.
“Times are ill,” groaned the traders; “the times might be iller,”
Replied, with a wink, crafty Wouter Van Twiller.
 
Gone Wouter Van Twiller, but not all his kind,
At least by the knowing it thus is opined;        20
While chiefly his own, he was every man’s friend;
His image we’re likely to view to the end;
You may see it today,—’tis our pride and our pillar,—
The image of grasping old Wouter Van Twiller.
 
 
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