Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > England
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV.  1876–79.
 
London
London
Samuel Johnson (1709–1784)
 
THOUGH grief and fondness in my breast rebel
When injured Thales bids the town farewell,
Yet still my calmer thoughts his choice commend,
I praise the hermit, but regret the friend;
Who now resolves, from vice and London far,        5
To breathe in distant fields a purer air,
And, fixed on Cambria’s solitary shore,
Give to St. David one true Briton more.
For who would leave, unbribed, Hibernia’s land,
Or change the rocks of Scotland for the Strand?        10
There none are swept by sudden fate away,
But all whom hunger spares with age decay:
Here malice, rapine, accident, conspire,
And now a rabble rages, now a fire;
Their ambush here relentless ruffians lay,        15
And here the fell attorney prowls for prey;
Here falling houses thunder on your head,
And here a female atheist talks you dead.
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