Verse > Anthologies > Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed. > The Book of New York Verse
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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