Fleet Street

Arthur Henry Adams 1872 (Lawrence) – 1936 (Sydney, New South Wales)



BENEATH this narrow jostling street,   
 Unruffled by the noise of feet,   
Like a slow organ-note I hear   
The pulses of the great world beat.   
  
Unseen beneath the city’s show           
Through this aorta ever flow   
The currents of the universe—   
A thousand pulses throbbing low!   
  
Unheard beneath the pavement’s din   
Unknown magicians sit within           
Dim caves, and weave life into words   
On patient looms that spin and spin.   
  
There, uninspired, yet with the dower   
Of mightier mechanic power,   
Some bent, obscure Euripides           
Builds the loud drama of the hour!   
  
There, from the gaping presses hurled,   
A thousand voices, passion-whirled,   
With throats of steel vociferate   
The incessant story of the world!           
  
So through this artery from age   
To age the tides of passion rage,   
The swift historians of each day   
Flinging a world upon a page!   
  
And then I pause and gaze my fill           
Where cataracts of traffic spill   
Their foam into the Circus. Lo!   
Look up, the crown on Ludgate Hill!   
  
Remote from all the city’s moods,   
In high, untroubled solitudes,           
Like an old Buddha swathed in dream,   
St. Paul’s above the city broods!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

55 sec read
118

Quick analysis:

Scheme AAXA BBCB DDXD XECE FFXF GGXG HHBH XCXC
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,210
Words 185
Stanzas 8
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Arthur Henry Adams

Arthur Henry Adams was a journalist and author. He started his career in New Zealand, though he spent most of it in Australia, and for a short time lived in China and London.  more…

All Arthur Henry Adams poems | Arthur Henry Adams Books

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