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Dear Old London - Poem by Eugene Field

When I was broke in London in the fall of '89,
I chanced to spy in Oxford Street this tantalizing sign,
'A Splendid Horace cheap for Cash!' Of course I had to look
Upon the vaunted bargain, and it was a noble book!
A finer one I 've never seen, nor can I hope to see,
The first edition, richly bound, and clean as clean can be;
And, just to think, for three-pounds-ten I might have had that Pine,
When I was broke in London in the fall of '89!

Down at Noseda's, in the Strand, I found, one fateful day,
A portrait that I pined for as only maniac may,
A print of Madame Vestris (she flourished years ago,
Was Bartolozzi's daughter, and a thoroughbred, you know).
A clean and handsome print it was, and cheap at thirty bob,
That 's what I told the salesman, as I choked a rising sob;
But I hung around Noseda's as it were a holy shrine,
When I was broke in London in the fall of '89.

At Davey's, in Great Russell Street, were autographs galore,
And Mr. Davey used to let me con that precious store.
Sometimes I read what warriors wrote, sometimes a king's command,
But oftener still a poet's verse, writ in a meagre hand.
Lamb, Byron, Addison, and Burns, Pope, Johnson, Swift, and Scott,
It needed but a paltry sum to comprehend the lot;
Yet, though Friend Davey marked 'em down, what could I but decline?
For I was broke in London in the fall of '89.

Of antique swords and spears I saw a vast and dazzling heap
That Curio Fenton offered me at prices passing cheap;
And, oh, the quaint old bureaus, and the warming-pans of brass,
And the lovely hideous freaks I found in pewter and in glass!
And, oh, the sideboards, candlesticks, the cracked old china plates,
The clocks and spoons from Amsterdam that antedate all dates!
Of such superb monstrosities I found an endless mine
When I was broke in London in the fall of '89.

O ye that hanker after boons that others idle by, --
The battered things that please the soul, though they may vex the eye, --
The silver plate and crockery all sanctified with grime,
The oaken stuff that has defied the tooth of envious Time,
The musty tomes, the speckled prints, the mildewed bills of play,
And other costly relics of malodorous decay, --
Ye only can appreciate what agony was mine
When I was broke in London in the fall of '89.

When, in the course of natural things, I go to my reward,
Let no imposing epitaph my martyrdoms record;
Neither in Hebrew, Latin, Greek, nor any classic tongue,
Let my ten thousand triumphs over human griefs be sung;
But in plain Anglo-Saxon that he may know who seeks
What agonizing pangs I 've had while on the hunt for freaks
Let there be writ upon the slab that marks my grave this line:
'Deceased was broke in London in the fall of '89.'


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Poems About London

  1. 1. London , William Blake
  2. 2. A Refusal To Mourn The Death, By Fire, O.. , Dylan Thomas
  3. 3. A Wife In London (December, 1899) , Thomas Hardy
  4. 4. A March Day In London , Amy Levy
  5. 5. London, 1802 , William Wordsworth
  6. 6. East London , Matthew Arnold
  7. 7. A London Thoroughfare. 2 A.M. , Amy Lowell
  8. 8. In A London Drawingroom , George Eliot
  9. 9. A London Fête , Coventry Patmore
  10. 10. La Paloma In London , Claude McKay
  11. 11. The Cavalier's March To London , Thomas Babbington Macaulay
  12. 12. West London , Matthew Arnold
  13. 13. Farewell To London , Alexander Pope
  14. 14. London Voluntaries Iv: Out Of The Poison.. , William Ernest Henley
  15. 15. London Snow , Robert Seymour Bridges
  16. 16. At The War Office, London (Affixing The .. , Thomas Hardy
  17. 17. London In July , Amy Levy
  18. 18. Trivia; Or, The Art Of Walking The Stree.. , John Gay
  19. 19. A London Plane-Tree , Amy Levy
  20. 20. In London , Dora Wilcox
  21. 21. At The War Office, London. , Thomas Hardy
  22. 22. London Airport , Christopher Logue
  23. 23. On Leaving London For Wales , Percy Bysshe Shelley
  24. 24. London Bridge , Edwin Arlington Robinson
  25. 25. London, Hast Thou Accursed Me , Henry Howard
  26. 26. A London Trip , Ravi Panamanna
  27. 27. His Return To London , Robert Herrick
  28. 28. London Poets , Amy Levy
  29. 29. 0013 Aftermath: London, July 7,2005 , Michael Shepherd
  30. 30. Scenes In London I - Piccadilly , Letitia Elizabeth Landon
  31. 31. Book Seventh [residence In London] , William Wordsworth
  32. 32. In Honour Of The City Of London , William Dunbar
  33. 33. The Now Jerusalem, Song Of Mary The Moth.. , Anonymous
  34. 34. Descriptive Jottings Of London , William Topaz McGonagall
  35. 35. London , Francis William Lauderdale A ..
  36. 36. Deep Sea In London And Paris Also Paris .. , WAEL MOREICHEH
  37. 37. London Bells , Anonymous
  38. 38. Dear Old London , Eugene Field
  39. 39. London Stone , Rudyard Kipling
  40. 40. Calamity In London , William Topaz McGonagall
  41. 41. London To Folkestone (Half-Past One To H.. , Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  42. 42. In A London Square , Arthur Hugh Clough
  43. 43. London Types: Barmaid , William Ernest Henley
  44. 44. Trivia; Or The Art Of Walking The Street.. , John Gay
  45. 45. Spring Wind In London , Katherine Mansfield
  46. 46. London - In Imitation Of The Third Satir.. , Samuel Johnson
  47. 47. A Satire Against The Citizens Of London , Henry Howard
  48. 48. Orinda To Lucasia Parting October 1661 A.. , Katherine Philips
  49. 49. Earthquake In London , Anonymous Olde English
  50. 50. The Wreck Of The Steamer London , William Topaz McGonagall
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