Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.



By John Dyer (1700?–1758)

(From The Fleece)

WIDE around

Hillock and valley, farm and village, smile;

And ruddy roofs and chimney-tops appear,

Of busy Leeds, up-wafting to the clouds

The incense of thanksgiving: all is joy;

And trade and business guide the living scene,

Roll the full cars, adown the winding Aire

Load the slow-sailing barges, pile the pack

On the long tinkling train of slow-paced steeds.

As when a sunny day invites abroad

The sedulous ants, they issue from their cells

In bands unnumbered, eager for their work;

O’er high, o’er low, they lift, they draw, they haste

With warm affection to each other’s aid;

Repeat their virtuous efforts, and succeed.

Thus all is here in motion, all is life:

The creaking wain brings copious store of corn;

The grazier’s sleeky kine obstruct the roads;

The neat-dressed housewives, for the festal board

Crowned with full baskets, in the field-way paths

Come tripping on; the echoing hills repeat

The stroke of axe and hammer; scaffolds rise,

And growing edifices; heaps of stone,

Beneath the chisel, beauteous shapes assume

Of frieze and column. Some, with even line,

New streets are marking in the neighboring fields,

And sacred domes of worship. Industry,

Which dignifies the artist, lifts the swain,

And the straw cottage to a palace turns,

Over the work presides. Such was the scene

Of hurrying Carthage, when the Trojan chief

First viewed her growing turrets. So appear

The increasing walls of busy Manchester,

Sheffield, and Birmingham, whose reddening fields

Rise and enlarge their suburbs.