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

London Streets

The November Fog of London

By Henry Luttrel (1765–1851)

FIRST, at the dawn of lingering day,

It rises of an ashy gray;

Then deepening with a sordid stain

Of yellow, like a lion’s mane.

Vapor importunate and dense

It wars at once with every sense.

The ears escape not. All around

Returns a dull, unwonted sound.

Loath to stand still, afraid to stir,

The chilled and puzzled passenger,

Oft blundering from the pavement, fails

To feel his way along the rails;

Or at the crossings, in the roll

Of every carriage dreads the pole.

Scarce an eclipse with pall so dun

Blots from the face of heaven the sun.

But soon a thicker, darker cloak

Wraps all the town; behold, the smoke,

Which steam-compelling trade disgorges

From all her furnaces and forges,

In pitchy clouds, too dense to rise,

Descends rejected from the skies;

Till struggling day, extinguished quite,

At noon gives place to candle-light.