I WAS asking for something specific and perfect for my city,
Whereupon, lo! upsprang the aboriginal name!
Now I see what there is in a name, a word, liquid, sane, unruly, musical, self-sufficient;
I see that the word of my city is that word up there,
Because I see that word nested in nests of water-bays, superb, with tall and wonderful
Rich, hemmd thick all around with sailships and steamshipsan island sixteen
Numberless crowded streetshigh growths of iron, slender, strong, light, splendidly
uprising toward clear skies;
Tide swift and ample, well-loved by me, toward sundown,
The flowing sea-currents, the little islands, larger adjoining islands, the heights, the
The countless masts, the white shore-steamers, the lighters, the ferry-boats, the black
The down-town streets, the jobbers houses of businessthe houses of business of
ship-merchants, and money-brokersthe river-streets;
Immigrants arriving, fifteen or twenty thousand in a week;
The carts hauling goodsthe manly race of drivers of horsesthe brown-faced
The summer air, the bright sun shining, and the sailing clouds aloft;
The winter snows, the sleigh-bellsthe broken ice in the river, passing along, up or
with the flood tide or ebb-tide;
The mechanics of the city, the masters, well-formd, beautiful-faced, looking you
in the eyes;
Trottoirs throngdvehiclesBroadwaythe womenthe shops and
The parades, processions, bugles playing, flags flying, drums beating;
A million peoplemanners free and superbopen voiceshospitalitythe
courageous and friendly young men;
The free city! no slaves! no owners of slaves!
The beautiful city, the city of hurried and sparkling waters! the city of spires and
The city nested in bays! my city!
The city of such women, I am mad to be with them! I will return after death to be with
The city of such young men, I swear I cannot live happy, without I often go talk, walk,
drink, sleep, with them!