The Red Box at Vesey Street
Past the Red Box at Vesey street Swing two strong tides of hurrying feet, And up and down and all the day Rises a sullen roar, to say The Bowery has met Broadway. And where the confluent current brawls, Stands, fair and dear and old, St. Paulís, Through her grand window looking down Upon the fever of the town; Rearing her shrine of patriot pride Above that hungry human tide Mad with the lust of sordid gain, Wild for the things that God holds vain; Blind, selfish, cruel ó Stay there! out A man is turning from the rout, And stops to drop a folded sheet In the Red Box at Vesey street. On goes he to the money-mart, A broker, shrewd and tricky-smart; But in the space you saw him stand, He reached and grasped a brotherís hand: And some poor bed-rid wretch will find Bed-life a little less unkind For that manís stopping. They who pass Under St. Paulís broad roseate glass Have but to reach their hands to gain The pitiful world of prisoned pain. The hospitalís poor captive lies Waiting the day with weary eyes, Waiting the day, to hear again News of the outer world of men, Brought to him in a crumpled sheet From the Red Box at Vesey street. For the Red Box at Vesey street Was made because menís hearts must beat; Because the humblest kindly thought May do what wealth has never bought. That journal in your hand you hold To you already has grown old,ó Stale, dull, a thing to throw away,ó Yet since the earliest gleam of day Men in a score of hospitals Have lain and watched the whitewashed walls; Waiting the hour that brings more near The Life so infinitely dear ó The Life of trouble, toil, and strife, Hard, if you willóbut Life, Life, Life! Tell them, 0 friend! that life is sweet Through the Red Box at Vesey street.
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