What’s life in a city? There’s no room to spare;
Men are crowded in corners and scanted of air;
Too near to be neighbors, too fretful for friends,
Each man jostles each as he seeks his own ends.
There are folk underneath you, and folk overhead,
And the noise of the street comes to vex you in bed;
The jangle of car-bells, the cab-whistle shrill;
All the hum and the stir and the dust of the mill
That is grinding all day and grows louder at night,
Conspire against comfort and banish delight.
O God, for the country! – the singing of birds,
The laughter of children, the lowing of herds,
Green grass and blue heavens, bright water, clean air,
And room enough, room enough, room and to spare.
- Henry Johnstone, in the Outlook
Thanks to Tiffani at http://livintheoffgriddream.blogspot.com/2010_02_01_archive.html