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from PROLOGUE: THE WANDERERS

FORGET six countries overhung with smoke,
Forget the snorting steam and piston stroke,
Forget the spreading of the hideous town; 
Think rather of the pack-horse on the down,
And dream of London, small, and white, and clean,
The clear Thames bordered by its gardens green;
Think, that below bridge the green lapping waves
Smite some few keels that bear Levantine staves,
Cut from the yew wood on the burnt-up hill,
And pointed jars that Greek hands toiled to fill,
And treasured scanty spice from some far sea,
Florence gold cloth, and Ypres napery,
And cloth of Bruges, and hogsheads of Guienne;
While nigh the thronged wharf Geoffrey Chaucer’s pen
Moves over bills of lading—mid such times
Shall dwell the hollow puppets of my rhymes.
William Morris [1834–1896]