the side-street

by Louis Ginsberg

Image: Library of Congress
Image: Library of Congress

The bye-street, the shy street,
        The street where cobbles gleam,
Is quaint and narrow like a lane
        That drowses in a dream.

The staid trees, the shade trees
        Are prim old maids that sway;
They rustle laces and their gowns
        And bustle all the day.

Yon garden wall that crumbles
        Upon the garden grass,—
Who knows what lovers it has heard
        Whispering there and pass?

The bye-street, the shy street
        That dozes in the shade,
It never hears the Traffic roar,
        Nor hears the tramp of Trade!

Louis and Naomi Ginsberg lived in an apartment at 163 Quitman Street when their son Allen, the future Beat poet, was born. According to Allen’s recollections in “Don’t Grow Old,” the family later moved to a house on Boyd Street.

“The Side-Street” was included in Louis Ginsberg’s 1920 collection The Attic of the Past and Other Lyrics.

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