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LONDON ROSES

 "ROWSES, Rowses! Penny a bunch!" they tell you-- 
Slattern girls in Trafalgar, eager to sell you.
Roses, roses, red in the Kensington sun, Holland Road, High Street, Bayswater, see you and smell you-- Roses of London town, red till the summer is done.
Roses, roses, locust and lilac, perfuming West End, East End, wondrously budding and blooming Out of the black earth, rubbed in a million hands, Foot-trod, sweat-sour over and under, entombing Highways of darkness, deep gutted with iron bands.
"Rowses, rowses! Penny a bunch!" they tell you, Ruddy blooms of corruption, see you and smell you, Born of stale earth, fallowed with squalor and tears-- North shire, south shire, none are like these, I tell you, Roses of London perfumed with a thousand years.

by Willa Cather
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