What hurrying human tides, or day or night!
What passions, winnings, losses, ardors, swim thy waters!
What whirls of evil, bliss and sorrow, stem thee!
What curious questioning glances- glints of love!
Leer, envy, scorn, contempt, hope, aspiration!
Thou portal- thou arena- thou of the myriad long-drawn lines and groups!
(Could but thy flagstones, curbs, facades, tell their inimitable tales;
Thy windows rich, and huge hotels- thy side-walks wide;)
Thou of the endless sliding, mincing, shuffling feet!
Thou, like the parti-colored world itself- like infinite, teeming,
Thou visor’d, vast, unspeakable show and lesson!
– Walt Whitman
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