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Nights in London   By: (1886-1945)

Book cover

First Page:

NIGHTS IN LONDON

by

THOMAS BURKE

Author of "Limehouse Nights."

[Illustration]

New York Henry Holt and Company 1918

First published in 1915 Popular Edition . 1918

[Illustration: ROUND THE HALLS]

CITY DUSK

The day dies in a wrath of cloud, Flecking her roofs with pallid rain, And dies its music, harsh and loud, Struck from the tiresome strings of pain.

Her highways leap to festal bloom, And swallow swift the traffic skims O'er sudden shoals of light and gloom, Made lovelier where the distance dims.

Robed by her tiring maid, the dusk, The town lies in a silvered bower, As, from a miserable husk, The lily robes herself with flower.

And all her tangled streets are gay, And all her rudenesses are gone; For, howso pitiless the day, The evening brings delight alone.

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

LIMEHOUSE NIGHTS: TALES OF CHINATOWN TWINKLETOES.

TO

MY MOTHER

WHO STILL ENJOYS A NIGHT IN TOWN

NOTE

These chapters on London life deal almost exclusively with the period before war, when the citizen was permitted to live in freedom, to develop himself to his finest possibilities, and to pursue happiness as he was meant to do. Since the delights of these happy times have been taken from us, perhaps never to be restored, it is well that they should be recorded before they are forgotten. T. B.

CONTENTS

PAGE NOCTURNAL 11

AN ENTERTAINMENT NIGHT ( Round the Halls ) 27

A CHINESE NIGHT ( Limehouse ) 57

A DOMESTIC NIGHT ( Clapham Common ) 73

A LONELY NIGHT ( Kingsland Road ) 83

A MUSICAL NIGHT ( The Opera, the Promenades ) 95

A JEWISH NIGHT ( Whitechapel ) 109

A HAPPY NIGHT ( Surbiton and Battersea ) 119

A WORKER'S NIGHT ( The Isle of Dogs ) 135

A CHARITABLE NIGHT ( East, West, North, South ) 157

A FRENCH NIGHT ( Old Compton Street ) 175

AN ITALIAN NIGHT ( Clerkenwell ) 185

A BASHER'S NIGHT ( Hoxton ) 197

A DOWN STREAM NIGHT ( Blackwall ) 207

AN ART NIGHT ( Chelsea ) 215

A RUSSIAN NIGHT ( Stepney ) 225

A SCANDINAVIAN NIGHT ( Shadwell ) 237

A SUNDAY NIGHT ( Anywhere ) 249

AT RANDOM 259

NOCTURNAL

EVENING

From the Circus to The Square There's an avenue of light; Golden lamps are everywhere From the Circus to The Square; And the rose winged hours there Pass like lovely birds in flight. From The Circus to The Square There's an avenue of light.

London yields herself to men With the dying of the day. Let the twilight come, and then London yields herself to men. Lords of wealth or slaves of pen, We, her lovers, all will say: London yields herself to men With the dying of the day.

NIGHTS IN LONDON

NOCTURNAL

For the few who have an eye for the beauty of townscapes, London by night is the loveliest thing in the world. Only in the London night may the connoisseur find so many vistas of sudden beauty, because London was never made: she has "growed." Paris affords no townscapes: everything there is too perfectly arranged; its artificiality is at once apparent. In London alone he finds those fantastic groupings, those monstrous masses of light and shade and substance.

Take London from whatever point you will and she will satisfy. For the rustic the fields of corn, the craggy mountain, the blossomy lane, or the rush of water through the greenwood. But for your good Cockney the shoals of gloom, the dusky tracery of chimney stack and gaswork, the torn waste of tiles, and the subtle tones of dawn and dark in lurking court and alley... Continue reading book >>




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