Monday, 10 August 2015

Place de Brouckère - Then and Now

When the sluggish Senne went underground
And cholera vanished from down town
A majestic thoroughfare was planned;
Instead of filthy tenements crammed
With folks of the more modest sort,
Art Nouveau mansions finely wrought
Rose up stylishly in their place
And Brussels acquired a modern face:

Theatres and department stores
With electric light on all the floors
A stock exchange in fine French stone
Deluxe hotels with telephone!
Here celebrities and Heads of State
Would wine and dine and congregate.
With luxury to the nth degree
De Brouckère was the place to be!

The quaint old trams no longer run
Instead the Metro does the ton
Speeding swiftly between stations
With passengers of many nations
The Metropole, august retreat
Of faded splendour, hard to beat
Observes, with critic's eye, the scene
In the twilight - empty beer cans gleam …

(c) Poet in the woods 2015




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