Arthur Guiterman’s 1919 poem ‘New York’
The city is cutting away, / The gasmen are hunting a leak, / They’re putting down asphalt today, / To change it for stone in a week. / The builders are raising a wall, / The wreckers are tearing one down, / Enacting a drama of all [/] our changeable, turbulent town.
For here is an edifice meant / To stand for an eon or more, / And there’s a gospeler’s tent, / And there is a furniture-store. / Our suburbs are under the plow, / Our scaffolds are raw in the sun, / We’re drunk and disorderly now, / But — ‘Twill be a great place when it’s done.