Moral reflections on the Cross of St Paul's

Thomas Hood

The man that pays his pence, and goes
Up to thy lofty cross, St. Paul,
Looks over London's naked nose,
Women and men:
The world is all beneath his ken.
He sits above the Ball.
He seems on Mount Olympus' top,
Among the Gods, by Jupiter! and lets drop
His eyes from the empyreal clouds
On mortal crowds.

Seen from these skies,
How small those emmets in our eyes;
Some carry little sticks--and one
His eggs--to warm them in the sun:
Dear! what a hustle,
And bustle!
And there's my aunt. I know her by her waist,
So long and thin,
And so pinch'd in,
Just in the pismire taste.

Oh! what are men?--Beings so small,
That, should I fall
Upon their little heads, I must
Crush them by hundreds into dust!

And what is life? and all its ages--
There's seven stages!
Turnham Green! Chelsea! Putney! Fulham!
Brentford! and Kew!
And Tooting, too!
And oh! what very little nags to pull 'em.
Yet each would seem a horse indeed,
If here at Paul's tip-top we'd got 'em;
Although, like Cinderella's breed,
They're mice at bottom.
Then let me not despise a horse,
Though he looks small from Paul's high cross!
Since he would be,--as near the sky.
--Fourteen hands high.

What is this world with London in its lap?
Mogg's Map.
The Thames, that ebbs and flows in its broad channel?
A tidy kennel.
The bridges stretching from its banks?
Stone planks.
Oh me! hence could I read an admonition
To mad Ambition!
But that he would not listen to my call,
Though I should stand upon the cross, and ball!