Victorian London
Take me back to when top hats were like business suits
When the white moths had become black with filth
When the Thames was brown like the rotted teeth of beggars
And not just because of the mud
When the Irish and the Slavic were exotic
When London was Birmingham
When Birmingham was Liverpool
When Liverpool was a country village
When there were millions
And yet they were still so innocently oblivious
Take me to the city clothed in black
For there was always a funeral somewhere
The noisy factories
And crowded slums
The fear that the cold brings
The pain that disease brings
The real London
The honest London
The dark, deadly London of my nightmares
Every narrow, dimly-lit alleyway dripping with piss and blood
Full of criminals and drunks
Ominous dark brown bricks
The suffocating stink that follows you wherever you go
Cursing, begging
Lifting, cuffing, gaffing, looting, nicking, pinching, swiping, thieving, pilfering, pillaging
Hundreds of words for stealing
Where the poor are painfully poor
Where every woman that smiles at you is a prostitute
Corpses lying in the streets
Next to gas lamps
The only beacons of light
People packed into bedrooms like chickens
Sleeping on the string

Highly disturbing
But it's best not to interfere
For someone else will deal with it
Industry and decency will save us all

There is no trace of that now
Except the noble stone buildings
Commissioned by the corrupt

This is my fear and obsession

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