H. P. Lovecraft
Written in 1920
Published in December of 1920
There be those who say that things and places have souls, and there be those who say they have not; I
dare not say, myself, but I will tell of the Street.
Men of strength and honour fashioned that Street: good valiant men of our blood who had come from
the Blessed Isles across the sea. At first it was but a path trodden by bearers of water from the
woodland spring to the cluster of houses by the beach. Then, as more men came to the growing cluster
of houses and looked about for places to dwell, they built cabins along the north side, cabins of stout
oaken logs with masonry on the side toward the forest, for many Indians lurked there with fire-arrows.
And in a few years more, men built cabins on the south side of the Street.
Up and down the Street walked grave men in conical hats, who most of the time carried muskets or
fowling pieces. And there were also their bonneted wives and sober children. In the evening these men
with their wives and children would sit about gigantic hearths and read and speak. Very simple were
the things of which they read and spoke, yet things which gave them courage and goodness and helped
them by day to subdue the forest and till the fields. And the children would listen and learn of the laws
and deeds of old, and of that dear England which they had never seen or could not remember.
There was war, and thereafter no more Indians troubled the Street. The men, busy with labour, waxed
prosperous and as happy as they knew how to be. And the children grew up comfortable, and more
families came from the Mother Land to dwell on the Street. And the children’s children, and the
newcomers’ children, grew up. The town was now a city, and one by one the cabins gave place to
houses—simple, beautiful houses of brick and wood, with stone steps and iron railings and fanlights
over the doors. No flimsy creations were these houses, for they were made to serve many a generation.
Within there were carven mantels and graceful stairs, and sensible, pleasing furniture, china, and silver,
brought from the Mother Land.
So the Street drank in the dreams of a young people and rejoiced as its dwellers became more graceful
and happy. Where once had been only strength and honour, taste and learning now abode as well.
Books and paintings and music came to the houses, and the young men went to the university which
rose above the plain to the north. In the place of conical hats and small-swords, of lace and snowy
periwigs, there were cobblestones over which clattered many a blooded horse and rumbled many a
gilded coach; and brick sidewalks with horse blocks and hitching-posts.