A Poetical Protest.
For some time past there has been a slight controversy over the construction of a sewer on Ninth street, near Montgomery avenue, Philadelphia. The department of public works, it is said, has been considering the advisability of putting in a new sewer, and the people of the neighborhood have had their say pro and con. Some thought the sewer too small, and it was proposed that the department build a new sewer four feet six inches in width to meet the necessities of the case.
For business reasons John S. Stevens, ex-president of the Master Builders’ Exchange, has opposed the new work, the iron works of his firm being located at the corner of Ninth street and Montgomery. He did not want the street torn up and “made impassable all winter,” and so reasoned with Director Windrim, but he presented his strongest argument Monday on learning that workmen had dug down to the sewer and found that, as it existed, it was fully four feet wide. The point about Mr. Stevens’ last argument is that it is a novelty in the way of protest. It also commends itself to business men of literary taste, who can rise above the cold formalities of every-day letter writing and appreciate the brighter side of things, however prosaic. Addressing Director Windrim by title, and the customary “ Dear Sir,” Mr. Stevens plunged into the subject matter as follows, adding no more than a polite “ Yours truly, John S. Stevens.”
Twenty-five feet under ground
A four-foot sewer has been found,
Instead of one eight feet wide,
As fifteen people testified.
The question is, will this one do
To let the water filter through,
Or will you trench, take out the bricks,
And build a new one, four feet six ?
If you decide this one will do,
Our troubles then will all be through ;
But, if it must be four feet six.
Then we are in a pretty fix ;
Can’t use our driveway to get in,
Nor yet get out; ain’t it a sin
So much with trade to interfere
At this bad season of the year ?
Director Windrim and Mr. Stevens are personal friends, which probably accounts for the latter’s fearlessness in addressing a public official in verse.