Real Estate

THE pleasant grounds are greenly turfed and graded;
A sturdy porter waiteth at the gate ;
The graceful avenues, serenely shaded,
And curving paths, are interlaced and braided
In many a maze around my fair estate.
Here blooms the early hyacinth, and clover
And amaranth and myrtle wreathe the ground;
The pensive lily leans her pale cheek over ;
And hither comes the bee, light-hearted rover,
Wooing the sweet-breathed flowers with soothing sound.
Intwining, in their manifold digressions,
Lands of my neighbors, wind these peaceful ways.
The masters, coming to their calm possessions,
Followed in solemn state by long processions,
Make quiet journeys, these still summer days.
This is my freehold 1 Elms and fringy larches,
Maples and pines, and stately firs of Norway,
Build round me their green pyramids and arches ;
Sweetly the robin sings, while slowly marches
The owner’s escort to his open doorway.
O, sweetly sing the robin and the sparrow!
But the pale tenant very silent rides.
A low green roof receiveth him, — so narrow
His hollowed tenement, a school-boy’s arrow
Might span the space betwixt its grassy sides.
The flowers around him ring their wind-swung chalices,
A great bell tolls the pageant’s slow advance.
The poor alike, and lords of parks and palaces,
From all their busy schemes, their fears and fallacies,
Find here their rest and sure inheritance.
No more hath Cmsar or Sardanapalus !
Of all our wide dominions, soon or late,
Only a fathom’s space can aught avail us ;
This is the heritage that shall not fail us :
Here man at last comes to his Real Estate.
Secure to him and to his heirs forever !
Nor wealth nor want shall vex his spirit more.
Treasures of hope and love and high endeavor
Follow their blest proprietor ; but never
Could pomp or riches pass this little door.
Flatterers attend him, but alone he enters, —
Shakes off the dust of earth, no more to roam.
His trial ended, sealed his soul’s indentures,
The wanderer, weary from his long adventures,
Beholds the peace of his eternal home.
Lo, more than life Man’s great Estate comprises !
While for the earthly corner of his mansion
A little nook in shady Time suffices,
The rainbow-pillared heavenly roof arises
Ethereal in limitless expansion !