Verse > Anthologies > Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed. > The Book of New York Verse
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Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed.  The Book of New York Verse.  1917.
 
Quality Hill
By Clinton Scollard
 
QUALITY HILL! It looked down on the town
With a tinge of contempt, a suspicion of frown;
And why should it not, if you’ll please to declare,
With the atmosphere such a superior air,
And the earth to be trod, any hour in the day,        5
Of a texture more fine than mere commonplace clay?
 
Quality Hill! As you clambered the slope,
With each step of ascent (to make use of a trope)
An attar pervasive, by some subtle stealth,
Began to steal out from the roses of Wealth;        10
And wherever you fared, you beheld on each side
A presence arrayed in the trappings of Pride.
 
Quality Hill! There the blood it ran blue;
There was more than one crest; there were quarterings, too.
Yet small quarter they gave to the stranger that came,        15
Those who bowed before Fashion, that debonair dame,
Unless the new-comer crept into the fold
Through the magical sign of the Goddess of Gold!
 
Quality Hill! There was satin and silk
For “my lady,” and dresses as snowy as milk;        20
There was poise, there was pose; there was plenty of art,
But who dare assert that beneath it was heart?
And envy and malice? But, stay! Could aught ill
(God’s grace!) have a place upon Quality Hill?
 
Quality Hill! Lo! it nourishes still!        25
And who can deny that forever it will?
A blending of breeding with puff and with plume;
A strange sort of mixture of rick and mushroom.
Some amble, some scramble, (some gamble!) to fill
The motley and medley of Quality Hill.        30
 
 
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