Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > America
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.
New England: Hopkinton, Mass.
The Frankland Mansion
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809–1894)
(From Agnes)

ONE hour we rumble on the rail,
  One half-hour guide the rein,
We reach at last, o’er hill and dale,
  The village on the plain.
With blackening wall and mossy roof,        5
  With stained and warping floor,
A stately mansion stands aloof,
  And bars its haughty door.
This lowlier portal may be tried,
  That breaks the gable wall;        10
And lo! with arches opening wide,
  Sir Harry Frankland’s hall!
’T was in the second George’s day
  They sought the forest shade,
The knotted trunks they cleared away,        15
  The massive beams they laid,
They piled the rock-hewn chimney tall,
  They smoothed the terraced ground,
They reared the marble-pillared wall
  That fenced the mansion round.        20
Far stretched beyond the village bound
  The Master’s broad domain;
With page and valet, horse and hound,
  He kept a goodly train.
And, all the midland county through,        25
  The ploughman stopped to gaze
Whene’er his chariot swept in view
  Behind the shining bays,
With mute obeisance, grave and slow,
  Repaid by nod polite,—        30
For such the way with high and low
  Till after Concord fight.
*        *        *        *        *
I tell you, as my tale began,
  The Hall is standing still;
And you, kind listener, maid or man,        35
  May see it if you will.
The box is glistening huge and green,
  Like trees the lilacs grow,
Three elms high-arching still are seen,
  And one lies stretched below.        40
The hangings, rough with velvet flowers,
  Flap on the latticed wall;
And o’er the mossy ridge-pole towers
  The rock-hewn chimney tall.
Thus Agnes won her noble name,        45
  Her lawless lover’s hand;
The lowly maiden so became
  A lady in the land!
The tale is done; it little needs
  To track their after ways,        50
And string again the golden beads
  Of love’s uncounted days.
They leave the fair ancestral isle
  For bleak New England’s shore;
How gracious is the courtly smile        55
  Of all who frowned before!
Again through Lisbon’s orange bowers
  They watch the river’s gleam,
And shudder as her shadowy towers
  Shake in the trembling stream.        60
Fate parts at length the fondest pair;
  His cheek, alas! grows pale;
The breast that trampling death could spare
  His noiseless shafts assail.
He longs to change the heaven of blue        65
  For England’s clouded sky,—
To breathe the air his boyhood knew;
  He seeks them but to die.
The doors on mighty hinges clash
  With massive bolt and bar,        70
The heavy English-moulded sash
  Scarce can the night-winds jar.
*        *        *        *        *
A graded terrace yet remains;
  If on its turf you stand
And look along the wooded plains        75
  That stretch on either hand,
The broken forest walls define
  A dim, receding view,
Where, on the far horizon’s line,
  He cut his vista through.        80

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