Verse > Anthologies > Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed. > The Book of New York Verse
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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