Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
The Freeholder
By Victor Starbuck
I’VE bought a bit of broken land, a scant three-quarter-acre tract,
  A ragged hill-slope to the lake that ripples in the breeze;
A little house to shelter us, with windows open to the sun,
  Where friendly do the stars lean down above the listening trees.
And there I walk at dusk o’ day amid the rank persimmon bush,        5
  While fireflies light their flickering lamps among the whispering grass:
I hear the little frogs begin to chant their merry evening song,
  And sweetly shrill the cricket’s pipe salutes me as I pass.
For once I was a vagabond—I knew the smoke of eventide;
  And once I was a rover—how the hilltops sparkled then!        10
But now I am a freeholder, and this alone belongs to me,
  And all the shining earth beside belongs to other men.
So here I’ll have a garden-plot, and there a bush of lavender,
  And underneath the spreading oaks a hive or two of bees;
With clambering roses on the fence, and there a clump of purple flags,        15
  And figs and trellised scuppernongs and fragrant myrtle trees.
The frogs shall sing my lullaby, the flaming dawns awaken me,
  The silver rain shall wet me and the wandering winds shall dry;
And I will watch the seasons pass in green and golden pageantry
  And mark the armies of the night go marching through the sky.        20
For once I was a wanderer with wind and star for company,
  And once I was the over-lord of all the clouds and trees.
But now I am a husbandman, with spade and hoe companioned
  And you may have the winding roads, and all the seven seas!

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