Poems, now first collected/Huntington House


Ladies, Ladies Huntington, your father served, we know.
As aide-de-camp to Washington—you often told us so;
And when you sat you side by side in that ancestral pew,
We knew his ghost sat next the door, and very proud of you.

Ladies, Ladies Huntington, like you there are no more:
Nancy, Sarah, Emily, Louise,—proud maidens four;
Nancy tall and angular, Louise a rosy dear,
And Emily as fine as lace but just a little sere.

What was it, pray, your life within the mansion grand and old,
Four dormers in its gambrel-roof, their shingles grim with mould?
How dwelt you in your spinsterhood, ye ancient virgins lone,
From infancy to bag-and-muff so resolutely grown?

Each Sunday morning out you drove to Parson Arms's church,
As straight as if Time had not left you somehow in the lurch;
And so lived where your grandfather and father lived and died,
Until you sought them one by one—and last of all stayed pride.

You knew that with them you would lie in that old burial ground
Wherethrough the name of Huntington on vault and stone is found,
Where Norwichtown's first infant male, in sixteen-sixty born,
Grave Christopher, still rests beneath his cherub carved forlorn.

There sleep your warlike ancestors, their feet toward the east,
And thus shall face the Judgment Throne when Gabriel's blast hath ceased.
The frost of years may heave the tomb whereto you were consigned,
And school-boys peer atween the cracks, but you—will never mind.