Open main menu

The Craigie House

Washington's Headquarters and Longfellow's Home

Behold! a double glory resteth here,
Wherein was housed in Revolution's time
A man who while a king refused a throne,
Save in his country's grateful heart alone;
And who by singleness of soul sublime
Has made his name to every people dear.

And he who wore the poet's anadem
Kept the old relics in their primal place,
Reviving yet the age of Washington:
Poet and statesman — how their face is one
In greatness, goodness, and a world's embrace,
Though time and genius widely parted them.

A reverent love has kept the olden pile
Almost untouched by innovating hands;
Nor has Art stinted Nature, — here she lies
In ancient ampleness to bless the eyes.
Beyond are spread the open meadow-lands
That stretch away to catch the river's smile.

From massive clumps of lofty lilac trees
Pours forth the searching fragrance of the spring,
Greeting the sense, while yet unseen the source;
And when the summer's glow hath spent its force,
And birds no more in elms and lindens sing,
Millions of winy leaves inflame the breeze.

And winter holds here an unwonted sway;
The towering trees with honors long since dead,
And charged with snows, still leave the fancy warm
To feel that Time's or Nature's chilling storm
By Fame eternal shall be buffeted,
Nor vital greatness suffer cold decay.

But let the pilgrim come what time he will,
Here is evoked Thought's majesty of mood;
Here she moves on with slow, imperial gait,
Since two such Presences upon her wait.
Lo! Past and Present mix, — a might flood
Beside whose stately flow the lips grow still.