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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

By 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,

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;

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,

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.

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,

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,—

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,

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.

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,

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,

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

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.

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

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,

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

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.