Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
553. The Last Landlord
 
By Elizabeth Akers Allen (“Florence Percy”)
 
 
YOU who dread the cares and labors
  Of the tenant’s annual quest,
  You who long for peace and rest,
And the quietest of neighbors,
  You may find them, if you will,        5
  In the city on the hill.
 
One indulgent landlord leases
  All the pleasant dwellings there;
  He has tenants everywhere,—
Every day the throng increases;        10
  None may tell their number, yet
  He has mansions still to let.
 
Never presses he for payment;
  Gentlest of all landlords he;
  And his numerous tenantry        15
Never lack for food or raiment.
  Sculptured portal, grassy roof,
All alike are trouble-proof.
 
Of the quiet town’s frequenters,
  Never one is ill at ease;        20
  There are neither locks nor keys,
Yet no robber breaks or enters;
  Not a dweller bolts his door,
  Fearing for his treasure-store.
 
Never sound of strife or clamor        25
  Troubles those who dwell therein;
  Never toil’s distracting din,
Stroke of axe, nor blow of hammer;
  Crimson clover sheds its sweets
  Even in the widest streets.        30
 
Never tenant old or younger
  Suffers illness or decline;
  There no suffering children pine;
There comes never want nor hunger;
  Woe and need no longer reign;        35
Poverty forgets its pain.
 
Turmoil and unrest and hurry
  Stay forevermore outside;
  By the hearts which there abide
Wrong, privation, doubt, and worry        40
  Are forgotten quite, or seem
  Only like a long-past dream.
 
Never slander nor detraction
  Enters there, and never heard
  Is a sharp or cruel word;        45
No unworthy thought or action,
  Purpose or intent of ill
  Knows the city on the hill.
 
There your mansion never waxes
  Out of date, nor needs repairs;        50
  There intrude no sordid cares;
There are neither rent nor taxes;
  And no vexed and burdened brain
  Reckons either loss or gain.
 
Wanderers, tired with long endeavor,        55
  You whom, since your being’s dawn,
  With the stern command “Move on!”
Ruthless Fate has tracked forever,
  Here at last your footsteps stay
  With no dread of moving-day!        60
 

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