Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
The Fashionable Rake
By Joseph Hazard (1757–1817)
 
  NOW 1 far advanced had pass’d the second day,
And fainter shone the sun’s declining ray,
When Austin’s walk approach’d a gloomy pile.
Large was the structure and of antique style—
Two oaks before the white impalement grew,        5
Which far around a circling umbrage threw
Poultry at nightly lodging here would stay,
And work was done beneath their boughs by day.
Beneath one’s shade a draw-knife’s horse was stood,
And many a tool was made of useful wood;        10
Here many a youngster whistled in his cheer,
For oft was rake, hoe, scythe, new-handled here—
Its fellow oak unto the sight display’d
Full many a piece of season’d wood uplaid,
For cart, helve, sled, reserved in squared style,        15
And future use, arose the goodly pile.
An oval pond spread near the white impale,
Its muddled surface to the curling gale;
’T was here the gander march’d in noisy pride,
And led his mate and young ones to the tide,        20
The clamorous geese oft sail’d the troubled pool,
And tribes of goslings here repair’d to cool—
Here duck and drake with all their numerous throng,
Quack’d in right gleeful cheer, and swam along.
  To the large edifice young Lovegrace drew,        25
Which he some wealthy farmer’s mansion knew.
An arch’d large porch projecting rose before,
Secured by outer and with inner door,
Above two rows of light in order show,
Which round the entrance feeble day-light throw;        30
On either side led up the front of stone,
Two wild grape vines long since transplanted grown.
*      *      *      *
  The town Arcadia situate near the waves,
Whose yellow sands a stream of commerce laves,
Presented to the pleased spectator’s view,        35
United, rural scene and city too.
On a large square its architecture stood,
While down each side roll’d a broad silver flood;
Ships of all sizes here safe in harbor lay,
And parti-color’d pendants deck the bay.        40
The streets were broad and even length’ning drawn,
And in its centre smiled a spacious lawn.
Chinese precinct’ring work enclosed its ground,
And trees of pride of India bloom’d around,
Two outward rows at equal distance grew,        45
Form’d shade and walk of use and beauty too.
Their flowers a native extra worth assume,
And pride themselves in long continued bloom;
These too again in inner walks are seen
With balm of Gilead interplaced between.        50
Through the whole lawn now pride of India shows,
And here an aromatic balm of Gilead grows.
The fence was lined throughout its ample square,
And different shrubbery different colors wear.
Here stands the laurel crown’d in generous bloom,        55
Here breathes the honeysuckle’s sweet perfume.
The pale white rose attracts the passing eye,
And here the damask scented richer dye,
The inner walks with tints continued glow,
As some decline new opening beauties flow.        60
*    *    *    Around the lawn are seen,
Four summer houses which adorn the green,
Whose opening diamond work invites the air,
And vine of grapes and jessamines livery wear,
Luxuriant branches o’er their archings run,        65
And loveliest verdure shades the unwelcome sun.
 
Note 1. Hazard, of New York, wrote a volume of poems, published in 1814. [back]
 
 
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