I own John Graydon’s place—
His elm trees moving with a lovely grace
As slow and stately as a minuet,
His great lawns wearing shadows like black lace,
Too lovely to forget.
A beggar am I, or vagabond of verse,
With neither script nor guinea in my purse,
With neither land nor honor of men, and yet,
Unknown to all the scullions of his race,
I own John Graydon’s place.

John Graydon bought with gold
These ivied walls, magnificent and old,
This roadway guarded by dark, granite towers,
These moon-cooled urns that, uncomplaining, hold
The ashes of dead flowers,
And watch the dawn-like roses come and go,
And these warm hawthorne hedges white as snow,
These fountains, cool against the sunburnt hours,
These beds, where blue forget-me-nots unfold,
John Graydon bought with gold.

John Graydon paid the cost;
But what he gained with power of gold, he lost.
I bought his lands with love, and they are mine—
These acres where the moonlight lies like frost
On grass and tree and vine.
And, though I stand afar, my spirit sees
The falling streams of beauty in his trees:
I hear his roses speak, his lilacs call;
And mine are all these gardens of cool shade
For which John Graydon paid.

Comrade, the world is yours:
Her gardens, fountains, valleys, hills and moors;
And for each lonely aching of your soul
There is a balm that ever heals and cures.
The amber sunlight filling high her bowl,
The pomp of purple asters are for you,
And heavy roses wet with crimson dew:
For you the march of stars, the ocean’s roll.
And you can own, as I, these gardens old
John Graydon bought with gold.

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