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October 28, 1865

Real Estate versus Imaginary Possessions, Poetically Considered


I HAVE a kingdom of unknown extent,
Treasures great, its wealth without compare;
And all the pleasures men in pride invent
Are not like mine, so free from pain and care.

'Tis all my own: no hostile power may rise
To force me outward from its rich domain;
It hath a strength that time itself defies,
And all invaders must assail in vain.

'Tis true sometimes its sky is overcast,
And troublous clouds obscure the peaceful light;
Yet these are transient and so quickly past
Its radiance seems to glow more clear and bright.

It hath a queen - my queen - whose loving reign
No daring subject ever may dispute;
Her will is mine, and all my toil her gain,
And when she speaks my heart with love is mute.

She sits beside me, and her gentle hand
Guides all my hopes in this estate below;
The joys of life, the products of the land,
Beneath her smiles in ceaseless pleasures flow,

My heart, her subject, throbs beneath her eyes,
And sends its tides full with unbounded love,
As ocean's waters swell beneath the skies
Drawn by the placid moon that rolls above.

What king or ruler hath a state like mine,
That death or time can never rend apart,
Where hopes and pleasures are almost divine?
Yet all this kingdom -- One True Woman's Heart.
- [Evening Bulletin.] PAUL DUOIR.

Oh, stuff! Is that all? I like your poetry, Mr. D., but I don't "admire" to see a man raise such a thundering smoke on such a very small capital of fire. I may be a little irritated, because you fooled me, D., you fooled me badly. I read your ramifications - I choose the word, D., simply because it has five syllables, and I desire to flatter you up a little before I abuse you; I don't know the meaning of it myself - I noticed your grandiloquent heading, "My Kingdom," and it woke me up; so I commenced reading your Ramifications with avidity, and I said to myself, with my usual vulgarity, "Now here's a man that's got a good thing." I read along, and read along, thinking sure you were going to turn out to be King of New Jersey, or King of the Sandwich Islands, or the lucky monarch of a still more important kingdom, maybe - but how my spirits fell when I came to your cheap climax! And so your wonderful kingdom is - "A True Woman's Heart!" - with capital letters to it! Oh, my! Now what do you want to go and make all that row about such a thing as that for, and fool people? Why, you put on as many frills, and make as much fuss about your obscure "kingdom" as if it were a magnificent institutions first-class power among the nations - and contained a population of forty million souls, (and maybe it does, for all you know - most kingdoms of that kind are pretty well tenanted, my innocent royal friend.) And what does your majesty suppose you can do with your extraordinary "kingdom? "You can't sell it; you can't hire it out; you can't raise money on it. Bah! You ought to be more practical. You can keep your boasted "kingdom," since it appears to be such a comfort to you; don't come around trying to trade with me - I am very well content with

I HAVE a ranch of quite unknown extent,
Its turnips great, its oats without compare;
And all the ranches other men may rent
And not like mine - so not a dern* I care

'Tis all my own - no turnstile power may rise
To keep me outward from its rich domain;
It hath a fence that time itself defies,
And all invaders must climb out again.

'Tis true sometimes with stones 'tis overcast,
And troublous clods offend the sens'tive sight;
Yet from the furrows I these so quickly blast,
Their radiant seams do show more clear and bright.

It hath a sow - my sow - whose love for grain
No swearing subject will dispute;
Her swill is mine, and all my slops her gain,
And when she squeaks my heart with love is mute.

[Here the machine "let down."] MARK TWAIN.

* This imprecation is a favorite one out in the ranching districts, and is generally used ill the society of ladies, where only mild forms of expression may be indulged in.

[text from Sketches of the Sixties, John Howell, 1927]

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