Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"Malmaison," A Poem

Shortly after the fire that destroyed Malmaison, Mrs. W. H. Neill, a resident of Greenwood, Mississippi, wrote a poem about Greenwood Leflore's historic home. A copy of the poem, entitled simply "Malmaison," as it was published in the Greenwood Conservative on Friday, April 10, 1942, is reprinted here today.


"Home of a chief, it stands today, in dignity and pride.
The towering pine, and sturdy oak, as sentinels beside.
A monument it is, to him whose loyal hear ne-er swerved
From duty to the tribe he loved and, ever faithful, served.

Its pillared halls and lofty towers are symbols of his thought,
As beauty, majesty, and grace, were by his wishes wrought.
The name, 'Malmaison,' he bestowed, implies the tie that bound
Him to the country of his sire, tho' here a home be found.

And from that country, too, he chose his furnishings with care,
Brocades, for draperies and couch, and gold encrusted chair,
And candelabra, wrought with skill, with waxen tapers bright,
That made a scene of beauty, with their softly glowing light.

Carpets so velvety and soft, no foot fall e'er was heard,
And paintings, beautiful, and rare, were fashioned at his word.
All these have been preserved with care, tho' many years have past,
Since he left his loved Malmaison, Mighty chieftain to the last.

But Time, relentless vandal, hastens onward in his flight,
And destroys with ruthless fingers, beauty, majesty and might.
Unless the strong oppose him, and with zeal his ravage mends,
And ever watchful of his craft, deter him in his ends.

Mississippi! Tis your duty, it should be your joy and pride
To honor that great Chief, Leflore; make the honor nationwide,
And preserve Malmaison ever, as a symbol of his worth;
A tribute to his loyalty, in the land that gave him birth."

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