Aug. 21, 2015

The White House

A splendid house stood long ago,
A palace of stone walls,
Built for Chief Executives,
Amid a wooded knoll.
The President's House,
It first was called,
By Washington
And then by all.
But painted white
In 1902,
The name was changed
To fit the view.
The White House,
It would now called,
That stately place
Amid the malls.
Framed in Washington
On Penn Avenue,
The Potomac is where
Its prestige grew.
In seventeen ninety-two,
The cornerstone was laid.
By 1992,
Two centuries had been made.
A home, office, museum,
And social hall to relate;
A lodge for distinguished guests,
Like foreign heads of state.
Several times destroyed
And each time reclaimed,
For centuries, the White House
Has held to its fame.
This grand old place
Saw countless faces,
Heard millions of voices
And greeted the races.
Numerous times
When it stood worn,
Repairmen toiled
To make it strong.

The House has seen
Many changes,
From decorations
To rearrangements.
As each Administration
The need to add its touch
Was claimed.
The several expansions
Eagerly embraced,
Added room
To the aged place.
The South lawn
Has gathered in mass
Men of all ages,
And social classes.
Picnics, Bar-B-Q's,
Concerts on the grass,
Weddings and meetings,
Both recent and past.
Find it very exciting.
The porticoes
Are warm and inviting.
Rooms are by cue:
Oval, Red and Blue,
And the Green Room, too.
The dining rooms
Have noted view.
As each President
Met his doom,
Rites were held
In the ‘State Room.’
The Lincoln Bedroom’s
Quite a suite,
It’s tall tales
Are unique.
The Queen Bedroom’s
A gorgeous sight,
And the exterior,
Illumined by night.
Lovely are
The gardens there,
Charming, rosy
And quite fair.

Beautiful as
The day is long,
Inspiring the heart
Of lookers-on.
The Exec Mansion
That stands tall,
The People's House,
Is for us all.
George would revel,
The House yet stands
As central Government
For the land.
And so, through ages
The White House stands
O'er tests of time,
And yet so grand,
Leaving footprints
In the sand,
Befitting to
The founder's plan.
And may it stand
As ages come,
A symbol of freedom—
Essentially one.

[Written January 16, 1999, a History of the White House, sometimes called the ‘State House.’ This great institution, indelibly ingrained in the Nation’s history, is a part of every American. November, 2000 marks its 200th Anniversary.]

© 1999 Walterrean Salley