The Chain of Title
Researching title is a dry, prosaic calling, well we know.
Delving daily into records made a century ago.
Tracing wearily the title from the Patent down to date.
Through the maze of suits and transfers that obscure and complicate.
Yet for me there's fascination and thus working in the past,
And on all the seeming drudgery there's a kind of glamour cast.
For there's poetry and romance running through the tangled chain,
And there's written in the record much of human joy and pain.
For like Gibbon and Macauley, we're historians in our way,
And we bring to light transactions of a gone, forgotten day;
True, we only sketch the outline, but behind it all there lies
Quite a bit of human interest that our fancy well supplies.
And I love to let that fancy freely roam and weave a tale
About every deed and mortgage, into each judicial sale;
For the records deal with pioneers and homestead farms and homes
And we garner many heart throbs from these dry and dusty tomes.
For in every grim foreclosure lurks a heartache, and we sense
In the bankruptcy assignment human misery intense.
There is a grief in every tax sale and we seem to hear the wail
Of the widow and the children robbed of home by sheriff's sale.
Delving through the court proceeding we find interwoven there,
Couched and formal, legal lingo, much of sorrow, and despair,
And we live again through all the trial of long ago
Running through the chain of title there's a deal of human woe.
The estate files, torn and tattered, there's a certain something there
That is sacred, and we handle them with reverence and care.
And they help us to determine how the owner's life was spent,
For he often beats his soul in his Last Will and Testament.
And in running through partition suits there plainly will be seen
In the squabbles of the children much that's grasping, low and mean.
For in the fighting for a dead man's wealth, baser feelings breed
Running through the chain of title, there's a deal of human greed.
And in pouring o'er the records that pertain to real estate,
Setting forth the imperfections that impair and complicate,
Comes the thought of my soul's record and the mess I've made of it,
And I long to change some things that the Recording Angel's writ;
And I wonder, when the tangled chain is done, and I have died,
And the abstract of my life is duly closed and certified,
And the Great Examiner scans each fatal flaw and grave defect,
Will he waive those imperfections in my record or reject?