Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HOW BARRE, VERMONT, WAS NAMED, by DANIEL LEAVENS CADY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

HOW BARRE, VERMONT, WAS NAMED, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: I wonder if you've ever heard
Last Line: "now barre is the name."
Subject(s): Barre, Vermont; Mountain Life - Vermont; Towns

I WONDER if you've ever heard
How Barre got its name,
But if I swear in telling you
I'm not the one to blame;
For this is quite an ancient tale,
And when the state was young
The folks, they wore but little jade
And spoke with freer tongue.

The town at first was Wildersburgh,
But when the settlers came
In good-sized lumps, they soon desired
To pick a prettier name;
And so they met at Calvin Smith's
To see about the change,
And choose a word of loftier pitch
And more romantic range.

One said that "Paris" filled the mouth,
Another said it seemed
That "Newburn" was the kind of name
O'er which he'd droiled and dreamed;
But Cap'n Thomson said, "Get out;
From Holden's hills I came;
I favor Holden first and last,
A Massachusetts name."

Then up spoke Mr. Sherman, there,
And said, "I, too, proclaim
I'd like to see this meeting choose
A good old Bay State name;
I hail from Barre, that's a word
To bring our town success;
'Twill make us famous, I'm convinced,
And wealthy, more or less."

"Get out," cried Thomson, "Go to grass;
That ain't no kind of name;"
And so the couple jawed and jawed
Until their jaws was lame;
The crowd was getting pretty tired
And soon commenced to shout,
"You fellers with such loads of lip,
Why don't you fight it out?"

Whereat they grinned and quickly 'greed
Acrost a pole to fight,
But if one knocked the other down,
Then any rules was right;
So off they went to Calvin's barn
To organize the game,
And started in to scrap for what
Is now a city's name.

Soon Thomson, with a fearful swing,
Laid out his rival clean,
And jumping on his prostrate form,
Began to bat his bean;
But Sherman dodged with great success,
And missing not his aim,
He ransacked Thomson's ribs as though
He had a world to name.

At last, with will and skill supreme,
He rolled the Holdenite,
And found himself a-top of one
Who showed no further fight;
Then springing up and standing high
Above his foeman's frame,
He shouted, "Barre, There, By——!
Now Barre is the name."

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