Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, NEW VERMONT NAMES, by DANIEL LEAVENS CADY

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NEW VERMONT NAMES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I used to like the lowery days
Last Line: And every horsepond crystal lake.
Subject(s): Country Life; Nature; Vermont

I USED to like the lowery days
That come along in haying time,
We'd hang around the horsebarn door
And hear the lies of Jonas Prime;
And if it didn't sunburn off
By ten or after, then we'd take
The old express and all pile in
And rattle out to Crystal Lake.

Of course, there wan't no Crystal Lake
About it then—'twas Pickerel Pond;
No "villas" stood along the shore,
No Roman "insulas" beyond;
The cattails grew all 'round the edge,
The eel grass would have stopped a snake—
It never touched our thinking caps
The place would get to be a lake.

We passed "The Falls" a-going out,
Where Tommy Tracy had his forge
For forty years; but now they've gone
And named that sector Rainbow Gorge;
You wouldn't s'pose they'd done the thing
Jest on account of Tommy's sake—
Jest think of passing Rainbow Gorge
And ending up at Crystal Lake!

That greenish pond down Dorset way
Is Emerald Waters now, I hear,
And up by Checkerberry Hill
They've got a Checkerberry Mere:
It kinder nips your "home-week nerve,"
It sorter makes your ear bones ache,
To hear a little pout pond called
Prismatic Mere or Silver Lake.

The life has fled from local words,
And antiquarians well may scoff,
When summer boarders name the earth
And camp site boosters sell it off;
If we're ashamed of all our names,
We've little, as a state, at stake;
Joe's Pond might jest as well be Jim's,
And Molly's Pond be Crystal Lake.

I see I've rather got away
From lowery days and haying time,
But, Sakes Alive! these new-name folks
Would dislocate the loftiest rhyme;
Alas! old chaps, who cleared these lands,
Your naming was a big mistake,
Each mudhole now is Amber Creek
And every horsepond Crystal Lake.

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