by John Greenleaf Whittier
(In the naming and dedication of Lake Kenoza on August 31, 1859)
As Adam did in Paradise,
Today the primal right we claim;
Fair mirror of the woods and skies,
We give thee a name
Lake of Pickerel! Let no more
The echoes answer back “Great Pond,”
But sweet Kenoza, form thy shore
And watching hill beyond.
And Indian ghosts, if such there be,
Who ply unseen their shadowy lines
Call back the dear old name to thee,
As with the voices of the pine.
The paths we trod when careless boys
With manhood’s shodden feet we trace:
To friendship, love and social joys
We consecrate the place.
Here shall the tender song be sung,
And memory’s dirges soft and low,
And wit shall sparkle on the tongue,
And mirth shall overflow.
Harmless as summer lightning plays
From a low hidden cloud by night;
A light to set the hills ablaze
But not a bolt to smite.
Kenoza! O’er no sweeter lake
Shall morning break, or moon-cloud sail,
No lighter wave than thine shall take
The sunset’s golden veil.
And Beauty’s priestess thou shall teach
The truth so dimly understood,
That He, who made thee fair, for each
And all designeth good.