"EVOLUTION"

(The following poem was inspired by a statement that the State of Massachusetts planned to simplify the name of the lake and reduce the number of g's from fifteen to thirteen back in the 1950's.)

"Touch not a g of our big lake!"
This message Anti Bobber brings.
O, spare them for our honor's sake,
tho this defiance rings.
We may not be right, we may be wrong,
But tho our history slip a cog
It matters not, we like it long,--
Our own Chargoggagogg.

When but a child, I yet recall,
The Webster boys were very fond
Of swimming, summer, spring and fall--
Way down at the Big Pond.
That name! I mind the thrill it gave;
I thought of it as vast and round,
And wonderful with wind and wave,
--And Eliot's shore the bound.

Then, not a hundred years ago,
It grew the proper thing to say
That we would make a little show,
(Considered quite "au fait",)
This appelation made to hand --
(If you will just your memories jog)
You'll recollect we thought it grand
Chaubunagungamaugg.

Should mighty rivers shrink and tame?
Should lofty redwoods not grow taller?
Lo, as I live, the g-ful name
Has never grown the smaller
And as years passed over you and me,
Like any gurgling springtime frog
We learned to chortle in our glee
This name we loved to hear and see:--
Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggagungamaugg.

Now puffed up with our pride were we
As if a pedestal ascending;
We basked in fame of such a name
With all its g's unending;
And tho our history a bog.
We took to water like a duck
--and threw the chaubun in for luck
(To compliment the old Nipmuck)
Thus did emerge our final splurge:--
Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg!

"Touch not a g!" No impious hand
Shall wrest one from that noble name
Fifteen in all their glory stand
And ever shall the same.
For never shall that number down,
Tho Gogg and Magogg shout and thunder; Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg's renown
Shall blaze, the beacon of the town,
While nations gaze and wonder.

--Bertha A. Joslin

 

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