Thomas PorterTHOMAS PORTER   (1847-1927)   was mayor of Lynn in 1907, and served terms in both houses of the state legislature, and in city government. His poetry was often published in Lynn and Boston newspapers, and was collected in his book, City Songs and Country Carols, published in 1906. Porter’s mayoralty and publication of his book, in which this poem appears, occur in the second decade of a twenty year golden era for the Lynn Woods. The sentiment expressed in the poem echoes the view of Frederick Law Olmsted that a forest wilderness is the perfect tonic for the residents of an industrial city.





Forget with me, old friend, awhile
  The market place ‘mid heat and dust,
Where men their treasures upward pile,
  That only can corrode and rust.

Forget with me awhile to tread
  The ways where pride and hate are found,
And let our dusty feet be led
  Where flowers in peaceful vales abound.

Climb with me some exalted height,
  And breathe the sweets we there may find,
And let us view awhile aright
  The things that can make strong the mind.

Let us forget the thrusts that scar,
  The waves of strife that round us roll,
The sordid things that tend to mar
  The perfect fullness of the soul.

Come where the world’s false tinselings fade,
  ‘Mid scented vales and cool wild wood,
Where nature brings, in leaf and blade,
  Forgetfulness of all but good.

Of men I have not weary grown,
  And yet the woodland, and the hills,
I truly love far more, I own,
  Than all the sweets the town distills.

The city’s walks I love, not hate,
  The stir of business and of trade –
But come, let’s pass the woodland gate
  And stay till we are stronger made.



From:  City Songs and Country Carols (Boston: Richard G. Badger) 1906.