Mabel WardMABEL WARD   (1877 -  ?   )   graduated from Lynn’s Classical High School in 1895 and authored the class ode and the class prophesy. In May 1900, when she delivered her “Anniversary Poem”, the central poem of the main event in the three day celebration of Lynn’s 50th anniversary as a city, she was best known for writing the libretto to the operetta “A Modern Portia.” Ward’s “Anniversary Poem” is a prominent example of civic poetry, an important element of 19th and early 20th century popular culture which praised and promoted civic values and achievements, often on important occasions. Much poetry was read during Lynn’s 50th anniversary celebration, and this portion of Ward’s lengthy offering, recognizes the city’s achievement in preserving Lynn Woods for its citizens and reviews the park’s history and terrain.



. . .

  Where, at her fairest Nature stands green-robed and girt with hills,
With flash of gleaming jewels where her lakes the sunshine fills,
With charm of varying mood on sunlit heights, in shady glens,
The City consecrates Lynn Woods to all her citizens.
And this primeval forest grand, in whose superb domain
Nature gives rest and peace and joy, shall aye reserved remain,
Our fathers sought in commonage its herbage, timber, food,
With fear of wolf or witch’s spell in demon-haunted wood,
Where Indian’s stealthy foot and swift sped on its sinuous trail —
But beckoning phantoms of delight lead us through shady vale,
Where lowly fern and lordly pine whisper to listening ear
Familiar legends that we love, and old traditions dear
Of Dungeon Rock’s unfathomed depth, and pirate’s store of gold,
More noted that the prophecies Moll Pitcher told of old ;
Of swamp whose lofty trees were felled for staunch “ Old Tun-
         nel’s ” frame,
Of wolf-pits’ masonry that still gives early settlers fame,
Of Old Man’s Walk and stepping-stones in Penny Brook’s fair
And mem’ry lingers o’er the names which hill and lake and vale
Perpetuate, in gratitude for worth and honor bright
Of those who walked with courage true in duty’s paths aright,
Live on, fair City of our birth, thy past, replete with fame,
Breathing its words of hope and cheer in blessing o’er thy name.


. . .


from:  Walter L. Ramsdell (ed.) and the Celebration Committee  City of Lynn Massachusetts Semi-Centennial of Incorporation: Events & Exercises of the 50th Anniversary Celebration held May 13th, 14th, and 15th, 1900  (Lynn: Whitten & Cass) 1900.