October 23, 2014
02:39 AM




A Legend of
Joe's Pond


By Rufus "Sim" Whittier

A legend, old to me, was told,
I'm sure it's more than a century old,
How old Joe Indian and Molly his wife,
Lived in the wildest kind of roving life.

Canoe and teepee with arrow and bow,
Gave shelter to friends and death to foe.
In this primitive way I'm sure you know,
They had powers of endurance long journeys to go.

They were typical scions of that old race,
Long black hair and dusky face.
But under their skin there lurked no sin,
The white man's friend they have always been.

Skimming away o'er the waters gray,
Then through the forests they made their way.
Leaving the cold frozen north behind,
They came to Vermont in the sweet summer time.

Stopping one night as they came in sight,
Of a body of water with keen delight,
Old Joe said to Molly his wife,
Here is the place we stay for life.

But Molly wandered away from that fold,
And named a pond for herself, I'm told,
Where sunrise and sunset its golden glow,
Reflects its colors in the waters below.

Where is this place, did I hear you say?
It's called after him in Vermont today,
And a lovelier spot 'tis hard to find,
With its silvery poplars and long-leafed pines.

They shelter the waters so clear and cool,
That the fishes revel from pool to pool.
Yes, they will bite your hook I'm very sure,
If the bait you use is good and pure.

Danville Green with views so grand,
The vision looks out o'er many broad lands.
This beautiful pond a few miles away, .
Will help one to pass many a pleasant day.

Old Joe would see many changes today,
The heavy forests are cut away,
And cozy cottages dot the shore,
Where nerves grow strong e'er vacation is o'er.

Weeds and lily pads all about,
Where fish are waiting 'til you come out,
And while you wait, the carol of birds,
Makes the sweetest music ever heard.

Dear old Vermont we love you still,
With your good pure air and wooded hill.
The years may come and the years may go,
But the memory goes back to the days of Old Joe.

____________

The original copy of this poem, in Whittier's handwriting, belonged to the late Ralph Hastings of West Danville, Vermont, and was included in the booklet, "Indian Joe the Friendly Indian Guide," published by the United Methodist Church of West Danville in 1976.