My great-grandparents grave site in Cedars Rapid Cemetery (Indian Lake, NY)
The author overlooking Lake Pleasant in the Central Adirondacks
It’s in the genes. Mendon Payne beginning his exploration.
Old Bear Mountain
From old Bear Mountain’s dusky brow
I view the landscape round:
I see the mighty wilderness;
I see the deep profound.
My wond’ring eyes I northward turn
And view the distant shore,
Where once I used to moor my bark.
Some three decades or more.
But still I do not see the same
That once I saw before—
The evergreens that girt the strand—
The bright and pebbly shore—
For man hath razed with cruel hand
The beauteous trees of yore,
That once were seen in living green
Along the winding shore.
And now I turn me to the west,
And view the mountain chain,
Extending from the waters bright
Unto the desert plain.
Old Indian Mountain (chief of all)
In this far western range,
Brings back the memory of the past
To me, so wond’rous strange!
Me thinks I see the dusky forms
Of warriors brave and true,
Who once have trod this wilderness,
But now have passed from view.
Yet here they sleep in graves unknown,
No slab, no stone, to trace
(Of all the Adirondacks brave)
Their final resting place.
And as I stand upon this mount
And view the broad domain,
I would that I could linger here
As long as life remain.
And when I’m dead and in my grave.
And all of me is o’er,
This vision still will be the same,
Just as it was before.