I dreamed that I went to the city of Gold,
To Heaven resplendent and fair.
And after I entered that beautiful fold
By one in authority there I was told
That not a Vermonter was there.
“Impossible, sir, for from my own town
Many sought this delectable place,
And each must be there with harp or a crown,
And a conqueror’s palm and a clean linen gown,
Received through a merited grace.”
The Angel replied: “All Vermonters come here
When they first depart from the earth,
But after a day, or a month, or a year
They restless and homesick and lonesome appear,
And sigh for the land of their birth.
“They tell of ravines, wild, secluded and deep
And of flower-decked landscapes serene;
Of towering mountains, imposing and steep,
A-down which the torrents exultingly leap,
Through forests perennially green.
“They tell of the many and beautiful hills,
Their forests majestic appear,
They tell of its rivers, its lakes, streams and rills,
Where nature, the purest of waters distills,
And they soon get dissatisfied here.
We give them the best the Kingdom provides;
They have everything here that they want,
But not a Vermonter in Heaven abides;
A very brief period here he resides,
Then hikes his way back to Vermont.”
–Dr. E. F. Johnstone 1915
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