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Indiana State Flag Indiana

The Indiana State Poem

Indiana

by Arthur Franklin Mapes

    God crowned her hills with beauty,
    Gave her lakes and winding streams,
    Then He edged them all with woodlands
    As the setting for our dreams.
    Lovely are her moonlit rivers,
    Shadowed by the sycamores,
    Where the fragrant winds of Summer
    Play along the willowed shores.
    I must roam those wooded hillsides,
    I must heed the native call,
    For a pagan voice within me
    Seems to answer to it all.
    I must walk where squirrels scamper
    Down a rustic old rail fence,
    Where a choir of birds is singing
    In the woodland . . . green and dense.
    I must learn more of my homeland
    For it's paradise to me,
    There's no haven quite as peaceful,
    There's no place I'd rather be.
    Indiana . . . is a garden
    Where the seeds of peace have grown,
    Where each tree, and vine, and flower
    Has a beauty . . . all its own.
    Lovely are the fields and meadows,
    That reach out to hills that rise
    Where the dreamy Wabash River
    Wanders on . . . through paradise.

Arthur Franklin Mapes, a lifetime resident of Kendallville, Indiana, worked 33 years as a machinist at Flint and Walling Mfg. Co.. His hobby was poetry and he wrote about the things he knew, the town and state he loved, and his humble beginnings. Other poems include Our Town, which he wrote for the 1963 Kendallville Centennial, and Blacklegs, about Kendallville's "Sassafras John Bates".

The Indiana General Assembly recognized Arthur Franklin Mapes as Indiana Poet Laureate in 1977 with House Concurrent Resolution No. 63.

Adoption of the State Poem

Indiana, a poem by machinist Arthur Franklin Mapes, was adopted by the Indiana General Assembly as the official poem of Indiana in 1963.

Indiana Code

The following information is excerpted from the Indiana Code, Title 1, Article 2, Chapter 5. The words are included within the statute.

IC 1-2-5-1
Title and text
     Sec. 1. The poem of Arthur Franklin Mapes, Kendallville, Indiana, the title and text of which are set forth in full as a part of this section, is hereby adopted as Indiana's official poem. It reads as follows:

		INDIANA
    God crowned her hills with beauty,
        Gave her lakes and winding streams,
    Then He edged them all with woodlands
        As the setting for our dreams.
    Lovely are her moonlit rivers,
        Shadowed by the sycamores,
    Where the fragrant winds of Summer
        Play along the willowed shores.
    I must roam those wooded hillsides,
        I must heed the native call,
    For a pagan voice within me
        Seems to answer to it all.
    I must walk where squirrels scamper
        Down a rustic old rail fence,
    Where a choir of birds is singing
        In the woodland . . . green and dense.
    I must learn more of my homeland
        For it's paradise to me,
    There's no haven quite as peaceful,
        There's no place I'd rather be.
    Indiana . . . is a garden
        Where the seeds of peace have grown,
    Where each tree, and vine, and flower
        Has a beauty . . . all its own.
    Lovely are the fields and meadows,
        That reach out to hills that rise
    Where the dreamy Wabash River
        Wanders on . . . through paradise.

    (Formerly: Acts 1963, c.220, s.1.) As amended by Acts 1982, P.L.2, SEC.6.

Additional Information

Historic Main Street: Kendallville: Mapes’ poems illustrate life in city’s infancy.

Current Flint and Walling Web Site: Flint & Walling, Inc., Kendallville, Indiana 46755.

Kendallville Publishing Company: KPC News - Keeping people connected in DeKalb, LeGrange, Noble and Steuben Counties in Northeast Indiana.


Source: Indiana State Web Site, (http://www.state.in.us), February 2, 2005
Source: Indiana General Assembly, (http://www.in.gov/legislative/), February 2, 2005
Source: State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols by Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer, Copyright 2002
Source: State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers, and Other Symbols by George Earlie Shankle, Ph.D., Copyright 1938




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