The Old Man Mountain Historic Site - Franconia Notch, NH.

The Sentry

A story about the Old Man of the Mountains
profile on Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire.

        He climbed to the top of the mountain,
        Stared in awe at the beautiful view;
        He settled down and set up his home,
        For he knew what he had come to do.

        He was sent up there on a mission,
        God sent His message down from the sky;
        To keep constant watch over mankind,
        He never thought of questioning why.

        He didn't know where this trail would lead,
        Or how long he would be asked to stay;
        The Spirit gave him the strength it took,
        To weather the storms and the heat of the day.

        He blended into the mountain's side,
        To be obscure but not too hard to see;
        For countless ages this stone sentry stood,
        Watching over those who longed to live free.

        From the time of the earliest man,
        Through the age of the Indian hunter;
        All who saw him tried to figure him out,
        Touched by his presence it set them to wonder.

        Did this old rock man of the mountain,
        Have the soul of the Spirit within;
        Was there life in that profile up high,
        And was he keeping track of their sin?

        One day new settlers came to this land,
        And they set out to make it their own;
        Then they too discovered the Old Man,
        And knew that they'd never stand alone.

        They felt the strength of his presence up high,
        The sheer power that was raining on down;
        From that strange rock face way up in the clouds,
        Some swore that they could see sweat on his brow.

        Now history has written the stories,
        Far too many for me to speak of;
        Through battles, wars and too many deaths,
        The right to live free always starts with love.

        Love is what the Old Man is about,
        Just ask all those who come to this place;
        Stories abound of peace and contentment,
        You can feel it in that old stone face.

        Then one day some folks took notice,
        The Old Man was losing his grip;
        Some stones around his foundation,
        They were slowly starting to slip.

        His neighbors came to his rescue,
        Just to help him is what they craved;
        His spirit was very alive,
        They knew the Old Man must be saved.

        They kept coming back year after year,
        Many generations kept stopping by;
        To reinforce his very foundation,
        They just wouldn't let the Old Man die.

        Then on May Third in Two Thousand and Three,
        The heart of the mountain started to shake;
        The Old Man's life was slipping away,
        As the earth he loved began to quake.

        He held on tight for all he was worth,
        The earth was stronger, he began to slide;
        Campers below heard the fatal crash,
        As the Old Man took that eternal ride.

        When daylight came all knew he was gone,
        They looked up for him but all they could see;
        Was broken rock and an empty ledge,
        At the very spot where he used to be.

        No one needed to lower their gaze,
        To know that all that remained of the man;
        Was broken rock close to Profile Lake,
        They stood and mourned the loss to their clan.

        But his spirit will forever live,
        In the minds and hearts of those that know;
        The body may crumble but not the soul,
        His love will always continue to flow.

        For those of us who still stop and look,
        At the place where the Old Man used to be;
        He's as plain as day, we still see him there,
        Exactly the way God had planned it you see.

~ Paul D. Berube ~
May 2, 2007
The Old Man Historic Site
Franconia Notch, NH

[ by: Paul D. Berube Copyright © 2007 ( ) -- submitted by: Paul D. Berube ]

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