The Indiana State Poem

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 adopted the poem as the official poem of Indiana in 1963 and recognized Arthur Franklin Mapes as Indiana Poet Laureate in 1977 with House Concurrent Resolution No. 63.


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.