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And heavy stones on the brook they laid.
The willow branches they lopped away,
And the hawthorn fell ere close of day.
They ploughed up the vines all covered with berries,
They cut down the tree all filled with cherries.
My heart grows sad
At the beauty gone,
But the work of improvement
Must still go on.
We must give up romance
For the good of the town,
And the dear old lane
Must be leveled down.
So a sad farewell to the green old lane
That led from the hill to the level plain.
In 1859 Henry H. Babcock was elected principal of the High School. He was a skilled botanist, a zealous collector, and knew the wild flowers of the neighborhood of Boston in their native haunts. Under his enthusiastic teaching, the meadows and swamps and hidden nooks of Somerville were explored as never before, and what floral treasures still lingered within the limits of the fast-growing town were brought to the little botany room in the old High School building. Here many a happy and profitable hour was spent after the school session was ended in puzzling over perplexing specimens, and in learning of that divine law which links the smallest fern with the mightiest tree of the forest, and without which any scientific classification would be impossible. When Mr. Babcock left the High School, Miss Mary D. Davis had charge of the botany classes, and her great interest in and enthusiasm for her favorite science made her a worthy successor of her former teacher. Edward Everett Edgerley, of the class of ‘63, was the most zealous collector in those days, and if his herbarium was available for reference, it would give the most complete list ever made of the wild flowers of Somerville in the early sixties,
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