Ambiguous 'promised land'

  Mt Wachusett, in central Massachusetts, and at 2006 feet high the highest point in the state east of the Connecticut. River.

Mt Wachusett, in central Massachusetts, and at 2006 feet high the highest point in the state east of the Connecticut. River.

“Ephraim Cross drives up the trail

From Worcester. Hepsibah goes pale

At sumac feathers in the pines.

….Pine to birch

The hills change color. In the west

Wachusett humps a stubborn crest.

Ephraim takes the promised land,

Earth, rock and rubble, in his hand.’’

— From the “1750’’ part of “The Farm,’’ by Archibald MacLeish (1892-1992)

Wachusett is a  monadnock: a single mountain on a relatively flat landscape. The word monadnock comes from a similarly isolated mountain, Mt. Monadnock, in southern New Hampshire.

Wachusett is a popular hiking and skiing destination, in part because it’s so near to cities. An automobile road, open spring to fall, ascends to the summit. Views from the top include Mt. Monadnock to the north, Mt. Greylock to the west, southern Vermont to the northwest, and Boston to the east.