The Dumb Old Clock

By Mary Stevenson

The old clock stands at the head of the stairs,
Rickety, crazy and dumb;
It has served its time for an age that is past,
Yes, an age that is dumb and dead.

For years it has chimed out the hours of time,
As it stood in the quaint old room;
Reminding its hearers, in mournful tone,
Of the dreadful day of doom.

It has gazed on that circle that used to collect,
In winter when evenings were long;
Around the old cookstove, so rusty and cracked,
It has heard those sweet anthems of song.

It has looked on them all, but where are they now,
Each form that there used to be found;
Ah, ask of old time, he has tucked them away,
In a cold narrow bed ‘neath the ground

When the last closed her eyes in the long sleep of death,
The old clock grew moody and dumb;
Nor could threats or entreaties e’er rouse it again,
But silent it stood in its gloom.

Then why should the old clock go plodding along,
Since the friends of its youth are no more;
In the land of the stranger it knows not the song,
Let it hang up its harp on the shore.

And we’ll cherish it still for the good it has done,
In its services year after year;
And put it away, tho’ now it won’t run,
It is yet to my heart no less dear.

And when tired and weary I long to forget,
The present with sorrow and care;
Then in silence I’ll visit, and there sit and think,
By the clock at the head of the stair.