The Moon Upon The Spire

By Hannah Flagg Gould

The full-orbed moon has reached no higher,
Than yon old church’s mossy spire;
And seems, as gliding up the air,
She saw the lane; and, pausing there,
Would worship, in the tranquil night,
The Prince of peace—the Source of light,
Where man for God prepared the place,
And God to man unveils his face.
Her tribute all around is seen,
She bends, and worships like a queen!
Her robe of light and beaming crown,
In silence, she is casting down;
And, as a creature of the earth,
She feels her lowliness of birth—
Her weakness and inconstancy
Before unchanging purity!
Pale traveller, on thy lonely way,
‘T is well thine homage thus to pay;
To reverence that ancient pile,
And spread thy silver o’er the aisle,
Which many a pious foot has trod,
That now is dust beneath the sod;
Where many a sacred tear was wept,
From eyes that long in death have slept!
The temple’s builders—where are they?
The worshippers?—all passed away,
Who came the first, to offer there
The song of praise, the heart of prayer!
Man’s generation passes soon;
It wanes and changes like the moon.
He rears the perishable wall;
But, ere it crumbles, he must fall!
And does he sink to rise no more?
Has he no part to triumph o’er
The pallid king?—no spark, to save
From darkness, ashes and the grave?
Thou holy place, the answer, wrought
In thy firm structure, bars the thought!
The spirit that established thee,
Nor death, nor darkness e’er shall see!