The Old Church
By Edna Jane Campbell
Stands this old church from the town apart;
Old fashioned porch and half decayed,
Where the ivy new in early spring
Its leaves of green so kindly bring,
The faulty spots and chinks to hide,
Like charity pure for sins essayed.
A withered tree a century old,
That’s bending ‘neath the blade of time,
Spreads wide its boughs in christian grace.
Affords the weary a resting place.
The good, the bad, alike to shield,
From storm, and heat and lurid clime.
In this church ‘neath the word of God,
Have met together the grave and gay,
The thoughtless too with hearts of joy.
By care unknown or times annoy,
And those bent low ‘neath the chastening rod,
Buoy faith In holy ecstacy.
In this church so anxious stood,
With quivering breath the girlish bride;
A clinging mantle of snowy white
Half hides her shrinking form from sight
As from youth’s mooring toward womanhood,
She launched her craft on an unknown tide.
The dead here too in frigid state
Lay waiting silent by friends bewept,
While the pastor old spoke words of peace
And comfort in the souls release,
Ere gentle hands had borne to rest
This clay, where many kindred slept.
Stands this old church almost forgot;
A monitor old of times defect.
No more the aisles resound with tread,
No more the grave nor honored dead,
No more the gay with buoyant step,
In prescribed shapes sit circumspect.
The change of time as earthly law,
Progression’s stride, advancement’s sway,
New thoughts, new hopes, and new designs,
Do now possess the present minds,
But like that church each one may tell
Of sunshine, storms, and wintry fray.