[Vision2020] The Old Church

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Sun Sep 11 05:15:13 PDT 2022

The Old Church
by Margaret Sangster

It lifteth its gray old spire from the heart of the busytown, 
Pointing the thoughts of the people from the things that bind men down— 

Up from toil and temptation, and struggle for dailybread, 
To the blessed Father in heaven, to whom ourprayers are said,— 

Who knoweth what we have need of before itpasseth our lips, 
Who pitieth and forgiveth our frailty and our slips! 

A century and a quarter dream-like has flitted away 
Since they laid the stone in the corner, one sunnysummer day. 

Grave men and stately matrons and rosy childrenstood, 
While the minister sought a blessing for the churchthey built in the wood— 

That thither, for peace and comfort, might throngfrom many lands 
Those who should after worship in the house notmade with hands. 

As it rose in its fair proportions, higher from day today, 
In the shade of the forest round it, the children cameto play! 

To-day the birds are singing from their nests in thedusky eaves; 
Then shook their matins and vespers out from therustling leaves. 

Vanished the quiet forest! In its place the restlesstown, 
With its hive-like hum and bustle, its houses smokyand brown! 

The church in its green enclosure has only room forgraves, 
And over the mossy tombstones the graceful willowwaves! 

Here sleep the men and women of a hundred yearsago, 
Folded in silent slumber, neath the sunlight and thesnow. 

Out from the grand old spire still tolls the bell for thedead; 
Still merrily peals its music for the happy hearts ofthe wed. 

From the ancient oaken pulpit the message of God isgiven, 
And from Sabbath to Sabbath are sinners pointed tohope and heaven. 

The mourner findeth comfort, the weary findethcalm; 
And the sorely wounded spirit is soothed withGilead's balm. 

Here the stranger's eye may brighten as he sees thegreeting word: 
"Ever the stranger is welcome in the dwelling of theLord!" 

And the rich and poor together to mingle worshipcome 
As the children of One Father—all bound for onesweet home. 

Long may the dear old spire, from the heart of thebusy town, 
Lift the thought of the people from all that binds itdown,— 

From wealth they must leave behind them, when lowthey lie in the mold, 
To the city whose walls are jasper, whose streets arepaved with gold; 

Where we hope at last to gather, lifting our songs ofpraise, 
Where never a shade shall darken the sunlight of ourdays; 

And no voices with tears along them shall tremble inthe chord 
Of the hallelujahs rising in that temple of the Lord.


Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)

Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

“A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met.”
- Roy E. Stolworthy
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