|Oh! once I had a
The villagers all knew so well
That through my porch they drifted in;
To learn the ways of shunning Sin.
For 'Love wide as the Sea' their quest,
For 'Peace' and 'Everlasting Rest!'
They sang and sat with one accord,
The preacher preached, the elders snored,
The children fidgeted and played
And each young man eyed each young maid,
Till when he came to 'Glory be...'
All rose, and drifted out of me!
My bell is gone, my porch is down;
Through my void windows now is blown
By every wind the day may send
The breath no preacher now will spend.
The young and old are here in rows,
Where, flowery tall, the sweet hay
They neither fidget now nor snore,
The young men eye young maids no more;
They come not, go not, soon or late,
But with me, on the cliff-edge, wait.
Seaward we slip, and seem more fain
To be 'washed clean' and 'born again'!