Moss-grown, and venerable it stands,
From the way-side dust and noise aloof,
And the great elms stretch their sheltering hands
To bless its grey old roof.
About it summer's greenery waves;
The birds build fearless overhead;
Its shadow falls among the graves;
Around it sleep the dead.
The summer sunshine softly takes
The chancel window's pictured gloom;
The moonlight enters too, and makes
The shadow of a tomb.
Along these aisles the bride hath passed,
And brightened, with her innocent grace.
The pensive twilight years have cast
About the holy place.
They brought her here--a tiny maid,
Unweeting any gain or loss,
And on her baby forehead laid
The symbol of the Cross.
And here they brought her once again,
White-robed, and smiling as she slept;
While lips, that trembled, breathed her name,
And eyes that saw her wept.
And still, when sunset lights his fire
Along the gold and crimsoned west,
She sleeps beneath the shadowing spire,
The cross upon her breast.
I watch it from my lonely cot,
When stars shine o'er the hallowed ground,
And think there is no sweeter spot,
The whole wide earth around.
The Sabbath chimes there sink and swim
Along the consecrated air,
The benediction and the hymn,
The voice of praise and prayer:
These mingle with the wind's free song,
The hum of bees, the notes of birds,
And make an anthem sweet and strong
Of inarticulate words.
There let me rest, when I have found
The peace of God, the immortal calm,
Where still above my sleep profound,
Goes up the Sabbath psalm.