Without a Minister.

A poem by Hattie Howard

The congregation was devout,
The minister inspired,
Their attitude to those without
By every one admired,
And all things so harmonious seemed,
Of no calamity we dreamed.

But, just in this quiescent state
A little cloud arose
Portentous of our certain fate -
As everybody knows;
Our pastor took it in his head
His "resignation" must be read.

In every eye a tear-drop stood,
For we accepted it
Reluctantly, but nothing could
Make him recant one bit;
And soon he left for distant parts,
While we were left - with broken hearts.

And next the "patriarch" who led
For nearly three-score years
Our "Sabbath school" - its worthy head -
Rekindled all our fears
By saying, with a smile benign,
"Since it's the fashion, I'll resign!"

And so he did; but promptly came
Forth one, of good report -
"Our Superintendent" is his name -
Who tries to "hold the fort"
With wisdom, tact, and rare good sense,
In this, his first experience.

The world looks on and says, "How strange!
They hang together so,
These Baptists do, and never change,
But right straight onward go
While other flocks are scattering all,
And some have strayed beyond recall!"

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