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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

John Vance Cheney (1848–1922)

A Saint of Yore

In Mem., E. V.

WHO brings it, now, her sweet accord

To every precept of her Lord?

In quaintly fashioned bonnet

With simplest ribbons on it,

The older folk remember well

How prompt she was at Sabbath bell.

I see her yet; her decent shawl,

Her sober gown, silk mitts, and all.

The deacons courtly meet her,

The pastor turns to greet her,

And maid and matron quit their place

To find her fan or smooth her lace.

I see her yet, with saintly smile,

Pass slowly up the quiet aisle:

Her mien, her every motion,

Is melody, devotion;

Contagious grace spreads round her way,

The prayer that words can never pray.

Old Groveland Church! the good folk fill

It yet, up on the windy hill:

The grass is round it growing

For nearest neighbors’ mowing;

The weathered, battered sheds, behind,

Still rattle, rattle, with the wind.

All is the same; but in yon ground

Have thickened fast the slab and mound.

Hark! Shall I join the praises?

Rather, among the daisies,

Let me, in peaceful thought, once more

Be silent with the saint of yore.