THE LAST SUNDAY IN
The emigrants kneel in the old parish Church.
For the last time, it may be forever:
They scarcely had known that it would be so hard.
The ties of a lifetime to sever.
For the last time they look on the ivy-clad walls.
For the last time they hear the bells ringing.
'Twas there they were married, and now to that church
How fondly their sad hearts are clinging!
They listen once more to the good Rector's voice,
They will try to remember his teaching:
And hope they may never forget what he says,
As they look in his face while's he preaching.
That voice they have heard by the bed of the sick-
That face they have seen by the dying-
At the altar, the font, and the newly dug grave
The means of salvation supplying.
For the last time they stand where their forefathers names
They read on the headstones and crosses:
There are newly cut names: and others so old.
They are covered by lichens and mosses.
Then a last look they take at a green little mound,
Where one of their children is sleeping.
And gather a daisy that grows at the head --
Then turn away silently weeping.
The neighbors are waiting to bid them "God Speed"
To think of them each one professing-
At the gate of the churchyard the old Rector stands
To give them his fatherly blessing.
He placed in their hands the best of all gifts,
A Bible and Prayer book, at parting:
They could not say much, but he knew what they felt-
To their eyes the warm tear-drops were starting.
"Keep these in your heart" as he gave them, he said,
"And trust to the cross of Christ only:
Then the Lord will be with you wherever you go,
And then you need never feel lonely."
The poem is one that was placed on a mailing list by a contributor. Although I have never emigrated some of my ancestors did (some were forced though) - did they have these feelings and emotions?
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This page was last updated on 19/04/02 09:15