The Village Preacher

Beside the bed where parting life was laid,

And sorrow, guilt, and pain by turns dismayed,

The reverend champion stood. At his control

Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul;

Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise,

And his last faltering accents whispered praise.

At church, with meek and unaffected grace,

His looks adorned the venerable place;

Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway,

And fools, who came to scoff, remained to pray.

The service past, around the pious man,

With steady zeal, each honest rustic ran;

Even children followed with endearing wile,

And plucked his gown to share the good man's smile.

His ready smile a parent's warmth expressed —

Their welfare pleased him, and their cares distressed.

To them his heart, his love, his griefs were given,

But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven.

As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form,

Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm,

Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread,

Eternal sunshine settles on its head.

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