The Seventh Day

Morning lies on all the hills, and all the plains are calm,
Sunday morn that seems to breathe the very soul of balm,
The labour-freighted hours are gone, and now I bow my head
For benedictions on the toil that filled the week just dead.

Sunday morn — and with it comes the wish that now I could
Just listen to the old church bell I heard in childhood
Ring from the little chapel where I knelt in early years,
Ere my life had learned of trials, ere my eyes had learned of tears.

Perhaps I'm over tired to-day, perhaps I've not confessed
Some little sin whose weight is lead, but this return of rest
Has touched me with a home-sickness, a fruitless longing for
Just one brief day wherein to be a little child once more;

To run along the narrow path, to climb the little gate
That broke the line of zig-zag fence that bound the old estate,
To wander ankle-deep among the long cut grass that lay
Just where the scythe had toss't it, while it dried to fragrant hay;

To westward see the brown ploughed field in summer fallow lie,
To see my quaintly-fashioned home against the eastward sky,
To feel the placid warmth that fell upon those early hours,
To listen to the mission bell ring from its far off towers.

I wonder if the pathway lies across the meadow still,
And do some other childish feet climb up the dusty hill,
Where stands the holy edifice, where sings a voice divine
Within the bell that calls to-day to other ears than mine.
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