Grey Church! the Twilight's dying fire
Hath faded from thine ancient spire,
And from thy roof have passed away
The lazy sunbeams that all day
Have sported there. And deep and lone
Night settles on her dusky throne,
While up the starry, evening sky
The Harvest Moon walks quietly.
Forsaken Chapel! Years have passed
Since up thine aisle I loitered last.
Thou wast a beauteous fabric then,
A chosen place for holy men;
And ever when thy sabbath bell
Sent its long peal across the dell,
The village groups would muster there
To worship in the house of prayer.
Sacredly that simple peal,
Thro' all the hamlet side would steal;
Bearing its holy summons forth
To many a distant Cotter's hearth.
But evermore that peal is hushed,
For rugged briar, and church-yard dust,
And the green, clambering moss have made
The church bell silent in the glade.
In thy grey turret the wild bird
Hath built her nest, and there is heard
The swallow's twitter 'neath the eaves,
Where she hath framed her home of leaves.
In the dim aisle and sacrasty,
And at the altar-foot, there lie
The cushat's brood, and grass has grown
Thickly around thy threshold stone.
The children of the hamlet sleep
Beneath thy ruined wall; and deep,
In death, their dreamless slumbers are
Placed in their turf-built sepulchre.
I gaze upon the tablet's grey,
That bear the name of those whose way
Was with mine in life's early morn;
Alas fair brethren! ye are gone
To your last dwellings--long hath died
Your voice along the village side;
And the green turf your footsteps pressed
Lies heavy o'er each pulseless breast.