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by Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1904

Sung at the Second Church, at the Ordination of Rev. Chandler Robbins

We love the venerable house
  Our fathers built to God;—
In heaven are kept their grateful vows,
  Their dust endears the sod.

Here holy thoughts a light have shed
  From many a radiant face,
And prayers of humble virtue made
  The perfume of the place.

And anxious hearts have pondered here
  The mystery of life,
And prayed the eternal Light to clear
  Their doubts, and aid their strife.

From humble tenements around
  Came up the pensive train,
And in the church a blessing found
  That filled their homes again;

For faith and peace and mighty love
  That from the Godhead flow,
Showed them the life of Heaven above
  Springs from the life below.

They live with God; their homes are dust;
  Yet here their children pray,
And in this fleeting lifetime trust
  To find the narrow way.

On him who by the altar stands,
  On him thy blessing fall,
Speak through his lips thy pure commands,
  Thou heart that lovest all.

Published in The Poems of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Any corrections or public domain poems I should have here? Email me at poems (at) this domain.