Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  Christ Church

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

New England: Boston, Mass.

Christ Church

By Edwin B. Russell

GRAY spire, that from the ancient street

The eyes of reverent pilgrims greet,

As by thy bells their steps are led,

Thou liftest up thy voice to-day,

Silvery and sweet, yet strong as aye,

Above the living and the dead.

Beneath thy tower, how vast the throng

That moved through porch and aisle along

The holy fane, the galleried height;

As years came in, and years went out,

With sob of woe, or joyful shout;

With requiem rest, or anthem bright.

Old faces haunt the ancient pew,

And in the organ loft renew

The sacred strain of earlier times,

When knight and dame in worship bent,

And from their lips the homage sent

That mingled with the answering chimes.

And here the patriot hung his light,

Which shone through all that anxious night,

To eager eyes of Paul Revere.

There, in the dark churchyard below,

The dead Past wakened not, to know

How changed the world, that night of fear.

The angels on thy gallery soar,

The Saviour’s face thine altar o’er

Is there, as in the elder day.

The royal silver yet doth shine,

And holds the pledge of love divine,

That cannot change, nor pass away.