At Service-Time

Friends! I a dead man laid upon this hill:
        If I could hear the great bell’s hollow sound
        Call to the town that Sabbath had come round,
Then feet move near, then silence deep, until
The anthem floated o’er me and the thrill
        Of that sweet blackbird touched me in my
        I should leap forth with joyance from the ground
And join the congregation with good will.

For in this grave there is no voice of praise,
    No hint of melody, no hope of song;
        The heart is dust, lips dry, and ears are dull;
While yonder hills to which your eyes ye raise—
        Yon brimming river blue and beautiful,
    From height to depth man’s hymn of praise prolong.

(Sonnets in Switzerland and Italy, p. 129)