Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, OUR OLD CENTER-TOWN VERMONT MEETINGHOUSE, by DANIEL LEAVENS CADY



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OUR OLD CENTER-TOWN VERMONT MEETINGHOUSE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Around our center meetinghouse
Last Line: As our poor meetinghouse.
Subject(s): Churches; Public Meetings; Public Worship; Social Problems; Vermont; Cathedrals; Church Attendance


AROUND our Center Meetinghouse
There's nothing now that "centers,"
And Mr. Bat is jest about
The only soul that enters;
No boys between the sermons hold
A gingersnap carouse—
There ain't no sermons anymore
In Center Meetinghouse.

'Twas built to be a "Union Church,"
And said so on the gable,
But years ago the sign fell off
And stood in Bagley's stable;
A Poultney peddler bought the bell,
I think his name was Krause,
And faith and form have both forsook
The Center Meetinghouse.

The steps have gone, the blinds jest hang,
The weathervane is twisted;
The stoves with cobwebs, rust and dust
Are crusted and encysted;
The light the fathers lit with love
Their children dim and douse,
And where religion centered once
There's jest a Meetinghouse.

It used to be a Town House, too,
And once, at Freeman's Meeting,
Old Deacon Stubbs give 'Squire Devoe
A pretty thorough beating;
They knocked the pulpit off its base,
The 'Squire, he lost his blouse,
And all the Piscopals marched out
And left the Meetinghouse.

At last they took the pews away
And oiled the floor for dancing;
And once I went, or should have went,
Except for Mary Lansing;
Then come some medium whose "control"
Was through a Hindu mouse—
That ended "services" within
The Center Meetinghouse.

I'm 'fraid our Center Meetinghouse
Is simply one of many,
And that where hill-town preaching throve
There isn't much of any;
The churches take to Main street now,
Like high-toned throats to grouse—
I hope they don't flat out as flat
As our poor Meetinghouse.





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