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In Church


"And now to God the Father", he ends,

And his voice thrills up to the topmost tiles:

Each listener chokes as he bows and bends,

And emotion pervades the crowded aisles.

Then the preacher glides to the vestry-door,

And shuts it, and thinks he is seen no more.


The door swings softly ajar meanwhile,

And a pupil of his in the Bible class,

Who adores him as one without gloss or guile,

Sees her idol stand with a satisfied smile

And re-enact at the vestry-glass

Each pulpit gesture in deft dumb-show

That had moved the congregation so.


Thomas Hardy

Adapted from a background
by Bobbie Peachey

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