When I am through with this old clay house of mine,
When no more lights through my windows shine,
Just box it up and lay it away,
with other such houses of yesterday.
And with it, my friends, do try, if you can,
To bury the wrongs since first I began.
I have prayed without ceasing and ever shall Pray,
That enemies may forgive me as we pass this way.
When I meet you, the Grand Architect Supreme,
face to face, I want to be clean!
Of course I know it's too late to mend,
A badly built house, when we come to the end,
But to you who are building, just look over mine,
And make your alterations while there is yet time.
Just study this house--no tears must be shed,
It's like any old house when the tenant has fled.
I have lived in this house many years all alone,
Just waiting, and oh! how I've longed to go home.
Don't misunderstand me--this old world's divine,
With love, birds, and flowers and man.
Yet, somehow, we feel when the cycle's complete,
There are dear ones across we are anxious to meet.
So we open the books and check up the past,
And no more forced balances, this is the last.
Each item is checked, each page must be clean,
It's the passport we carry to our builder Supreme.
So when I am through with this old house of clay,
Just box it up tight and lay it away.
For the builder has promised when this house is pent,
To have one all finished, with the timbers I sent.
While I lived here in this one, of course it will be,
Exactly as I built it, you see.
It's the kind of material we each send across,
And if we build poorly, of course, it's our loss.
You ask what material is best to select,
'Twas told too long since by the Great Architect,
A new commandment I give unto you,
That we love one another, as I have loved you.
So the finest material to send up above,
Is clear, straight, grained timber of brotherly love.
*Mr. Hall of Franklin County, read the above poem at
the June 1970 meeting of the Hamilton County Historical Society meeting.
From: Goshen Trails,
Vol. 6, No. 4; October 1970
Printed by permission