New England Steeple

TALL on the village hill the church stood lonely against the dark,
shining and white against the stars, with only our eyes to mark
its midnight solitude, its soaring steeple pointed and clean.
Far down the dim-lit street the village people dreamt unseen;
and past the green and past the church there slumbered the quiet dead:
on the bend of the hill the low stones gleamed unnumbered. ‘Look up,’ you said.
‘We are uncounted among the silent sleepers in this windless land —
we alone and the crying brookside peepers. Give me your hand.
‘Here is our love,’ you said, ‘in this white spire leaping into the sky:
it will endure though we be awake or sleeping or if we die.’
In that instant of truth, in the clear precipitate hour dark was undone,
and the mellow bell in the sheer incredible tower struck the new day with one.