Poetry, VOLUME 1

Poem: Liberty Hyde Bailey – Country Church

In this issue, we will begin a new section of the ERB, a weekly poem.

Today’s poem is from a long-lost volume of poetry by Liberty Hyde Bailey (for more on Bailey, see the featured review in this issue.)

Country Church

In some great day
The country church
Will find its voice
And it will say:
I stand in the fields
Where the wide earth yields
Her bounties of fruit and of grain,
Where the furrows turn
Till the plowshares burn
As they come round and round again;
Where the workers pray
With their tools all day
In the sunshine and shadow and rain.And I bid them tell
Of the crops they sell
And speak of the work they have done;
I speed ev’ry man
In his hope and plan
And follow his day with the sun;
And grasses and trees
The birds and the bees
I know and I feel ev’ry one.

And out of it all
As the seasons fall
I build my great temple alway;
I point to the skies,
But my footstone lies
In commonplace work of the day;
For I preach the worth
Of the native earth, –
To love and to work is to pray.

(from LH Bailey Wind and Weather, orginally published 1916,
reprint forthcoming Oct. 2008 from Doulos Christou Press).

C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com

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