Fragrance Quote for December 17th, 2012-Fragrance of Old Quaker Meeting Houses By John Russell Hayes

Interior of Oblong Friends Meeting House, Pawling, NY, USA


I LOVE old Meeting-houses;—O what charm,
What tender benediction and what peace
Dwell in the very sunlight streaming down
Across their quiet aisles! An ancient calm
And phantom fragrance fill the sun-lit air
That shimmers from the softly-humming stove
In winter days and gives a dreamy grace
And radiance to the far-off snowy hills
And old homesteads and sleepy villages
And lonely woods seen through the little panes.
And in the golden summer First-day morns
How sweet the drowsy air that softly flows
Through open windows from the harvest fields
And garden walks, scenting the quiet house
With fragrance faint of honeysuckle vines
And pungent clover-tops and spicy pinks!
The winter sunlight and the flower-sweet air
Of golden summer Sabbaths add a grace,
An unsuspected solemn spiritual charm,
To all the blessed meditations there
And tranquil thoughts; they are the visible form,
Harmonious with inward righteousness,
That heighten, strengthen, make it fair to all.
O can there be perfection of the soul
If God's sweet sunshine smiling down from heaven,
Or birds and flowers beneath the tranquil blue,
Meet no response? I cannot think it so.