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by Mary Frances King

One by one
Two by two
  on foot, horseback, wagon train
From across the sea
  from Scotland, Wales, England,
  the Isle of Green--they came
Slowly, gradually
  migrating westward
Until one day, at last,
They reached this place
  of youthful promise--
A vernal, trackless forest
A peaceful, pleasant land
Where spring-water, blue pure
  and cold, leaped up from the
  ground in abundance,
filling creeks and branches.

Soon--sounds of the saw, the axe,
  and human voices
Mingled with the wind in the trees
  and the song of the birds.
Families began.
Homes sprang up.
They cleared the land, planted crops.

As others came
  a need grew strong--
  a need for a special place
To worship God in song and praise
A place to gather--
  to be together--to seek
  strength from one another.

They searched and found
  this pleasant hill covered
  with wind-singing trees all around
And beneath the hill
  a spring blossoming water
  from its rim.
This spot then became hallowed
  ground--
A place to worship
A place to share--joys
  sorrows--to bury their dead.

In time
As the children moved away
a net-work was formed
  throughout the land.
So, each year we return
  seeking solace, strength from
The Vine--rooted here.

A pensive quiet reigns
  among the headstones.
As we walk among
  the ones we honor today,
We feel the strength we seek
  rooted here beneath these
  crumbling stones
Surrounded by ancient trees
  that move and breathe
A song
A song of strength
  of hope and joy
A song of life!

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