To the Old Hingham Meeting-House

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To the Old Hingham Meeting-House  (1881) 
by James Freeman Clarke

Gothic and Grecian temples stand around,
Unmeaning structures of New England ground.
This house, the whole community outspread,
Like a great tent of wood, above its head,
With thought and prayer, counsel and business rife,
Centre of social, public, parish life;
An honest house, of Yankee oak and spruce,
A type of lowly beauty, born of use;
Record of that stern, noble, Puritanic day
When all men walked in one accepted way,
Lived by one rule, acted and said the same,
Ere thought brought difference, and divisions came.
So let it stand! A page of history,
And prophecy of better days to be;
When Freedom, cause of strife, shall make strife cease,
Attaining larger union, better peace;
When party discords, petty rancors, fall
Before the All in One, the One in All!