Wednesday, February 8, 2012

from "Ill Wind"

Sunday night and the hour of evening service. The little village is bathed in sunshine, the air is cool and calm. The tall spire of the white church dominate the landscape. The last bell is ringing for church. Presently, the men from the churchyard file into the building and the organ and bass-viol announce the majestic strains of Old Hundredth.

After the doxology, in the hushed silence the minister prays as he stands in the high pulpit with this mahogany rail, and great sounding board and big Bible (Neddie, in pop-eyed wonder notes every detail while his grandmother, with him in the back gallery, remembers every word.)

“O God, who rulest the ragings of the sea and makes the wrath of men to praise Thee, we bless Thy name that we have dwelt in security as in the hollow of Thy hand while the elements have raged about us . . . Especially do we thank Thee for the courage of Thy servants in the hour of peril and of danger that, counting their lives not dear unto themselves they have hazarded all for the saving of others.”

The concluding sentences were lost to the old Indian. Neddie nudged her and she opened her eyes to see Miss Patience, the village belle, softly tiptoe to her pew with a distinct switch of crinoline, audible all over the meeting-house.
--Reverend Jesse Halsey c1932

No comments: