Clara Smith

Jack in the Pulpit

Jack in the pulpit

Preaches to-day,

Under the green trees

Just over the way.

Squirrel and song sparrow,

High on their perch,

Hear the sweet lily bells

Ringing to church.

Come hear what his reverence

Rises to say

In his low, painted pulpit

This calm Sabbath day.

Meek-faced anemones,

Drooping and sad;

Great yellow violets,

Smiling out glad;

Buttercups' faces,

Beaming and bright;

Clovers with bonnets,

Some red and some white;

Daisies, their white fingers

Half clasped in prayer;

Dandelions, proud of

The gold of their hair;

Innocents, children

Guileless and frail,

Meek little faces

Upturned and pale;

Wildwood geraniums,

All in their best,

Languidly leaning,

In purple gauze dressed:—

All are assembled

This sweet Sabbath day

To hear what the priest

In his pulpit will say.

So much for the preacher:

The sermon comes next,—

Shall we tell how he preached it

And where was his text?

Alas! like too many

Grown-up folks who play

At worship in churches

Man-builded to-day,—

We heard not the preacher

Expound or discuss;

But we looked at the people,

And they looked at us.

We all saw their dresses—

Their colors and shapes;

The trim of their bonnets,

The cut of their capes;

We heard the wind organ,

The bee and the bird,

But of Jack in the pulpit

We heard not a word!