Works in the Herald 1934

The story has recently been told of a solitary woman worshipper at the Presbyterian Church in Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales. Though, one by one, congregation and minister have moved away, Miss. E. Campbell goes alone every Sunday to the deserted little church in her Sunday clothes, plays the organ, sings the old Scotch hymns, and prays.

A lonely soul . . . According to her lights
   She has lived on, mid all our worldly strife,
Thro' that procession of mad days and nights
   That most men lay to waste, and call it life.
And men have smiled a little, too, may be,
At what they deem her eccentricity.

"This have we done, and this," the proud souls cry;
   "In pomp and pageantry vast riches spent,
Builded cathedrals yearning to the sky,
   And scattered gold for God's aggrandisement,
That we may be immortalised on earth
In monuments to our undying worth.

"This we have done, and this; for we were just;
   Captained great armies for the Lord of Hosts,
Left erring brothers bleeding in the dust,
   Our enemies -- and His.  The worldling boasts;
And, boasting, dies to seek a meek reward
From a remote and half-envisioned Lord."

A lonely woman in an empty church
   Upholding faith with humble prayer and song. . . .
Oh, that we groundlings had the eyes to search
   And find - not emptiness, but here a throng
Invisible.  Poor prideful minds, 'tis we
Who know earth's bitter loneliness -- not she.

Herald, 23 May 1934, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003-06