Thoughts on a Trip to Philadelphia
I touched the Liberty Bell today
And somehow though crowds around me pressed
They weren’t really there at all
But seemed so very far away.
Standing near me I’m sure I saw
Hundred, yes, a thousand souls
Of patriots come and gone
Who stood within the modern hall.
I sat in an alabaster church today,
Not my own small one of stone,
But one of brick and wood and wavy glass.
I listened there today and never heard
Her history long and famous surely true
But heard instead the pastors gone but not forgotten
Who helped to form our nation’s strength
And courage gave to all who came to listen.
I saw her make the flag today,
And wondered as I walked
How long it took to fashion it
From all the scraps and bits about.
By that sunny window she surely sat
To see the stitches better and make the knots to hold.
Then a cup of tea she must have had,
To ease the hand and strengthen heart and soul.
I walked the hallowed halls today,
And there I saw the empty chairs
Where once the legions sat
Who formed our laws and set our pace
For all the years that since have passed.
I sat there too and wished I might have had
One small part to play
Or one small song to sing, or thought to say.
I rode a bus today across the miles
And back in time two hundred years or more
But years uncounted went before
Just two thousand laid the base
When He taught of love and saving grace.
Safely back on land that’s mine,
I thanked thee God for all I’ve known
Of love and family, friends and satisfying work.
Yes, I touched the Liberty Bell today,
And somehow never felt the metal hard and cold,
But felt instead a spirit warm and firm,
The touch of hosts of saints, the hands of destiny.
And then I saw a vision true and pure,
My Country ‘Tis of Thee
And yes, I’m really sure
“In God We Trust.”
March 27, 1976