Saturday, May 28, 2022

Symbol of Freedom

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.”

Pauline Nulton

March 27, 1976 

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