Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Temple


Enter the temple beautiful! The house not made with hands!
Rain-washed and green, wind-swept and clean,

Beneath the blue it stands,
And no cathedral anywhere
Seemeth so holy or so fair.

It hath no heavy gabled roof, no door with lock and key,
No window-bars shut out the stars,
The aisles are wide and free--
Here through the night each altar-light

Is but a moon-beam, silver-white.

Silently as the temple grew at Solomon's command,
Still as things seem within a dream
This rose from out the land:
And all the pillars, grey and high,
Lifted their arches to the sky.

Here is the perfume of the leaves, the incense of the pines--
The magic scent that hath been pent
Within the tangled vines:
No censor filled with spices rare
E'er swung such sweetness on the air.

And all the golden gloom of it holdeth no haunting fear,
For it is blessed, and giveth rest
To those who enter here--
Here in the evening--who can know
But God Himself walks to and fro!

And music past all mastering within the chancel rings;
None could desire a sweeter choir
Than this--that soars and sings,
Till far the scented shadows creep--
And quiet darkness bringeth sleep.

Virna Sheard (1865-1943)

Mom went to Glen Bernard Camp near Sundridge, Ontario for many summers in the 1940's. She was sharing some of her experiences with me and mentioned that each Sunday morning the campers recited a portion of the above poem, written by Canadian poet Virna Sheard. Their chapel was not a man-made cathedral but was surrounded by splendor and beauty of the Creator's making.

We do attend church regularly, but I find that spending time enjoying nature enriches my spirit and leaves me feeling refreshed and renewed.

(The photos are mine with the exception of the beautiful moon shot that was taken by our friend Andre.)


  1. Great pictures once again. Fine thought too.

  2. All those photos are breathtaking Ruth, and the poem is lovely. That is, no doubt, just as spiritual as church.

  3. What a great temple the creation makes too.

    My pet peeve with churches these days is they shut it all out, many having no windows at all ... for productions they say. The little church we have gone to a few times, in our own neck of the woods, has beautiful windows to let nature in ... but they are heavily shrouded with dark, depressing curtains that are never opened! I feel so heavy and depressed in these rooms with no natural light. Odd, because God is a god of light!

  4. Wonderful photographs and lovely poem. Thanks for sharing. Any of the places could truly become a temple.

  5. What beautiful pictures and post.

  6. Wonderful post. Thank you for adding the other verses that I did not know before. They will be saved with all my beautiful poems. The Canadian poet, Wilson MacDonald wrote in a book he autographed for me. "Those who love poetry will grow up to be a beautiful poem themselves".

  7. AC- Thanks. It is so nice to live in a place that is beautiful through the seasons.

    Jayne- I enjoy reading poets who are from my area because I can see for myself what inspired them.

    CS- You make a fine point. Our man-made buildings and productions do not compare to God's creation.

    NCMW- We truly are the temple, so where ever we are can be a place of worship.

    Jean- glad you enjoyed it

    Mom- thanks for introducing me to the poem. I found an autographed book of Wilson MacDonald's that belonged to Uncle Eldon. I read it on our vacation.

  8. Gorgeous, just gorgeous.... both the photos and the poem!


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