When time with ruthless wings sweeps on, The earth of all its bygone best is shriven; And so, old edifice, thy day is done; The newer day asks more than thou hast given. In honest hearts a thought for thee enshrined, Of sheltering walls in days almost forgot; When knowledge forced on the unwilling mind Saved many from ignominy's cheerless lot. Man's mind is like a shallow streamlet flowing, Forever winding onward to the sea Of time's oblivion, and the growing Like rare immortal fountain, starts with thee. Prayers offered have ascended from thy walls For benefits the which our fickle mind Scarce can remember, yet those earnest calls Brought sweet, refreshing mercy to mankind. If in the rushing years that are to be No steadfast stone of memory marks thy end, When rich endeavor finds its tide in thee, Thou has not been in vain, old hoary friend.
Source: Niagara Falls Evening Review, December 22, 1915.
Before the poem: “I see that the old school has already been pulled down. It was, I believe, also used as a church, and this, with other things, caused me to write these new lines, which, if you think worthy, I shall be glad to see printed in your paper.”