The Old Clay House
When I am through with this old
Clay House of mine
When no more guide lights through the
Just box it up and lay it away, with
the other clay houses of yesterday.
And, my friends, do try if you can to
forgive the wrongs,
Since first I began to live in this house.
Bury deep and forget, I want to be
square and out of your debt,
When I meet the Great Architect
Face to Face, I want to be clean.
Of course I know it's too late to mend,
a bad builded house
When we come to the end, but you who
are building just look over mine,
And make your alterations while there
is yet time.
Study carefully the plans, no tears
should be shed, it's like any
Old house when the tenant has fled.
I've lived in this house many days all
alone, just waiting, and
Oh, how I long to go home.
Please don't misunderstand me, This
old World's divine,
With its love, birds, flowers and glorious
It's a wonderful place and a wonderful
plan, and a wonderful, wonderful
gift to man,
But somehow I feel, when the Circle's
There are loved ones across we are
anxious to meet.
So we open the books, and check up
the past, no more forced balance, this
is the last.
Each item is checked, each page must
be clean, it's our passport, you know,
to our Builder Supreme.
So when I am through with this Old
House of Clay, just box it up and
lay it away,
For the Builder has promised, when
this one is spent,
To have one all ready from the timber
I have sent, while I lived in this one.
Now if it's built poorly, well then 'tis
our loss, 'cause it's made of material
we send across.
You ask what material is best to select.
'Twas told you long since by the Great
"A New Commandment I give unto
you, that ye love one another as I
have loved you."
So the finest material to send up above
Is, pure straight-grained timber, of
- Author unknown.
This poem was found in Doris' papers by her daughter Janice. It was a old clipping turning brown from age and was not clearly identified. Underneath the title was the parenthetical phrase, "Recited by Mrs. Viau at the state convention." On the reverse of the clipping was some indication that it came from a very old Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) publication. Also on the back, there was some mention of the "subscription price" being 35 cents, so this was undoubtedly old.
Janice felt that this poem reflected Doris's sentiments and many aspects of her long life. Janice checked with other members of the family and all agreed that this sounded like Mom. So, most appropriately and most touchingly, Janice read this at "Mom's" funeral service on Monday, 25 November 2002.
[A later search of the Internet found this very similar poem entitled "My Old House" with the author given as George Hogan. This was on "The Yesterdays of Hamilton County., Illinois" web page. Another, even more similar, can be found as "This Old Clay House" and author unknown at this "A Gift of Poetry" site.]
To Doris' photo album Early Years To Doris's photo album Later Years