The poem here was copied from a framed document hanging outside the door of Old
Bluff Presbyterian Church near Wade, Cumberland County, N.C.
OLD BLUFF by Melvin G. Hartley 1977
Walk quietly among these generations sleeping on this Holy Bluff;
Touch these ancient trees; read reverently these faded stones;
Then be still, and listen to the faint sounds from the distant past:
carpenters mallet raising this God's house, while we were still under England's yoke;
The first sermon, in heavy Scottish brogue, eighteen full years before we were free;
The horse-drawn carriages and wagons, approaching from every direction for over one hundred and fifty years;
Steeds stepping spiritedly across open fields, carrying your fore-fathers in their tall hats,
and their bonnetted ladies riding side-saddle to worship in this Holy Place.
Listen to the hushed discussions in the church yard on matters of Independence, the Continental Congress, and things of Freedom.
Listen through the open windows to the voices raised in song, down through the ages.
Listen to the cannon booming just across the way there; our people are at war with them-selves;
Listen to the quiet weeping for the men off to wars world-wide, and smaller.
Some of all of them sleep here. Your fathers, and their fathers, and their fathers before them, sleep here.
Your heritage sleeps here.
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