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The Temple Site

By: Ardis E. Parshall - November 03, 2011

The Temple Site

By John A. Lant

A thousand hills o’er Eden’s garden roll,
The Blue flows to Missouri’s golden goal.
No torrent speeds from limpid source,
No rocks retard its dimpled course.
Wooded crest and vale we scan
Awaiting spur from hand of man.
Roadways thread the land about,
Startling steam blast heard throughout.
Electric cars in transit glide
Rounding curve ’long steep hillside.
Surpassing days when saints steadfast,
Gleaned gospel light such things would come to pass.
Here and there a stately homestead reared,
Villas fair dot sites on spaces cleared,
Cottages there on shapely mound,
Garden spots in plenty here abound,
Portending comfort, peace on earth,
May here, anew, have wondrous birth.

. . . . . . . . . .

The Temple site lies mute beneath the sky;
A rising plane, long waiting, wonders why?
The neighboring kine seek pasture and repose,
Why not of such a valued spot dispose?
Wait! – on Independence hillside, grand,
Zion’s Temple of the world will stand!

On visiting the spot, Nov. 24, 1905.

(1905)



4 Comments »

  1. Reading the last line (“on visiting the spot, Nov. 24, 1905″) made all the difference in my impression of this piece. The poem’s meter seems a bit clumsily organized, and the rhymes somewhat pendantic, and so knowing the context makes it a more meaningful read, in my opinion.

    Thanks!

    Comment by David Y. — November 3, 2011 @ 4:23 pm

  2. Yeah, I chose some of these not because they are great works of art (!) but because of their very Mormon character. Can’t you just see the man visiting this spot and deciding that it ought to be worth recording in a memorable way, and struggling to come up with a poem while he’s fighting the cold November wind whipping his paper around?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — November 3, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

  3. Yes, and that’s what makes it more meaningful to me. It’s an act of devotion, really. Kind of like how an earnest, if flawed, musical performance in Sacrament Meeting can be moving.

    Comment by David Y. — November 3, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

  4. I agree completely with David. The meter is a bit jumbled and the bare literary merits are far from unsurpassed, but the meaning of the poem is beautiful, especially in that setting. Considering Lant’s capacity as a poet (his “A Godly People Bless the Earth” seems to me significantly more beautiful as poetry than “The Temple Site”), I can all the better see Lant composing this piece while struggling against a difficult environment and seeing the hope and potentiality beyond it. Thanks for sharing, Ardis!

    Comment by JB — November 3, 2011 @ 5:54 pm

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