The old chapel on the hillside
Had stood there many years,
Once a joyful place of worship,
Now a place of tears.
No one sure when it was built,
Its cornerstone eroded,
But it was there before the war,
As most old-timers noted.
Few people go there anymore,
Since it's off the beaten track,
Good for weekend hikes and picnics,
And moonlit trysts and things like that. 
The views from there, spectacular,
Lush, green valleys on one side,
On the other, lofty mountain peaks,
Grandeur that cannot hide.

A simple little structure,
Overwhelmed with ambiance,
Almost swallowed up by nature,
In its abandoned circumstance.
A quiet, vacant place,
In total disrepair,
But with a presence of its own,
Truly quite beyond compare.
Wild vines and climbing roses
Upon its leaning walls,
Shrubs and bushes serve as baffles
Against the night-owls lonely calls.
Bare windows let soft breezes through,
That scatter prancing leaves,
Which scurry up and down the aisles,
Without so much as 'if you please.'

And through the empty belfry,
Gust stronger, bolder winds,
Which in the vestry down below,
Take on the tones of somber hymns.
The chapel bell, replaced by birdsongs,
Of the very sweetest kind,
Better than a full-fledged choir,
Or any human so inclined.
In high niches and recesses
Nest families of doves,
Cooing with soft messages,
And  gentle sounds of love.
But note, the chapel's not forsaken,
Though long ago, its people went,
No, indeed, it still is occupied,
By a most distinguished Resident.

I think that God is happy
Within that hillside perch,
And is more apt to be there
Than in some more elaborate church.
True, its parishioners are gone,
And it's slowly crumbling in the air,
But when the little chapel goes,
God will still be there.
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright March 2003