(The following is a poem by Alan N. Bodle, and is reprinted from “Reflections II”, a collection of local stories available at the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum.)
I stepped from the car in the old hometown
O a Christmas eve of the long ago
Soft through the air the snow came down,
And the street was bright with the Christmas glow.
The lights burned green and blue and red,
Like figments of a fairy dream,
The soft snow yielded to the tread,
And the Christmas spirit reigned supreme.
Sudden along a tranced air
Came stealing a wondrous melody;
Like angel voices calling to prayer
In softest, sweetest harmony.
The clear notes fell in a golden shower,
Like falling stars on a snowy sea,
As the bells of St John’s from their belfry tower
Pealed forth for the nativity.
The lights were flashing all about;
The tinsel sparked through the snow.
And the soft, sweet voice of the chimes rang out
Like the angel chorus of long ago.
Many a grave has been made since then,
And dampened by showers of bitter tears;
And an endless procession of things and men
Have drifted by on the tide of the years.
But still when the Christmas candles glow,
And the earth her snowy mantle dons;
My thoughts drift back to the long ago,
And memory rings with the Chimes of St John’s.