Sunday, January 5, 2014

"Dr. Edwin P. Stevens" & "Rev. Dr. Charles V. Grismer" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1926)

                Honoring Retired Methodist Preacher

        The following sonnets have been written by the Rev. Joseph C. Booth, pastor of the Methodist church in Elizabethtown, 1895-1898, in honor of two prominent retired preachers of the Troy Conference, Rev. Dr. C. V. Grismer of Delmar, N. Y., and Rev. Dr. E. P. Stevens of Saratoga Springs, N. Y., the latter having been pastor of the Methodist church in Plattsburg back in 1893 and 1894. Both were former presiding elders, now called district superintendents. Both have exercised their splendid gifts in commendable uplift work and it is proper that they have "the flowers" while here on earth.

                Dr. Edwin P. Stevens

Dear Doctor Stevens: Please accept, from me,

        This sonnet-letter I've so long delayed;

        At last I have the pressing Muse obeyed

And set my captive thoughts at liberty.

Yours was a grand, successful minister;

        With logic, fired with eloquence, you swayed.

        Your auditors, your leadership displayed

Your wisdom, tact and Christian charity.

And now, at Autumn-time, your harvest field

        Reveals the culture of your soul and mind;

Your former labors now rich fruitage yield

        In churches that your glad successors find;

May eventide prolong its mellowing ray

And make your life's December bright as May!

                Rev. Dr. Charles V. Grismer

Let me bestow the honors that are due

        To Doctor Grismer—my unfailing friend,

        In whom great qualities of manhood blend

In rich profusion. Ah, how well I knew

Him as Presiding Elder, as he grew

        In my affections. Wise to comprehend

        All questions that arose and to extend

His knowledge from the pulpit to the pew.

An able preacher, meek, yet dignified;

        A worthy scholar—humble as a child;

A faithful follower or ready guide—

        By lust of greed or office undefiled;

Now in retirement, free from care or frown,

His blameless life his great achievements crown!

        Brandon, Vt.

The Adirondack Record-Elizabeth Post [Au Sable Forks, NY]. January 28, 1926: 8 col 6.

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