This poem was written for the occasion of the unveiling of a tablet to the Rev. Dr. Buick in Cuningham Memorial and coincided with the installation of electric light in the building. The time was April 1901 and the author of the poem was a member of the congregation.
Toll, toll the bell, let there be light
Unveil the favoured brass,
And read us from its lettered scroll
The words that as the seasons pass
Shall keep in our remembrance long
The name and fame of him who lies,
His life’s work done; in sacred ground
Beneath the distant Syrian skies.
Out went he at the Church’s call
Like Abraham; knowing not the way
He trod Jerusalem’s hallowed streets
He slept with him, ‘twas cloudless day.
With us it was poignant grief and pain
Dark night, hot tears, a flock bereft
Of shepherd dear, by sudden stroke
An oak by lightning sharply cleft.
For all in all, he was a man,
A man of culture highly wrought,
A Christian poet who could wield
Choice words in lines of noble thought.
An earnest preacher who at will
Deep Gospel truths could well unfold,
Could chide the careless child of sin
And comfort sorrow’s stricken fold.
A man of science, who could draw
High lessons from the buried past,
Who looked abroad with seeing eye
And saw a little in the vast
And wondrous works of Him who made
All things, the little and the great,
While like an open book he scanned
The ways of men in Church and State.
A true born patriot who had read
His country’s story, in whose breast
A mingled pride and sorrow burned
For this green island of the west.
A man of high repute and just,
A generous friend, a faithful guide,
Beloved at home, and when abroad
Borne high on honour’s swelling tide.
Then let us keep his memory green
In this dear land, whose praise he sung
Round these grey walls, where year by year
His voice with pleasing accents rung.
That while the Maine runs to the sea
And this tall spire with Sabbath bell
Calls worshippers from hill and lea
To hear another preacher tell.
Of him who once for sinners died;
The name of Buick may remain
An incense sweet, a power for good,
An inspiration to attain
To higher spheres of useful life,
To wider views of God’s good word
To virtues e’re the hosts of death
Their battle standards have unfurled.