The Old Clay House


When I am through with this old

    Clay House of mine

When no more guide lights through the

    windows shine,

Just box it up and lay it away, with 

    the other clay houses of yesterday.

And, my friends, do try if you can to 

    forgive the wrongs,

Since first I began to live in this house.

Bury deep and forget, I want to be 

    square and out of your debt,

When I meet the Great Architect


Face to Face, I want to be clean.

Of course I know it's too late to mend,

    a bad builded house

When we come to the end, but you who

    are building just look over mine,

And make your alterations while there

    is yet time.

Study carefully the plans, no tears

    should be shed, it's like any

Old house when the tenant has fled.

I've lived in this house many days all

    alone, just waiting, and 

Oh, how I long to go home.

Please don't misunderstand me, This

    old World's divine,

With its love, birds, flowers and glorious


It's a wonderful place and a wonderful 

    plan, and a wonderful, wonderful

    gift to man,

But somehow I feel, when the Circle's 


There are loved ones across we are 

    anxious to meet.

So we open the books, and check up

    the past, no more forced balance, this

    is the last.

Each item is checked, each page must 

    be clean, it's our passport, you know, 

    to our Builder Supreme.

So when I am through with this Old 

    House of Clay, just box it up and

    lay it away,

For the Builder has promised, when

    this one is spent,

To have one all ready from the timber

    I have sent, while I lived in this one.

Now if it's built poorly, well then 'tis

    our loss, 'cause it's made of material

    we send across.

You ask what material is best to select.

'Twas told you long since by the Great


"A New Commandment I give unto

    you, that ye love one another as I 

    have loved you."

So the finest material to send up above

Is, pure straight-grained timber, of

    brotherly love.

                           - Author unknown.


    This poem was found in Doris' papers by her daughter Janice.  It was a old clipping turning brown from age and was not clearly identified.  Underneath the title was the parenthetical phrase, "Recited by Mrs. Viau at the state convention."  On the reverse of the clipping was some indication that it came from a very old Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) publication.  Also on the back, there was some mention of the "subscription price" being 35 cents, so this was undoubtedly old.

   Janice felt that this poem reflected Doris's sentiments and many aspects of her long life.  Janice checked with other members of the family and all agreed that this sounded like Mom.  So, most appropriately and most touchingly, Janice read this at "Mom's" funeral service on Monday, 25 November 2002.


[A later search of the Internet found this very similar poem entitled "My Old House" with the author given as George Hogan. This was on "The Yesterdays of Hamilton County., Illinois" web page.  Another, even more similar, can be found as "This Old Clay House" and author unknown at this "A Gift of Poetry" site.]

To Doris' photo album Early Years            To Doris's photo album Later Years

Her Obituaries