Our fathers, where are they,
Who here in ancient time
Came with the faltering steps of age,
Or manhood's glorious prime?
Oh! some in yonder peaceful tombs
Their long, last sabbath keep,
Where from the idle, hurrying throng
The mourner turns to weep.
Along these solemn aisles
Where floats the song of praise,
Do not their lingering spirits hear
Their old and cherished lays?
And when the fervent voice of prayer
To God for favor calls,
Oh! blend they not their spirit tones
That "talk along the walls"?
Their children, where are they,
Who now their footsteps tread?
Walk they in bonds of love and peace,
To join the pious dead?
Come blooming youth, come reverend age,
While yet your years revolve,
And take, within this holy fane,
The high and pure resolve.
God of our fathers, hear
The solemn vows we pay,
And let celestial breathings move
Upon our souls to-day!
Oh, may the tie we consecrate,
Thy pledge of favor prove!
Shed here thy warm, benignant beams
Of everlasting love.
Sears married later that year, left the Wayland church, then returned and spent seventeen years there. He eventually went into semi-retirement to focus on his writing and editorial work. He returned to the pulpit after the Civil War, this time in nearby Weston, Massachusetts, and there remained until his death.