Benenden Churchyard

Benenden Churchyard

Ivy and moss our names depose
Where bell and passing bell
Long vigil keep :
Here rest we old , secure in homely haven
We young now ageless in the youth of heaven :
Here we who fought for Kent with bat and ball ,
And we , war’s pawns , strangers and loved at peace
Together sleep .

Now in the misty autumn dawn
A poet and his love
Walk sorrowing here :
He , sure alone of life’s felicity
Mourns not for us , but for mortality ;
For us who moulder and were once alive ,
She , because life most sweet so soon is done
Lets fall a tear .

To damp recesses creep the toads ,
From earth to heaven a lark
Springs light as breath :
The higher yet , of mercy infinite ,
Succour these souls here lingering desolate ,
For round our stones will bramble fingers lurk
The snatching fears , the choking platitudes
That wait on death .

16 October 1953

Bereaved

Bereaved

What was that eager one in white ,
Who walked beside thee day and night ?
My sleep is broken .
He would not brook that I should be
One poor half-hour alone with thee —
My dream is spoken .

I saw thee once with careless grace
Lie reading in a sunny place :
My sleep is broken .
Between us then , as I adored ,
There fell the shadow of his sword —
My dream is spoken .

Last night I passed upon the stair
Two presences with shining hair :
My sleep is broken .
I knew not then and know not now
Which was thy guardian , which wast thou —
My dream is spoken .

Received October 10th 1953