John Kenyon

(1784-1856 / Jamaica)

Written In A Country Churchyard - Poem by John Kenyon

Oh! how I hate the cumbrous pride
Of plume and pall and scutcheon'd hearse,
And all the rank and ready tide
Of venal prose and lying verse.
Nor in the city's churchyard, rife
With close compacted crowds of dead,
And clogged with thoughts of stir and strife,
Would I consent to lay my head
But where 'mid Quantock's waving scene
Of brow and glen, some village church
From forth the coppice clustering green
Projects its grey and simple porch;

From whose worn seat the eye may view
Brown upland slope and cattled plain,
And, farther still, the summits blue
Of hills that skirt the channell'd main;
There, Nea, in some quiet nook,
May we our place of resting have,
And let a broad majestic oak
Wave its green branches near the grave.
No costly stone for us be planned
With palisading stern and high,
As if from truth's indignant hand
To fence foul flattery's graven lie;
But o'er the turf let sun and air
And dew their blessed influence fling,
And rosy children gather there
The earliest violets of the spring;
There let the cuckoo's oft-told tale
Be heard at flush of morning light;
And there the pensive nightingale
Chaunt requiem half the summer night.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010

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