Scottish Poetry Selection
- An Old Churchyard

Here is Walter Wingate's description of the peace and tranquillity of an ancient country churchyard.


An Old Churchyard

Great, quiet trees around it sleep
     Till merles have found their evensong:
Old pastures where the grass is deep
     And morning lays the shadows long,
And cattle, gentle-eyed and slow,
Move silent-footed to and fro.

A fair Godís Acre! But to-day
     No sigh disturbs the silence there;
No startled bird suspends its lay
     To listen to the sound of prayer;
And many a year of moss has grown
Above its last memorial stone.

Once from a little hamlet near,
     The round-backed weavers of its past
Would come to leave a brother here
     Whose shuttle then had throbbed its last;
And slow dispersing home, resume
The long-houred patience of the loom.

But there no maid is wooed or wed;
     No mother knits beside the door;
And even this hamlet of their dead
     Has closed its tale for evermore.
Yet sweet the vanished village lies
As if it slept in Paradise.

Meaning of unusual words:
merles=blackbirds

Return to the Index of Walter Wingate Poems or the General Index of Scottish Poetry




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