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Stoke Poges Churchyard
This churchyard holds the cell of Thomas Gray
Which visitors come many miles to see,
Then homeward drive along the motorway
And leave the church to charmed tranquillity.
As shade of evening deepens into night,
And with its velvet glove the world enfolds,
Secreted underground the enzymes fight
And life re-groups in many unseen moulds.
No longer ivy-mantled, now the tower
Displays for all to see its flinty frame,
And if the steeple's shorter, still the plougher
Would recognise the place as much the same.
Although the rugged elms have largely paid
The price of Dutch disease, we still can keep
The hope that other rootstock freshly laid
Will soon replace their forebears stately sweep.
Far from the madding crowd's frenetic life,
The calm of old Stoke Poges, let us pray,
Will carry on regardless of all strife
And quietly grace the name of Thomas Gray.