The Leveled Churchyard
Thomas Hardy (1882)
‘O Passenger, pray list and catch
Our sighs and piteous groans,
Half stifled in this jumbled patch
Of wretched memorial stones!
‘We late-lamented, rested here,
Are mixed to human jam,
And each to each exclaims in fear,
“I know not what I am!”
‘The wicked people have annexed
The verses on the good;
A roaring drunkard sports the text
Teetotal Tommy should!
‘Where we are huddled none can trace,
And if our names remain,
They pave some path or porch or place
Where we have never lain!
‘Here’s not a modest maiden elf
But dreads the final Trumpet,
Lest half of her should rise herself,
And half some sturdy strumpet!
‘From restorations of Thy fane,
From smoothing of Thy sward,
From zealous Churchmen’s pick and plane
Deliver us O Lord! Amen.’