Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.

Great Bealings


By Bernard Barton (1784–1849)

In Great Bealings Churchyard

BEAR witness, many a loved and lovely scene

Which I no more may visit, are ye not

Thus still my own? Thy groves of shady green,

Sweet Gosfield! or thou, wild, romantic spot!

Where by gray craggy cliff, and lonely grot,

The shallow Dove rolls o’er his rocky bed:

You still remain as fresh and unforgot

As if but yesterday mine eyes had fed

Upon your charms; and yet months, years, since then have sped

Their silent course. And thus it ought to be,

Should I sojourn far hence in distant years,

Thou lovely dwelling of the dead! with thee:

For there is much about thee that endears

Thy peaceful landscape; much the heart reveres,

Much that it loves, and all it could desire

In meditation’s haunt, when hopes and fears

Have been too busy, and we would retire

Even from ourselves awhile, yet of ourselves inquire.

Then art thou such a spot as man might choose

For still communion: all around is sweet

And calm and soothing; when the light breeze wooes

The lofty limes that shadow thy retreat,

Whose interlacing branches, as they meet,

O’ertop and almost hide the edifice

They beautify; no sound, except the bleat

Of innocent lambs, or notes which speak the bliss

Of happy birds unseen. What could a hermit miss?