In A Country Church by R. S. Thomas

To one kneeling down no word came,

Only the wind’s song, saddening the lips

Of the grave saints, rigid in glass;

Or the dry whisper of unseen wings,

Bats not angels, in the high roof.

 

Was he balked by the silence? He kneeled long,

And saw love in a dark crown

Of thorns blazing, and a winter tree

Golden with fruit of a man’s body.

 

by R. S. Thomas

From Song At The Year’s Turning (1955)

The Village by R. S. Thomas

Scarcely a street, too few houses

To merit the title; just a way between

The one tavern and the one shop

That leads nowhere and fails at the top

Of the short hill, eaten away

By long erosion of the green tide

Of grass creeping perpetually nearer

This last outpost of time past.

 

So little happens; the black dog

Cracking his fleas in the hot sun

Is history. Yet the girl who crosses

From door to door moves to a scale

Beyond the bland day’s two dimensions.

 

Stay, then, village, for round you spins

On slow axis a world as vast

And meaningful as any poised

By great Plato’s solitary mind.

 

by R. S. Thomas

from Song At The Year’s Turning (1955)