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Sonnet Written in Sweffling Churchyard

by John Cowper Powys
There is a spirit in these ancient stones,
These grassy mounds and immemorial trees
That scarse seems conscious of the passing breeze
So deep they brood above the sleeping bones
Of happy mortals eased of toilsome breath,
A power not alien to this gentle vale,
Not alien to this quiet folk that fail
In no observance due to life or death
The spirit and the power of lives that pass
Their labours ended, and their laughter fled,
To mingle with the dust their hands have tilled,
To take their rest beneath the silent grass
Their fathers planted, and their sons shall tread,
The measure of man's destiny fulfiled.
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