Brassie and I set out one sunny afternoon last week, to savour the
fresh air and to visit Steep Church with its memorial windows to Edward
Thomas, the poet.
Imagine our shock at finding one of the exquisite little panes shattered
by vandals-apparently some time ago.
It made me return to my online file and I managed to find a poem
written about these works of art several Springs ago.
Let me share it with you:
ALL SAINTS’ CHURCH, STEEP-GOOD FRIDAY
It is steep, but we find it after all
with memorial tablet on the wall,
listing old choirboys – Cranstone, Applebee,
whose treble piping trills continually
in shrill birdsong. Death’s head kneelers proclaim
memento mori. We don’t forget name,
or words from the believer whose etched glass
invites us to see less darkly, to pass
through the pain, through the pane, beyond the moss
of an Easter garden, with central cross,
till our gaze follows glaze to Downs and sky,
clouded momentarily by the sigh
of some Hampshire widow, for whom the coat
on washing line; the unsmoked pipe denote
an absent man and yet a spirit nigh,
the daffodils bugling in Reveille.