POETRY Elegy in a Kensington Churchyard ... Muriel SPARK
“Elegy in a Kensington Churchyard”
From All the Poems by Muriel Spark (Carcanet, 2004)
Lady who lies beneath this stone,
Pupil of Time pragmatical,
Though in a lifetime’s cultivation
You did not blossom, summer shall.
The fierce activity of grass
Assaults a century’s constraint.
Vigour survives the vigorous,
Meek as you were, or proud as paint.
And bares its fist for insurrection
Clenched in the bud; lady who lies
Those leaves will spend in disaffection
Your fond estate and purposes.
Death’s a contagion: spring’s a bright
Green fit; the blight will overcome
The plague that overcame the blight
That laid this lady low and dumb,
And laid a parish on its back
So soon amazed, so long enticed
Into an earthy almanack,
And musters now the spring attack;
Which render passive, latent Christ.