With thanks to Denise Emmott for providing the transcription of Robert Heaton's book "Poems".



Robert Heaton


Published by Dixon and Stell,
Printers Crosshills


Robert Heaton, was born on the 19th March, 1843, at Got Hill, Sutton.  Edmond Heaton, the father, was a hand-comber, and he subsequently followed the occupation of fence waller.  He died in the sixties, at the comparatively early age of fifty.  His wife, Martha Heaton, lived with her son Bob at Delph Cottage, (where the father and mother had "set up" shortly after their marriage) until her death, at the age of eighty-four, on the 15th April, 1907, full of years, and full of honour, and greatly respected among her neighbours. Since then Bob has lived a life of single blessedness at his beloved Delph Cottage, to which, and to the charming scenery around, he is greatly attached.

Bob, being the eldest of a family of six, had, early in life, to act in locum parentis. He is of a long-lived strain, for not only did his mother live to be eighty-four, but an aunt of his, still alive in Leeds, is ninety-eight years old.

At the age of twenty, or even earlier, Bob began to write verses.

As regards education, the author of these poems says, "Aw nivver hed a day's schooilin' i' mi life, nobbut at t' Sunday Schooil. An' aw wor nivver big enough to goa ti t' miln w'ol aw wor nearly twelve year owd. When they wer big enough, they wer owd enough, I' them days."

He commenced to work as a spinner at Messrs. Bairstow's earning 1/3 week during the first twelve months, and afterwards he became a weaver there. About forty years ago he went to work at Airedale Mills, Kildwick, crossing day by day the picturesque old bridge that spans the Aire immediately in front of the old "Lang Kirk o' Craven."

Later, he found employment at Eldwick, lodging with a son of Ben Preston, the dialect poet, and drank in inspiration not only from Ben but also from John Nicholson, the prince of Airedale poets, who was really an Eldwicker. Abram Holroyd, of Saltaire, also had his influence in the development of Bob's genius and enthusiasm.

It may be mentioned that Mrs. Duckett, of Greenhill, Crosshills, who was his Sunday School teacher, had a wonderful influence in moulding the character of those with whom she came in contact. Not least among these is our friend the poet, and he always speaks of her with reverence and respect.

After leaving Eldwick, Bob worked for some time at Keighley, within easy reach of Newsholme and Mawkin Brig.

In front of his door at Delph Cottage is delightful Sutton Clough, with its Gaiter Stone far up on the hill side. Often has Bob gone there to court the muses and gather inspiration and his two poems named after them are his best.

There are many things one would like to mention in a little note of this nature - his intimacy with Ben Preston - his many friends who have gathered around his hearth and received fine entertainment there - his stories and smart bits of repartee - and his early recollections of many local "characters".

Bob has lived close to nature from childhood, and his communings with her have given him untold pleasure. It might well be said of him, as was said of Agassiz, the great geologist, by Longfellow-

"And Nature, the old Nurse, took
The child upon her knee,
Saying, here is a story-book
Thy Father hath written for thee."

Jonas Bradley
30th November, 1916.


Author's Note.

THE Author wishes to express his gratitude to the Chairman and Members of the Committee who undertook the selection and publication of his verses. Had he been left to himself, they would never have been published in a collected form; and, as the work of editing and illustrating has been undertaken by willing helpers, he wishes hereby to put on record his indebted-ness to them-one and all.

30th November, 1916.

Bob Heaton, Delph Cottage


Good owd Bob, o' Sutton Clough
Friends wi fowk both fine and rough-
Homely, gradely, jovial, prim,
Nowt there seems to fluster him;
Little though his build may be,
Yet he's gam' for seventy-three.

Though still single - yet 'tis sed,
 Love for all keeps him unwed;
 Matrimony's varry risky;
 Whilst, for age, he's fairly frisky;
Still he's happy bi hissen,
For he's one o' nature's men.

July 4th, 1916



The lines were prompted by the reading of the works of the Brontės.

Sweet little moorland town,
Three women brought thee great renown:
Three wonderful women who loved to tread
Thy lonely moors;
Three glorious women, whose fame hath spread
To far-distant shores;
Whose books are by the million read;
And reading, stores.

Sweet thoughts of thee, dear moorland town,
Sweet little moorland town:
Rich and great thy name hath grown
Through all the reading world;
Pilgrims from afar have come
To gaze on the Brontės moorland home,
To gaze on the hills where they loved to roam,
And to kneel at the shrine where they suffered and
And were laid to rest on that bleak hillside.

Poor motherless girls, so gifted and sad,
With a father half blind, and a brother gone mad
With delirium and drink
How he died in their arms on that bright Sabbath
How their hearts at the sight with deep anguish
were torn;
How their mem'ries would picture that brother
As he struggling, died,
And was borne to this grave on that lone hillside.
*24thSeptember, 1848

With sorrow we think of that once gifted boy;
How he might have become the pride and the joy
Of that motherless home;
How he stole from the house when they thought
him in bed,
And from that side door he eagerly sped
Direct to the "Bull," to inflame his young head,
And amuse the whole house with his learning and
And they still show with pride where his always
would sit.

To the shrine of the Brontės the strangers will
Still reverently stand by the side of their tomb;
Still reverently look on the old Yorkshire home,
And the moorlands beyond.
To that famed Harbour Spring and the waterfalls
How they loved these bare hills at all times of the
How these scenes have become to all Yorkshire-
men dear,
And they name of renown,
Thou sweet moorland town.

Sutton Fountain

I would sooner cross a mountain,
Than face that blooming fountain,
When "Parliament" is sitting.

If I could only lift it,
I would middling sharply shift it:
I would have a moonlight flitting.

Whenever I go past it,
I feel to say "Oh, blast it!"
I wish they were at Hummer.

They gape, and stare, and watch you,
As if they're going to catch you,
To give you a regular pummer.

There are two or three old faces
That seem to show some traces
Of Darwin's evolution;

He said we sprang from monkeys:-
I think some spring from donkeys, -
That's really my solution.

At the very next town's meeting,
I'll propose we buy some sheeting
To fence the gossips round.

It's really terrifying
The way they stand there spying,
As if they owned the ground.

Ellis Duckworth


Ellis was one of Bob's dearest friends.  Living in Keighley, he for many years found a Sunday afternoon's walk over by Sutton Stoop most invigorating, and the companionship of the little symposiums at Delph Cottage most entertaining. His death a couple of years ago was a keen loss to Bob.

Every one of his friends has fretted,
Like a child for the loss of its mother;
Every one of his friends was indebted
For the cultured example he set as a brother.

The cultured example we all did admire;
Devoid of all frivolous expressions and pride;
An example to which we would gladly aspire;
But our friendship was shattered with grief
when he died.

Shattered with grief, unspeakable grief,
Grief far beyond the power of speech;
Submission and sympathy bring no relief
To sorrowing hearts beyond sympathy's reach.
A fatherless home, a friend missed by friends,
Now lost to us all, irreparably lost;
We shall sorrow for him till the day that life ends,
For the sudden bereavement, and pain that it

Strikes, Sutton.

High on the hills, it is grand to be there,
With the fine open view, and the sweet morning
It braces the nerves, gives a glow to the cheek,
And with plenty to read, one can spend a whole

It gives one a relish for a hearty good meal,
And when asked by a friend "How d'you feel?"
You say "champion, lad, I've been up at Strikes,
And I like it far better than whisking on bikes!"

When you're out of the mill, there's nothing instils
A healthier spirit than out on the hills;
Just try it, old chum, and have a walk round:
There's plenty to see, and plenty of ground.

And if I am right in what I declare,
There's nothing so good as a breath of fresh air,
It makes one look sweet, and fit to be kissed;
Then make up your mind that no kisses are missed.

Mrs. George Town.


Mrs. Town was an accomplished Australian lady, she was bright, vivacious, fond of books, and a rare conversationalist. Mr Heaton felt her loss very keenly, and these line are his tribute to her memory.

SHE had a grace which few possess,
A reverence for all mankind:
Sympathy born of gentleness,
A nature most refined.

For her sunny home she felt a smart,
As she thought of the dear ones there;
That home was shrined in her inmost heart,
When she lisped her childhood's prayer.

She sleeps beside the great highway,
Where the surging crowds pass by:
Tenderly dressed in her place of rest,
Where the waving poplars sigh.

Buttercups and Daisies.

I love them much, those homely flowers,
They lie so near my heart,
And when I think of the bright days gone,
Sometimes a tear will start.

They pleased me in my earliest years;
How little then I knew;
I ran to give my father some,
I thought they'd please him, too.

Oh! 'twas indeed a childish thought,
Life's cares come not in infant hours,
For what I wished, or cared for, most
Were a book, and a bunch of flowers.

A Walk on the Moor.

I'm up to the knees in the heather,
On the top of a Yorkshire Moor;
And, to-day, it is glorious weather,
And I pray we may have some more.

The scent of the heather is bonny,
And I feel it is good to be here:
The air is as sweet as the honey
That bees are gathering near.

Gaiter Stone, Sutton Clough.

THE Clough hath ever a charm for me,
Something to please I always find,
Something sublime I always see,
To cheer and soothe the mind;

There, 'neath that overhanging rock,
What happy hours long since I had,
Whilst pondering deep some wondrous book,
When I was but a wayward lad.

And years have come, and years have gone,
Gone all their changing scenes away:
And yet, beneath this grey old stone,
I love to rest at close of day.

Lines to a Snowdrop.

Bob had been nursing his aged mother very lovingly for many weeks, and one day, while she was resting, he slipped quietly out.  The first thing to catch his eye was a solitary snowdrop, and the sight so touched him, that he sat down and wrote these charming lines.

I KNEEL to touch my lips with thine,
Angel of spring!
Now we know that the sun will shine,
And the birds will sing:
For that sweet message is divine
Which thou dost bring.

Graceful and fair I leave thee here,
Dear little thing!
Some other tear-dimmed eyes to cheer,
Angel of spring!
Above all flowers to me thou'rt dear –
Thy praise I sing.

The rose may be the queen of flowers,
But can she brave
The stormy blasts and piercing showers
That round thee rave?
Ah, no 'tis only sunny hours
Which she doth crave.

But thy sweet presence pleaseth us.
In frost and snow:
Telling that spring-time neareth us,
And the warm glow
Of summer days that pleaseth us,
When soft winds blow.

On Receipt of a Photo.

May thy face always shine, for picturing mine,
As I lean on that gate, in company like thine;
May we all meet again, and have many a ramble,
Seeing beauty all round-in even a bramble;
May that dog have its place, with its venerable
In Nicholas's loving and lasting embrace.

Grace before Meat.

HAWORTH, 1916.

May the pie you're having be a good one,
With potatoes and meat soaked in gravy;
The crust nicely browned, and a light one,
Served by the Queen of the house – not slavey.

May each rambler be there to enjoy it,
And each one quite cheerful and gay;
Each one doing his best to make it
A really memorable day.

For Haworth's the shrine of the Brontės,
And pilgrims have crossed the wide sea,
To pay homage to those sad, lonely girls,
And their bleak moorland home to see.

The ramblers are right in their wand'rings,
As they trace the old tracks up the moor:
For the scent of the heather in autumn
Is the scent we all should adore.

Mawkin Bridge, Slippery Ford

A romantic spot at the foot of White Hill. Just below the Bridge there is a lovely waterfall, while above, the Dene becomes more of a wild moorland gorge.

'Tis a beauty-spot amid the hills,
High up where the air is sweet,
Away from the smoke of the noisy mills,
Away from the busy street.

'Tis a lovely spot to linger awhile,
When the sunset glow is there;
When the autumn woods in their beauty smile,
Ere winter has laid them bare.

'Tis a charming spot for a morning stroll,
When the heather is in bloom,
And the scene entrances your heart and soul,
And dispels their transient gloom.

I adore the spot, and you, my friends,
All speak with accord-
The finest walk o'er all the hill, wends
Round by Slippery Ford.

Lines on the Bronte Museum

How eagerly we always gaze
On objects such as these,
On relics rare of other days;
What multitudes they please.

What eager eyes have feasted here,
On treasurers good to see;
Mementoes of a home once dear-
As homes should always be.

These relics are more precious far
Than those from other lands;
We prize them not for what they are-
But the touch of vanished hands.

The home of which they formed a part,
Was used by them with tender care:
A home enshrined in the English heart,
To live for ever through "Jane Eyre."

These relics now so proudly shown,
Delight the curious eye;
In plaintive language all their own,
They tell of days gone by.

The Rustic Brothers

These were Alfred Clough (now dead) and his brother Jack. Both were lovers of nature and of a garden, and often have they gladdened the heart of bob and his aged mother when they called in with a handful of flowers.

THEY are fine young fellows, and the pride of the town,
Well bred, and well fed, and sufficiently grown
To enjoy a good fight.
They are shy with the girls, but otherwise kind,
They are both well developed, and both have a mind
To do what is right.

They are lovers of nature, and fond of a book,
But, between you and me, they both of them smoke;
What say you to that?
Yet their pleasantest hours, I know they will say,
Are spend amongst flowers at the close of the day;
What say you to that?

Their hut in the garden is known far and wide,
And in fine summer weather, they nearly reside
In this den build of wood.
Their friends from afar come over the hills;
They say that the walk is better than pill,
And does far more good.

With health and strength on a fine summer's day,
It is pleasant to roam o'er the hills far away,
So Keighley folk say,
With health and strength, and friend to your mind
One can walk, laugh, and talk, and throw care to
the wind,
So other folk say.

Now these two rustic brothers have many good
They certainly not afraid of their joints,
And that's a good job;
For lots of their flowers have found their way here,
And books and flowers are certain to cheer
My mother and Rob.

Nicholson's Rock, Eldwick

If the visitor follows the Eldwick Beck up the valley beyond Shipley Glen and Eldwick village, he will come to an overhanging rock, not far from Graincliffe reservoir. Here Nicholson, "the Prince of Airedale Poets," used to repair on summer evenings, and commune with nature.

IN the gloaming of an autumn day,
When eventide so softly falls,
When daylight gently fades away,
And memory some loved scene recalls-

Such was the hour we chose to roam
Around old Eldwick's hallowed shrine;
Where Nicholson was wont to come
To muse, and gaze on scenes sublime.

Here on this rock with tome in hand,
At close of day he gladly came;
And sure it is both meet and grand,
That here he, too should carve his name.

O Nicholson! dear Eldwick boy,
Thou here didst find a sweet retreat;
Thou here didst have unbounded joy
With books, on this thy favourite seat.

The hills around are wild and grand,
Where thou in youth did'st love to roam;
Thy native hills, how fine they stand
Around they boyhood's peaceful home!

And on these scenes they heart was bent.
When manhood brought thee well-earned
And on these scenes they heart was bent,
When death to thee so swiftly came.

O Nicholson! thine end was sad,
In fiercest mood death came to thee:
Came when thy heart was wondrous glad,
On thy way to these hills, old Eldwick to

My Friend

Lines sent to Australia, with leaves dried and pressed, to scatter on the grave of my dear friend, John Earnshaw, who went from Sutton in 1863.

Go scatter these leave o'er the grave my friend,
These poor faded leaves which in sorrow I send;
Go kneel at this grave and bedew it with tears,
For our friendship was sweet in those far-off years.

I fain would have gazed on those features once
That fine handsome face which I looked on of yore;
I fain would have gasped his warm hand once
But alas! my fond hopes I have cherished in vain.

And now he is dead; and I never shall see
The place where he sleeps o'er the dark sobbing
How few there are left, the friends of my youth,
"Our days are as grass," is a solemn truth.

And now ye have laid him to rest far away;
Dear friend of my youth, how I mourn him to-day!
How well I remember the night long ago,
When he bade me "Good-bye!" his heart all

Christmas Morn

A MESSAGE of love to me was borne
By an angel of mercy on Christmas morn:
An angel it was, though in human form,
For her presence was such, it made the heart

The sun never smiled on a face more sweet,
And two finer eye may gaze ne'er did meet;
Her intellect shone so exceedingly fine,
It made her ev'ry expression divine.

May heaven protect her, is the prayer
Of those who are charmed by beauty so rare;
And long may she live to spread sweetness
As an angel of mercy, where troubles abound.

A Warm Buffet

Some years ago, Bob spent a week-end in the Brontė country, staying over-night at Mr. Bradley's. It was cold and wintry on Sunday morning, and Mrs Bradley put a buffet in front of the fire to warm. "Who's that for?" Asked Bob. On being told that it was for Jonas, he made some humorous remark about "pampering." Some months after, Mr Bradley had a serious illness, and when he was convalescent Bob sent him these lines. The reference to the moon is a sly dig at Mr. Bradley's birthplace – Cowling.

If you think a warm buffet will mend you,
Just send us a line by next post,
Then a whole cartload we will send you,
Every buffet as warm as toast.

Is there anything else you can think of,
That will make you walk briskly again-
Any nice cooling beverage to drink of,
Or a big thumping glass of champagne?

It matters not what if it mends you:
Never mind it's half of the moon;
Though I really don't know how you'd eat it
With a knife and fork, or a spoon.

Sutton Clough in Autumn

Go now, ye lovers of the Clough,
And gaze upon its beauty;
Its glorious hues will be enough
To cheer you on to duty.

Go stand on yonder brow, and gaze,
And fill your souls with pleasure;
There's grandeur in these autumn days-
Pictures we love to treasure.

The nut-brown hills, the waterfalls,
The brightly glancing sun;
The owl's weird cry across the wolds,
When autumn day is done

Refulgent now the harvest moon
In silv'ry splendour gleams;
More beauteous than the summer noon
The hour twilight seems.

The outlined hills against the west
Are wondrous to behold;
All nature seems in beauty drest-
The glorious heavens unfold.

Alfred Clough

It is with a very keen sense of loss that Mr. Heaton has written the following verses, in order to keep alive the memory of a friend who did so much to cheer and brighten his solitary life.

FINEST language tells but feebly of his great unsel-
fish heart,
Of his full and gen'rous nature, ready always to
 A kindly word to all;
Oh, the beauty and completeness of his sympa-
thetic life,
Oh, the fragrance and the sweetness left behind,
so free from strife,
So pleasant to recall.

Finest language tells but faintly of his passionate
love of flowers;
Of the grand and graceful handfuls, sent to cheer
in lonely hours
 The sick and aged poor;
Other friends are still around us, yet no one can
take his place;
Such a wealth of genuine kindness always beam-
ing in his face-
We shall meet his like no more.

Finest language is as nothing to express our
 grievous loss;
Life awhile hath lost its brightness since that sha-
dow fell across
The threshold of our home;
Many friends have gone before, but none dearer
than the last;
Can it be that all I ended? Will there be no
meeting, past
The silent tomb?

Kildwick Hall

The Author says: "Kildwick Hall I had always a great admiration for, even in my earliest days, and as I grow older, and see it in varying moods, I like it all the more."

'Tis a feast to mine eyes as I pass that way,
And a peace to my mind as I think of the day
When first it was planned.
It has graced the hill-side for some centuries past,
May it still be preserved, its influence to cast-
Refreshing and grand.

Ennobled by sculpture, by writers enshrined,
Like a fine old picture, 'tis food for the mind,
Like a book richly bound.
The book and its author give the greatest of plea-
Like a find old history, or a real classic treasure,
So rare to be found.

And now that the days are beginning to lengthen,
Just give a trial, your affections to strengthen
Towards what is grand;
The trees and the flowers, you can look on them
You can breathe the pure air, and refreshed by
them be
Able to understand.

Newsholme Dene

"The lines on Newsholme Dene," says our friend, "were written on the occasion of my first visit to that charming spot, and although I have re-visited it many times, it always has the same charm for me."

THE scene seemed nothing wanting,
And the eve was most enchanting,
When first I crossed sweet Newsholme Dene;
Whilst all around me beamed with gladness,
Yet on my soul there fell a sadness,
As if midnight came between:
For I knew that it was madness
To worship any earthly scene.

I lingered near rustic dwelling,
To listen to sweet music swelling
On that holy evening air;
And the voices that were singing
Mingled grand as church bells ringing
Invitations unto prayer;
And I fancied angels bringing
Heaven's richest blessings there.

A little farther on I wandered,
And again I stood and pondered
O'er a tiny rippling stream;
Forget-me-nots half hid the water,
Easter queen ne'er decked her daughter
With lovelier flowers, I ween:
To pluck them seem'd no less than slaughter
For such gems I ne'er had seen.

I sat me down beside the rill,
And gazing around on either hill,
Sweet pensive thoughts my mind did fill:
Such thoughts as come at eventide,
Such thoughts as come when friends have died,
When worldly wrongs are thrown aside.

I half forgot the day was ended,
So sweetly had the twilight blended
With sun's last ling'ring gleam:
Reluctantly I bade adieu
To those flowers of azure hue,
Which graced the banks of that sweet stream.

To the Memory of Burns

WHAT would Scotland be without thee,
And thy "Cotter's Saturday Night"?
Thy grand sweet "Highland Mary,"
With "Annie Laurie" just as bright?

What would Scotland be without thee,
And that little daisy-flower,
Silver dipt, and crimson tipt,
Immortalised among the stour?

What would Scotland be without thee?
Last fond kiss and we sever;
These are links in the golden chain
That all the world can sunder never.

What would Scotland be without thee,
------ Robbed of these thy glorious gems –
Gems whose brilliance cast about thee
Haloes rare as diadems?

Scotland loves her Highland Laddie,
Loves her Ayrshire ploughman well;
Loves that little mountain daisy,
More than words or tongue can tell

The Scholars' Adieu

Lines addressed to a Sunday School teacher, on leaving Sutton, in 1862.

AND now, dear teacher, must we part?
How hard a task to learn!
And must the tear of sorrow start,
To meet a time so stern?

But oh, how can we bear the thought
To hear you bid "adieu"?
To see the vacant place, and not
Be taught again by you.

Yet in remembrance we will keep
The warning you have given;
The words which we have heard you speak-
"Begin this day for heaven."

Your long forbearance and your love
Shall dwell within each heart,
Till we shall meet in heaven above,
Never again to part.

What though on earth we severed be,
Sweet promises are ours:
"I am thy god, I'll be with thee
Through sunshine and through showers."

Then why should nature dread so much
The parting work, "Adieu,"
Since we shall shortly pass the reach
Of all things here below?

And now, dear teacher, ere we part,
Grant us this one request-
Oh, may our peace lie near your heart,
Oh, may we still be blest!

Only a Tramp

This was an experience our friend had one wet Saturday night, when returning from Keighley. A poor, half- starved woman was singing very sweetly, and seemed grateful for any small trifle that was thrown to her "I put down my bundle, "says Bob, and stopped to listen. Her voice was wonderfully sweet, plaintive, and it haunted me all the way home."

IN the deep'ning twilight she sang in the street,
Sang for a morsel of something to eat;
Scantily clad and with cold naked feet;
Only a tramp, yet her voice so sweet.

"Lead, kindly Light," was the song she sang,
Plaintively pleading "Lead Thou me on."
How touchingly fell each word from her tongue,
"O'er crag and torrent till the night is gone."

Poor hear-broken woman, how grateful she bowed
For a poor paltry coin which was thrown from the
Thrown on the pavement by someone too proud
To place in her fingers the small gift bestowed.

Great God of the Universe, what meaneth these
Of heart-breaking anguish, of want, and of tears?
What meaneth this suffering, and dark gloomy
Of pain, and of poverty, and the cold world's

What a tangled affair is this poor human life:
Who can explain all its worry and strife?
Who does not know how it stabs like a knife
To see wealth always feasting, and poverty rife?

Sing on, ye poor outcast, bereft of your share
Of the bread that perisheth, but is wasted else-
The wealthy man's horse, and his dog in its lair,
Are far better nourished-they've enough and to

Ben Preston, Yorkshire Poet

WHEN last we grasped his feeble hand,
"God bless you," he said, "Good-bye, good-bye!"
His fine old face wore a smile so grand,
We were loth to believe his end was nigh.

We were loth to believe we should see him no
Never listen again to his words of advice,
Never hear him defending the cause of the poor,
In language so fervent, pathetic, and wise.

"God bless you," he said as only those can
Whose years have outnumbered their three
score and ten.
He often has mourned o'er the frailties of man,
He would fain have befriended the poorest of

Ah! dear old Ben, we had known him long,
And were always delighted his friendship to
We have gazed on his face when his limbs were
When his children were gathered about his arm-

And now he is gone from the face of the earth,
Yet his memory will live in the days long,
His name be revered in the land of his birth,
For his fine manly life, and the pages he wrote.

Heysham Church

"The lines on Heysham Church would never have been written had not I heart that Mr. Ruskin was staying there. 'Seasame and Lillies' and other books of his I had read, and I was anxious to meet him. On arriving at Heysham, I learn he had left the previous day."

LIKE a glory on its ancient walls
The beauteous autumn sunshine falls
Subdued and grand;
A fairer scene ne'er met my eyes,
Than the scene of the sea, and earth, and skies
Round where I stand.

With a moaning sound the white foam crawls
Up to the beach near the churchyard walls,
Now old and grey.
A fain would linger awhile to behold
A scene that in language cannot be told,
Or painted be.

Alone I walk by the sainted dead-
The fine fair forms that have been laid
By rich and poor;
Each stone its own sad tale reveals-
A feeling of reverence round me steals
As I read them o'er.

As I read them over one by one,
Each telling its tale of some loved one gone,
Some bereft;
And here they are sleeping side by side,
They fear no more earth's stormy tide-
All fears they left.

Into the dim old Church I gaze-
All silent now-no hymn of praise
Floats on my ear;
Yet the stillness and fading light
Thrill my soul with a strange delight,
Which binds me here.

With rev'rence I gaze o'er all the scent,
In this ancient shrine, of a race that hath been
Hardy and strong;
Here they have knelt with waves rolled
When the storm was rough, and the winds
swept by,
And the nights long.

Farewell! See spot, I bid thee adieu;
The daylight departs and warns me, too,
To take my flight;
The shades of night gather over the bay,
To this glorious scene reluctant I say,
"Good-night! Good-night!"

After the War

WHEN silence is here, and the calm comes on,
And the rulers of the world are more sane,
France will then be the mighty tomb
Of the bravest lads that e'er graced a home,
With England bending over her in tears,
And broken-hearted.


Robert Heaton, 1916