John Betjeman

An Archaeological Picnic

In this high pasturage, this Blunden time,
    With Lady's Finger, Smokewort, Lovers' Loss,
And lin-lan-lone a Tennysonian chime
    Stirring the sorrel and the gold-starred moss,
    Cool is the chancel, bright the altar cross.

Drink, Mary, drink your fizzy lemonade
    And leave the king-cups; take your grey felt hat;
Here, where the low-side window lends a shade,
    There, where the key lies underneath the mat,
    The rude forefathers of the hamlet sat.

Sweet smell of cerements and of cold wet stones,
    Hassock and cassock, paraffin and pew;
Green in a light which that sublime Burne-Jones
    White-hot and wondering from the glass-kiln drew,
    Gleams and re-gleams this Trans arcade anew.

So stand you waiting, freckled innocence!
    For me the squinch and squint and Trans arcade;
For you, where meadow grass is evidence,
    With flattened pattern, of our picnic made,
    One bottle more of fizzy lemonade.