Church in evening May
The evening comes down lately in May,
the church bell from the tower rings,
the train rattles through the lanes
of Dublin housing hedgerows.
The grounds are tidy, flagpoles white,
the fuschia flowers again,
the priestly Sunday job is done
this eremitical seal.
The morning bell like lauds again,
awake the slumbering souls.
And sainters for the triduum comes
the routine rush staccato
of novena repetition.
The graveside down the road is full,
the coffins bakers dozen,
the wedding bells are ringing out,
the child his chrism head
and villagers are
Many the parson, manse and bell
is quiet in this age.
The footballers from College school
kick up against the wall, the ball,
in modern meditation.
The Beechwood Bell rings now again
since soldiers fell at Somme,
post office burned, and shots
were heard, just down the local road.
Centenary, look back, that time,
though customs change,
the bell is ringing onward.
For faith and faithless plod,
and ruminate in hope.
Bernard Kennedy's Other Poems
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