Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, IFFLEY, by ROBERT PETER TRISTRAM COFFIN

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IFFLEY, by            
First Line: It is a village off the road
Last Line: With morning and the stars.

It is a village off the road
That goes to wealth and places
Where men have plenty in their minds
And famine in their faces,

Iffley Church speaks out the hours
With a silver bell,
Sunrise, weddings, new-blown babes,
And not a word of hell.

The Iffley rector has a house
Which asks all beauty in;
His garden is so full of bloom
There is no room for Sin.

Tea and talk and hollyhocks,
A lonely, lordly baker
Who shapes the village thews and brawn
And feels like God the Maker.

Pewter pots of ale and men
Who take God's time to think
Till Wisdom comes into the inn
And joins them in their drink.

Fathers of twelve stone and more
With poppies for their cheeks,
Boys who grow the while you look
And burst their woolsey breeks.

Women stiff as ancient queens
In clean, cheap calico,
Bees, and straight young poplar-trees
To teach men how to grow.

Honey-jars and candle-light,
Rose-bushes that friended
Sires who have gone to rest
With their sweet soil blended.

Homely hearths and simple crocks,
Plants at casement bars.
Cities ruin; these abide
With morning and the stars.

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