A County Church

James Gates Percival

NEAR Moskva’s stream, through heath and forest gliding,

Deep in a river-vale, by meadow green,

Embowered in beech, a lonely church is seen,

Like timid fawn in dewy thicket hiding.

Above its roof a German crosslet, shining,

Points to the pious serf his heavenward way;

Around it spreads, bestrewn with blossoms gay,

The field, where wearied hearts are safe reclining.

O’er swelling graves, the bounding rabbit plays;

All breathes of peace and gentleness around;

Light steals the maiden by; subdued each sound;

Even fainter glances there the evening blaze;

There, nestling side by side, at twilight’s close

Soft coo the billing doves, and then repose.