Afternoon Service at Mellstock


      On afternoons of drowsy calm
            We stood in the panelled pew,
Singing one-voiced a Tate-and-Brady psalm
            To the tune of 'Cambridge New'.

      We watched the elms, we watched the rooks,
            The clouds upon the breeze,
Between the whiles of glancing at our books,
            And swaying like the trees.

      So mindless were those outpourings!--
            Though I am not aware
That I have gained by subtle thought on things
            Since we stood psalming there.


Thomas Hardy.