what will survive of us is love

St George, South Acre, Norfolk



They would not think to lie so long.

Such faithfulness in effigy

Was just a detail friends would see:

A sculptor's sweet commissioned grace

Thrown off in helping to prolong

The Latin names around the base.


They would not guess how early in

Their supine stationary voyage

The air would change to soundless damage,

Turn the old tenantry away;

How soon succeeding eyes begin

To look, not read. Rigidly they


Persisted, linked, through lengths and breadths

Of time. Snow fell, undated. Light

Each summer thronged the grass. A bright

Litter of birdcalls strewed the same

Bone-littered ground. And up the paths

The endless altered people came,


Washing at their identity.

Now, helpless in the hollow of

An unarmorial age, a trough

Of smoke in slow suspended skeins

Above their scrap of history,

Only an attitude remains:


Time has transfigured them into

Untruth. The stone fidelity

They hardly meant has come to be

Their final blazon, and to prove

Our almost-instinct almost true:

What will survive of us is love.



Philip Larkin, An Arundel Tomb (1956)


A detail of the brass memorial to Sir John Harsyck and his wife Katherine, 1384.


Nearby Castle Acre is more famous, but the church of St George at South Acre is both beautiful and interesting. The most famous feature is the huge alabaster table monument to Sir Edward Barkham and his wife, from the 1630s.


The church has brick floors, brasses, medieval glass and bench ends, and is full of pale, ancient light. What more could you want?

  • -Steve Roe- PRO 8y

    We will be glad to
    see your photo in

    Black White group
  • DRose69 8y

    One of my most absolute fave poems . gotta love Phillip Larkin ! Love your photos too
  • pinehurst19475 PRO 8y

    The only bit of intimacy is in the hands touching. The texture and tones of the photo are very good.
  • jmc4 - Church Explorer PRO 8y

    Lovely picture. As she is on the left presumabley she was of more high degree than him, perhaps an heiress. But the holding of hands could signify that it was more than a marriage of convenience.
  • Flamelillyfox 8y

    great shot
    Seen in Ozymandias (?)
  • ribizlifozelek PRO 8y

    Nice poem.

    (1-2-3 History)
  • Wayne Mackeson PRO 8y

    ... excellent! (Seen in 1-2-3 B&W)
  • paul (england) PRO 6y

    Nice image and well reproduced, Simon.

    (Should be "they would not guess", start of 2nd para.)
  • Simon K PRO 6y

    Thanks, Paul.
  • Gordon Plumb PRO 6y

    Simon super capture- works really well in b&w.

  • Simon K PRO 6y

    Thanks, Gordon, you are very kind. It is also a negative image - I find brasses come out best like this. Someone has tried to convince me that font panels do too, but that seems almost sacrilegious!
  • paul (england) PRO 6y

    I really should have twigged that you'd inverted this - very effective!
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