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?