Found- in a copy of Nip in the Air (John Murray 1974) a book of poems by John Betjeman this affectionate parody by the esteemed travel writer Patrick (‘Paddy’) Leigh Fermor. It is probably from a magazine (pp 379-380), possibly The London Magazine but is not archived anywhere online. It is probably from the 1970s. It deserves a place in a completist Betjeman collection and in any future collection of Fermor’s complete oeuvre.
In Honour of Mr. John Betjeman – Patrick Leigh Fermor
Eagle-borne spread of the Authorised Version,
Beadles and bell ropes, pulpits and pews,
Sandwiches spread for a new excursion
And patum peperium under the yews!
Erastian peal of Established Church-bells!
(Cuckoo-chimes in Cistercian towers)
Bugloss and briny border our search. Bells
Toll the quarters and toll the hours.
Unscrew the thermos. Some village Hampden
Swells the sward. Fill the plastic cup
For toast to Brandon, to Scott and to Camden,
To dripstone and dogtooth, with bottoms up! Continue reading