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!
Herringbone-tweed (one more? Shall we risk it?)
Mimics the moulding from neck to knee.
(Ginger beer, and a Peek Frean Biscuit?)
Then here’s to Pugin with three times three!
Basketed bikes on the lych-gate leaning
(Headlamp and rear lamp, pump and mac)
Bask in the sunshine, the privet screening
Raleigh and Rudge till we both get back;
Back from the church where the rood-screen false is
Bogus both squint and architrave –
Lord! Let an Old Marlburian’s Dolcis
Quicken the echoes of the nave.
Let an Old Marlburian’s Veldtschoen waken
Ghostly incumbents along the gloom,
And the rattle of anthracite long since shaken
Out with the slag in the boiler-room.
Raven-black sway the phantom cassocks,
Ruby the silk of an M.A. hood;
Sweet is the incense of fragrant hassocks
And tiger-lilies and Ronuk’d wood,
Sarum-chants of celestial cities,
Rustic anthems in harmony,
Quavering rune of the Nunc Dimittis,
Gaslit groan of Abide with me.
Back to the lamplight, back to the crumpets,
Under the cliff by the seaside path
An Old Marlburian treads through the limpets
Home through the sunset’s aftermath.
The 7.10 whistle and helter-skelter
Wild foam flies by the wayward sea;
Bladderwrack Pops under Lotus and Delta –
Holy Saint Pancras, pray for me!