(Committed suicide, Cambridge, 1873)
Who’ll cancel your under graduation?
They’ll sneak a plot of consecrated ground for you –
All those muttering priests, your brothers,
Chasing their blues away on this,
Your burial day.
Your brother arrived in time to hear you
Utter your last words "Easy to die. Love to my mother",
You'd slashed your throat with the razor
You kept under your pillow for that very purpose.
Across these empty fenlands Puritan melodies float,
Echoing the empty whitenesses of sky.
All these unseen congregations
Unrelenting in their brittle affirmations.
Before addiction or withdrawal struck
Your quiet breath lifted the candle-flame
Flickered image into your eyes, renewed you.
Now, in January 1992, the Siberian winds
Howl down these Anglian fens
No church bells strike no flattened notes.
There have been so-many last minute resignations,