19 AUGUST 1989, Page 42


This is the second in a series of lithographs by Alan Powers showing the Welsh borders, accompanied by sonnets from a series by Peter Levi.

SHOBDON CHURCH was rebuilt by the Hon. Richard Bateman of Shobdon Court between 1752 and 1756. With the contemporary work at Croft Castle nearby, it is part of an outbreak of Gothick, linked to the influence of Bateman's friend Horace Walpole. Shobdon is one of the finest examples of the style, with its three-decker pulpit complete with original velvet hangings and pendant ogee arches. The chancel arch and other fine carvings from the previous Norman Church were removed to form a park ornament, and have weathered severely.

A portfolio edition of Alan Powers's eight original lithographs for The Marches, accompanied by Peter Levi's poems, is being published by Merivale Editions, 14 Merivale Road, London SW15 (01-785 9034).


Out of the sight of God and his judgement on Shobdon's Gothic stage the risen sun gleams through the dead men's glass: God is content to stream like light among us while no one misunderstands his gentleman's accent.

In all the small hills there is no work done but by severe seasons or with head bent as a bird sings, for small reward or none: our gospel is our life's re-enactment, our dying souls as saintly as a nun flitter moth-like around fine ornament like an expiring hour-glass whose sands run slowly away, till with the dying light the season passes and the bone is white.