6 MARCH 1964, Page 25

At Dunwich

Fifteen churches lie here Under the North Sea; Forty-five years ago The last went down the cliff. 'You can see, at low tide, A mound of masonry Chewed like a damp bun.

In the village now (if you.call

. Dunwich a village now,

With a handful of houses, one street, And a shack for Tizer and tea) You can ask an old man To show you the stuff they've found On the beach when there's been a storm: Knife-blades, buckles and rings, Enough coins to fill an old sock, Badges that men wore When they'd been on pilgrimage, Armfuls of broken pots. People cut bread, paid cash, Buttoned up against the cold.

Fifteen churches, and men In thousands working at looms, And wives brewing up stews

I n great grey cooking pots. .1. put out a hand and Pull

A sherd from the cliff's jaws. The sand trickles, then falls.

Nettles grow on the cliffs In elumpS as high as a house. The houses have gone away. Stand and look at the Sea Eating the land as it walks Steadily treading the tops Of fifteen churches' spires.