St. Margaret's, Somersby. Charming in its way, a typical little Wolds church, even if not one of Lincolnshire's most impressive. Its claim to fame, though, is in being right across the road from the poet Tennyson's birthplace - his father was Rector here, as well as holding the living at the exotically named Bag Enderby, just half a mile away down a narrow lane. Nowadays it stands closed and dark, in a now-prosperous hamlet hardly big enough to provide it with a congregation, even if the residents were so inclined. His Fan Club, though, hold regular commemorative services and there's a bust inside for them to look at. From the outside, the main clue to its history is the the C15th window, which looks as if it's been bought as a medieval flat-pack, assembled and bodged in by the same local builder who made the porch-arch, roughly hewn from sandstone identical to the main body. Only the standalone cross on the mound, particularly the base, hints at an even more ancient origin.
Are not these, O Soul, the Vision of Him who reigns?
Is not the Vision He, tho' He be not that which He seems?
Dreams are true while they last, and do we not live in dreams?
Earth, these solid stars, this weight of body and limb,
Are they not sign and symbol of thy division from Him?
Dark is the world to thee; thyself art the reason why,
For is He not all but thou, that hast power to feel "I am I"?
Glory about thee, without thee; and thou fulfillest thy doom,
Making Him broken gleams and a stifled splendour and gloom.
Speak to Him, thou, for He hears, and Spirit with Spirit can meet-
Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet.
God is law, say the wise; O soul, and let us rejoice,
For if He thunder by law the thunder is yet His voice.
Law is God, say some; no God at all, says the fool,
For all we have power to see is a straight staff bent in a pool;
And the ear of man cannot hear, and the eye of man cannot see;
But if we could see and hear, this Vision-were it not He?