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“God's Acre ! Yes, that blessed name imparts
Comfort to those who in the grave have sown
Their bread of life, alas ! no more their own.
“With thy rude ploughshare, Death, turn up the sod,
And spread the furrow for the seed we sow;
This is the place where human harvests grow!”
From the church door, and from the vestry window which is above it, may be seen, towards the south, the outline of the Isle of Wight and part of the New Forest.
Close to the lower entrance of the churchyard there is a drinkingfountain surmounted by a cross, erected in 1845 by Sir William and Lady Heathcote and a Miss Trench (now Mrs. R. F. Wilson), in remembrance of one seen by them during a tour in the Tyrol. (See photograph, No. 28.)
The inscription, inviting the thirsty traveller to drink, reminds him of the thirst which we should have for heavenly things
“While cooling waters here ye drink
Rest not your thoughts below;
Whence living waters flow;
The idea of this last line is borrowed from the poem in the Lyra Innocentium on “Lifting up to the Cross” (p. 55) :
“Oft have I read of sunny realms, where skies are pure at even,
And sight goes deep in lucid air, and earth seems nearer Heaven :
Having refreshed himself, he looks up and sees towering over the dark green hollies above him the little church spire, like a “silent fingero” pointing up to heaven, in which there is no more hunger nor thirst
On the trough into which the water runs is the following inscription in German :
WH : MT: SH :
The water comes from a clear spring in the plantation at some distance above the churchyard. It is conveyed to the fountain in a pipe, and scarcely ever fails to run, even in the driest weather. The tall rhododendrons, hollies, and laurels surrounding the fountain, though they greatly improve its appearance, are a hindrance to the photographer, by excluding the light. Caen-stone is the material used for this fountain, but the trough is of enamelled iron faced with stone.
• See Wordsworth's “ Churchyard among the Mountains," Works, vol. iv. p. 200, ed. 1832.
A little further on the road towards Romsey, on the right-hand side, is situated Ampfield Parsonage—a small house which was presented to the incumbency by Sir William Heathcote, by a deed bearing date 25th of March, 1844 It is delightfully situated within a spacious garden, with an extensive view towards the south. A piece of water near it greatly adds to the beauty of the scene. (See Photograph, No. 29.)
“Blessings of friends, which to my door
Unasked, unhoped, have come;
(Lyra Apostolica, p. 25.)
The school-rooms at Ampfield are in the part of the village called Knapp, at some little distance from the church ; they were constructed out of an old malt-house, which, at the expense of the Baronet, has been so added to and improved, as to form very suitable and convenient rooms of sufficient size for the requirements of the place, and of her Majesty's Committee of Privy Council on Education.
“O grant us Thy good Angel, evermore
To wait, with unseen scourge in hand,
Write in young hearts Thy reverend lore,
(Lyra Innocentium, p. 119.)