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Essays, Sketches and Illustrations of bygone Sussex

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124
BYGONE SUSSEX.
Varieties of life she has to greet,— Come swarming o'er the meditative mind.
True, to the dream of Fancy, Ocean has
His darker hints; but where's the element
That chequers not its usefulness to man
With casual terror ? Scathes not Earth sometimes
Her children with Tartarean fires, or shakes
Their shrieking cities, and, with one last clang
Of bells for their own ruin, strews them flat
As riddled ashes—silent as the grave ?
Walks not Contagion on the air itself?
I should—old Ocean's Saturnalian days,
And roaring nights of revelry and sport
With wreck and human woe—be loth to sing;
For they are few, and all their ills weigh light
Against his sacred usefulness, that bids
Our pensile globe revolve in purer air.
Here Morn and Eve with blushing thanks receive
Their freshening dews ; gay fluttering breezes cool
Their wings to fan the brow of fever'd climes;
And here the Spring dips down her emerald urn
For showers to glad the earth.
Old Ocean was, Infinity of ages ere we breathed Existence; and he will be beautiful, When all the living world that sees him now, Shall roll unconscious dust around the sun. Quelling from age to age the vital throb In human hearts, Death shall not subjugate The pulse that swells in his stupendous breast, Or interdict his minstrelsy to sound In thundering concert with the quirling winds But long as man to parent Nature owns
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