Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

An illustrated appreciation, of the most interesting districts in Sussex.

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No tender-hearted garden crowns,
No bosomed woods adorn Our blunt, bow-headed, whale-backed Downs,
But gnarled and writhen thorn. Dun slopes where chasing shadows skim,
And through the gaps revealed Belt upon belt, the wooded, dim
Blue goodness of the Weald.
Clean of officious fence or hedge,
Half-wild and wholly tame, The old turf cloaks the white cliff edge
As when the Romans came. What sign of those that fought and died
At shift of sword and sword, The barrow and the camp abide,
The sunlight and the sward.
Here leaps ashore the full sou'west
All heavy-winged with brine, Here lies above the folded crest
The channels lifted line ; And here the sea-fogs lap and cling,
And here, each warning each, The sheep-bells and the ship-bells ring
Along the hidden beach.
We have no waters to delight
Our broad and brookless valesó Only the dewpond on the height
Unfed, that never fails, Whereby no tattered herbage tells
Which way the season fliesó Only our wind-bit thyme that smells
Like dawn in Paradise.
Here through the strong and shadeless days
A tinkling silence thrills ; Or little, lost, Down churches praise
The Lord who made the hills. But here the old Gods guard their round,
And in her secret heart The heathen-kingdom Wilfrid found
Dreams, as she dwells, apart.
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