22 KIPLING'S SUSSEX
That deeper than our speech and thought
Beyond our reasons sway, Clay of the pit whence we were wrought
Yearns to its fellow-clay."
The spirit of place has possessed the poet in these verses; he has tracked it to its inmost shrine. His love of " the wooded dim blue goodness of the weald " and the " thyme that smells like dawn in Paradise," comes as an antidote to his vast and brassy imperial idea of " far-flung battle lines." The sense of atmosphere with which he informs " Sussex " recalls the passionate lines of Elizabeth Browning :
" My own hills ! Are you 'ware of me my hills How I burn toward you ? Do you feel to-night The urgency and yearning of my soul As sleeping mothers feel the sucking babe And smile ? . . . Still ye go Your own determined, calm, indifferent way Toward sunrise, shade by shade, and light by light."
Upon examining Kipling's Sussex stories, we find that the descriptions of scenery are in all cases brief, though extraordinarily effective ; they are not used for padding, but are used because they are essential to the story itself—the landscape is as inevitable as the unfolding of the plot. In the " Knife and the Naked Chalk," all the heart