222 KIPLING'S SUSSEX
literary lion in his day, but he outlived his popularity, and it must be said to his credit that he preserved a sunny disposition, neither crabbed nor disheartened over his fall from popularity. He lived at Turret House near the church from 1800 till his death in 1820. I dare say it will only excite a smile of disdain in readers of literary taste when I confess that Hayley's memory is dear to me. Last time I was at Felpham I watched the swallows returning to the turret of Hayley's old house at day's decline with all their marvellous hubbub and aerial evolutions, and I thought of the last pensive lines he wrote :
" Ye gentle birds that perch aloof, And smooth your pinions on my roof, Preparing for departure hence Ere winter's angry threats commence ; Like you, my soul would smooth her plume For longer flights beyond the tomb.
May God, by whom is seen and heard Departing man and wandering bird, In mercy mark us for His own, And guide us to the land unknown."
At Felpham, also, is a cottage that was the abode in 1800 of another of the " accursed race of poets," William Blake, who was also a visionary and artist. One of the most amazing revelations