208 THE SUSSEX COAST
Robert Bloomfield's verses possess, as W. E. A. Axon says, M A pleasant natural enthusiasm."
"Are these the famed, the brave South Downs, That like a chain of pearls appear ; Their pale green sides and graceful crowns To freedom, thought, and peace, how dear ! To freedom, for no fence is seen ; To thought, for silence smooths the way ; To peace, for o'er the boundless green Unnumbered flocks and shepherds stray.
Now; now we've gained the utmost height: Where shall we match the vale below? The Weald of Sussex, glorious sight, Old Chankbury, from the tufted brow."
The lines by Charlotte Smith have a genuine pathos that makes a strong appeal to those who know the circumstances of her life (p. 100).
V Ah ! hills beloved ! where once a happy child, Your beechen shades, your turf, your flowers among, I wove your bluebells into garlands wild, And woke your echoes with my artless song. Ah! hills beloved! your turf, your flowers remain; But can they peace to this sad breast restore, For one poor moment sooth the sense of pain, And teach a broken heart to throb no more? And you, Aruna, in the vale below; As to the sea your limpid waves you bear, Can you one kind Lethean cup bestow, To drink a long oblivion to my care ? Ah no!—when all, e'en hope's last ray is gone, There's no oblivion but in death alone."
Only the far east of Sussex is wholly beyond the influence of the Downs, for the hill that walls in their horizon towards the south has always impressed the dwellers in the Weald, and it is