The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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346                   THE SUSSEX COAST
the ransoming of captives. He, or more correctly his reputation, was brought to England by the Normans, and he became very popular in Sussex, a great part of the wooded district of the Forest Ridge, as well as seven or eight churches, being called by his name. In the forest called after him St. Leonard slew one of the fairly numerous dragons of Sussex, and lilies of the valley grow where the titanic contest raged. As a reward the Saint secured that
"The adders never sting nor the nightingales sing."
The former circumstance has doubtless saved many lives, like the pins that were not swallowed; the precise advantage of the latter is more difficult to understand, though a gentleman from Hampshire who was staying at a country house about eight miles from the forest came down very late one morning with the complaint that the nightingales really did make such a confounded noise that he hadn't been able to sleep.
At St. Leonards for a time lived Thomas Campbell, and here about 1830 he wrote his Address to the Sea
"Hail to thy face and odours, glorious Sea! 'Twere thanklessness in me to bless thee not, Great beauteous Being! in whose breath and smile My heart beats calmer, and my very mind Inhales salubrious thoughts. How welcomer Thy murmurs than the murmurs of the world! Though like the world thou fluctuatest, thy din To me is peace, thy restlessness repose. Ev'n gladly I exchange yon spring-green lanes, With all the darling field-flowers in their prime, And gardens haunted by the nightingale's
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