The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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HASTINGS                              347
Long trills and gushing ecstasies of song,
For these wild headlands and the sea-mew's clang.
With these beneath my windows, pleasant Sea!
I long not to o'erlook Earth's fairest glades
And green savannahs : Earth has not a plain
So boundless or so beautiful as thine.
The eagle's vision cannot take it in:
The lightning's wing, too weak to sweep its space,
Sinks half-way o'er it like a wearied bird.
It is the mirror of the stars, where all
Their hosts within the concave firmament,
Gay marching to the music of the spheres,
Can see themselves at once. Nor on the stage
Of rural landscape are there lights and shades
Of more harmonious dance and play than thine.
How vividly this moment brightens forth,
Between grey parallel and leaden breaths,
A belt of hues that stripes thee many a league,
Flush'd like the rainbow, or the ring-dove's neck,
And giving to the glancing sea-bird's wing
The semblance of a meteor! Mighty Sea !
Camelon-like thou changest, but there's love
In all thy change."
The stock walk from Hastings is to the old church in the wood at Hollington. Nearly every stone of the building is modern, except for a fern-grown buttress and a couple of Perpendicular windows, while the marble gravestones of the wealthy spread around and abolish the charm that is attached to the old churchyard of the poorest village. W. E. A. Axon {Bygone Sussex) tells us that the place inspired the following verses, but the name of the poet is not toldó
" I see a little church with low-set spire, Encircled by a grove of ancient treesó With branches rhythmic to the passing breeze; And now I hear from out the village choir,
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