Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

An illustrated appreciation, of the most interesting districts in Sussex.

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288                                 THE RIDE TO CHURCH                             chap
And lo ! John Grigg in Sunday sir.ock ; Begged pardon, pulled an oily lock ;' Explained : " The mud's above the hough.
" No horse could draw 'ee sir," he said.
" Humph !" quoth the squire and scratched his head.
" Then yoke the oxen in instead."
(A lesser man would gladly turn His chair to fire again, and learn How fancifully logs can burn,
Grateful for such immunity
From parson. Not the squire ; for see,
" True sonne of England's Church " was he.)
So, as he ordered, was it done. The oxen came forth one by one, Their wide horns glinting in the sun,
And to the coach were yoked. Then—dressed, As squires shquld be, in glorious best, With wonderful brocaded vest,—
Out came Sir Herbert, took his seat, Waved "Barbara, farewell, my Sweet ! " And off they started, all complete.
Although they drew so light a load (For them !) so heavy was the road, John Grigg was busy with his goad.
The cottagers in high delight Ran out to see the startling sight And make obeisance to the knight,
While floated through the liquid air, And o'er the sunlit meadows fair, The throbbing belfry's call to prayer.
At last, and after many a lurch That shook Sir Herbert in his perch, John Grigg drew up before the church ;
Moreover not a minute late. The villagers around the gate Were filled with wonder at his state,
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