56 KIPLING'S SUSSEX
And if the men of Sussex
Be brave and strong and true, Their matrons and their maidens
Have many a virtue too. Mothers and wives and sweethearts
No comelier can be seen, Than those who grace some lordly place, Or reign as village queen ! Fragrance of flower and hop-bine.
Beauties of sky and sea, Make Sussex maids and matrons, The sort of folk they be !
I can vouch for the fragrance of the hop-bine. The last visit I paid to Northiam fell on Michael≠mas-Day and the air was heavy with the rich, healthful, bitter smell of the pockets of hops. Puck, in "Hal o' the Draft," says: "Hopsó they're an herb of Mars." We say :
" Turkeys, Heresy, Hops and Beer Came into England all in one year.'
This couplet is a variant of the old saying :
" Turkeys, carp, hops, pickerel, and beer, Came into England all in one year."
However, they are both erroneous. Pike, or pickerel, were the subject of legal regulations in the time of Edward I. Dame Juliana Barnes, in her