The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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BOGNOR                 101
or in English literature at all, but those who are touched by a heroic mother writing to support her children after the bankruptcy of a rather worthless husband, and can appreciate the genuine feeling of a woman who was at times so weighed down by her misfortunes as really to yearn for the peaceful quiet of the grave, will be proud to give Charlotte Smith an honoured place among the worthies of Sussex. Her sonnet, written in the churchyard of Middleton, runs thusó
"Press'd by the moon, mute arbitress of tides, Whilst the loud equinox its power combines; The sea no more its swelling surf confines, But o'er the shrinking land sublimely rides ! The wild blast rising from the western cave Drives the huge billows from their heaving bed, Tears from their grassy tombs the village dead, And breaks the silent sabbath of the grave ! With shells and sea-weed mingled on the shore, Lo, their bones whiten in the frequent wave ; But vain to them the winds and waters rave, They hear the warring elements no more : Whilst I am doomed, by life's long storm opprest, To gaze with envy on their gloomy rest."
The old church was evidently not architecturally striking : on its south side was a remarkably large ivy stem, whose spreading foliage nearly covered the south and west sides of the roof. A new building has been provided at a safe distance inland, and a few old gravestones were moved. Cudlow and Atherington have so completely gone under the waves that the poor remnants of their parishes are now united with others, but it is fortunate that the fine church of Climping is well inland. There are earthworks in the imme≠diate vicinity of the churchyard ; probably they
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