The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

NEWHAVEN                            257
that name and was also to be the last. Expensive piers built out from either side of the river mouth have greatly improved the harbour, which now has a considerable trade in addition to the double daily service with Dieppe maintained by the Brighton Railway. The steamers can be dry-docked on floats, a certain amount of ship­building goes on, and Newhaven has the peculiar merit of not materially transforming its surround­ings, one seems suddenly to come into the middle of a busy port from the open Downs; the road to Brighton in fact over the grass-grown and furze-dotted chalk hills is surprisingly wild and lonely. It was this district that particularly inspired Rudyard Kipling's magnificent poem about the " blunt, bow-headed, whale-backed Downs" of Sussex by the sea.
" Clean of officious fence or hedge,
Half-wild and wholly tame, The old turf cloaks the white cliff edge
As when the Romans came. What sign of those that fought and died
At shift of sword and sword, The barrow and the camp abide,
The sunlight and the sward.
Here leaps ashore the full sou'west
All heavy-winged with brine, Here lies above the folded crest
The Channel's lifted line ; And here the sea-fogs lap and cling,
And here, each warning each, The sheep-bells and the ship-bells ring
Along the hidden beach.
We have no waters to delight Our broad and brookless vales—
Only the dewpond on the height Unfed, that never fails,
Previous Contents Next