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OD gave all men all earth to love,
But since our hearts are small,

Ordained for each one spot should prove
Beloved over all;

That as He watched Creation's birth,

So we, in godlike mood,

May of our love create our earth
And see that it is good.

So one shall Baltic pines content,
As one some Surrey glade,

Or one the palm-grove's droned lament
Before Levuka's trade.

Each to his choice, and I rejoice

The lot has fallen to me

In a fair ground-in a fair ground-
Yea, Sussex by the sea!

No tender-hearted garden crowns,

No bosomed woods adorn

Our blunt, bow-headed, whale-backed Downs, But gnarled and writhen thorn

Bare slopes where chasing shadows skim,
And through the gaps revealed
Belt upon belt, the wooded, dim
Blue goodness of the Weald.

Clean of officious fence or hedge,
Half-wild and wholly tame,

The wise 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 leaden 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,

Whereby no tattered herbage tells
Which way the season flies-

Only our close-bit thyme that smells
Like dawn in Paradise.

Here through the strong unhampered days
The tinkling silence thrills;

Or little, lost, Down churches praise
The Lord who made the hills:

But here the Old Gods guard their round,
And, in her secret heart,

The heathen kingdom Wilfrid found
Dreams, as she dwells, apart.

Though all the rest were all my share,

With equal soul I'd see

Her nine-and-thirty sisters fair,

Yet none more fair than she.

Choose ye your need from Thames to Tweed,

And I will choose instead

Such lands as lie 'twixt Rake and Rye,

Black Down and Beachy Head.

I will go out against the sun
Where the rolled scarp retires,
And the Long Man of Wilmington
Looks naked toward the shires;
And east till doubling Rother crawls
To find the fickle tide,

By dry and sea-forgotten walls,
Our ports of stranded pride.

I will go north about the shaws
And the deep ghylls that breed
Huge oaks and old, the which we hold
No more than 'Sussex weed';

Or south where windy Piddinghoe's
Begilded dolphin veers,

And red beside wide-banked Ouse
Lie down our Sussex steers.

So to the land our hearts we give
Till the sure magic strike,

And Memory, Use, and Love make live
Us and our fields alike-

That deeper than our speech and thought,
Beyond our reason's sway,

Clay of the pit whence we were wrought Yearns to its fellow-clay.

God gives all men all earth to love,
But since man's heart is small,
Ordains for each one spot shall prove
Beloved over all.

Each to his choice, and I rejoice

The lot has fallen to me

In a fair ground-in a fair ground-
Yea, Sussex by the sea!




HEN the darkened Fifties dip to the North,
And frost and the fog divide the air,

And the day is dead at his breaking-forth,

Sirs, it is bitter beneath the Bear!

Far to Southward they wheel and glance,

The million molten spears of morn

The spears of our deliverance

That shine on the house where we were born.

Flying-fish about our bows,

Flying sea-fires in our wake:

This is the road to our Father's House,
Whither we go for our soul's sake!

We have forfeited our birthright,
We have forsaken all things meet;
We have forgotten the look of light,
We have forgotten the scent of heat.

They that walk with shaded brows,
Year by year in a shining land,
They be men of our Father's House,

They shall receive us and understand.

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