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The South Country Analysis

Author: Poetry of Hilaire Belloc Type: Poetry Views: 144

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1920When I am living in the MidlandsThat are sodden and unkind,

I light my lamp in the evening:My work is left behind;

And the great hills of the South CountryCome back into my mind.The great hills of the South CountryThey stand along the sea;

And it's there walking in the high woodsThat I could wish to be,

And the men that were boys when I was a boyWalking along with me.The men that live in North EnglandI saw them for a day:

Their hearts are set upon the waste fells,Their skies are fast and grey;

From their castle-walls a man may seeThe mountains far away.The men that live in West EnglandThey see the Severn strong,

A-rolling on rough water brownLight aspen leaves along.

They have the secret of the Rocks,And the oldest kind of song.But the men that live in the South CountryAre the kindest and most wise,

They get their laughter from the loud surf,And the faith in their happy eyes

Comes surely from our Sister the SpringWhen over the sea she flies;

The violets suddenly bloom at her feet,She blesses us with surprise.I never get between the pinesBut I smell the Sussex air;

Nor I never come on a belt of sandBut my home is there.

And along the sky the line of the DownsSo noble and so bare.A lost thing could I never find,Nor a broken thing mend:

And I fear I shall be all aloneWhen I get towards the end.

Who will there be to comfort meOr who will be my friend?I will gather and carefully make my friendsOf the men of the Sussex Weald;

They watch the stars from silent folds,They stiffly plough the field.

By them and the God of the South CountryMy poor soul shall be healed.If I ever become a rich man,Or if ever I grow to be old,

I will build a house with deep thatchTo shelter me from the cold,

And there shall the Sussex songs be sungAnd the story of Sussex told.I will hold my house in the high woodWithin a walk of the sea,

And the men that were boys when I was a boyShall sit and drink with me.


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