COUNTY YARNS - Down the hollow ways of Sussex

Poem by Bernard Darwin
Poem by Bernard Darwin

A poem by Bernard Darwin

‘Still as a mouse if you chance to sit

By a deep, deep lane in Sussex,

Where the trees grow arching over it,

You may hear the chink of a ghostly bit,

And watch the men and horses flit

Down the hollow ways of Sussex

On a pitch black night, in a thick sea mist

They ran ashore in Sussex:

Yet you may know from the double twist

Of bloody rag around the Captain’s wrist

That the Revenue sharks were keeping tryst

In the lonely ways of Sussex.

For the King must seek what his lieges hide,

‘Tis all fair game in Sussex:

A game that a man plays open-eyed,

With a cutlass swinging at his side,

And curious folk had best walk wide

Of the secret ways of Sussex.

Fainter grows their muffled tread,

And you wake from your dream of Sussex:

The last of the gentlemen is dead,

An arch of grass is o’er his head;

But who shall say that romance has fled

From the hollow ways of Sussex.