Page:Highways and Byways in Sussex.djvu/288

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

Soft on the dew-fall damp
Scarce sounds the measured tramp
Of bronze-mailed sentinels,
Dark on the darkened fells
Guarding the camp.

The Roman watch-fires glow
Red on the dusk; and harsh
Cries a heron flitting slow
Over the valley marsh
Where the sea-mist gathers low.

Closer, and closer yet
Draweth the night's dim net
Hiding the troubled dead:
No more to see or know
But a black waste lying below,
And a glimmering blank o'erhead.

Of Newhaven there is little to say, except that in rough weather the traveller from France is very glad to reach it, and on a fine day the traveller from England is happy to leave it behind. In the churchyard is a monument in memory of the officers and crew of the Brazen, which went down off the town in 1800, and lost all hands save one.

On the way to Seaford, which is nearly three miles east, sheltering under its white headland (a preliminary sketch, as one might say, for Beachy Head), we pass the Bishopstone tide mills, once the property of a sturdy and prosperous Sussex autocrat named William Catt, the grower of the best pears in the county, and the first to welcome Louis Philippe (whom he had advised on milling in France) when he landed at Newhaven in exile. A good story told of William Catt, by Mr. Lower, in his Worthies of Sussex, illustrates not only the character of that sagacious and kindly martinet, but also of the Sussex peasant in its mingled independence and dependence, frankness and caution. Mr. Catt, having unbent among his retainers at a harvest supper, one of them, a little emboldened perhaps by draughts of Newhaven "tipper," thus addressed his master.