Page:Highways and Byways in Sussex.djvu/396

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368
CHAP.
EIGHT BELLS

Externally Rye church is magnificent, but the pity of it is that its encroaching square deprives one of the power to study it as a whole. Among the details, however, are two admirable flying buttresses. The clock over the beautiful north window, which is said to have been given to the town by Queen Elizabeth, is remarkable for the two golden cherubs that strike the hours, and the pendulum that swings in the central tower of the church, very nigh the preacher's head.

Rye's eight bells bear the following inscription:—

To honour both of God and King
Our voices shall in concert ring.

May heaven increase their bounteous store
And bless their souls for evermore.

Whilst thus we join in joyful sound
May love and loyalty abound.

Ye people all who hear me ring
Be faithful to your God and King.

Such wondrous power to music's given
It elevates the soul to heaven.

If you have a judicious ear
You'll own my voice is sweet and clear.

Our voices shall with joyful sound
Make hills and valleys echo round.

In wedlock bands all ye who join,
  With hands your hearts unite;
So shall our tuneful tongues combine
  To laud the nuptial rite.

Ye ringers, all who prize
  Your health and happiness,
Be sober, merry, wise,
  And you'll the same possess.

Hardly less interesting than the church are the by-streets of Rye, so old and simple and quiet and right; particularly perhaps Mermaid Street, with its beautiful hospital. In the