Nobody does the South Downs like Masefield:
Night Is On The Downland
Night is on the downland, on the lonely moorland,
On the hills where the wind goes over sheep-bitten turf,
Where the bent grass beats upon the unploughed poorland
And the pine-woods roar like surf.
Here the Roman lived on the wind-barren lonely,
Dark now and haunted by the moorland fowl;
None comes here now but the peewit only,
And moth-like death in the owl.
Beauty was here in on this beetle-droning downland;
The thought of a Caesar in the purple came
From his palace by the Tiber in the Roman townland
To this wind-swept hill with no name.
Lonely Beauty came here and was here in sadness,
Brave as a thought on the frontier of the mind,
In the camp of the wild upon the march of madness,
The bright-eyed Queen of the Blind.
Now where Beauty was are the wind-withered gorses,
Moaning like old men in the hill-wind's blast;
The flying sky is dark with running horses,
And the night is full of the past.
Up on the Downs
Up on the downs the red-eyed kestrels hover,
Eyeing the grass.
The field mouse flits like a shadow into cover
As their shadows pass.
Men are burning the gorse on the down's shoulder;
A drift of smoke
Glitters with fire and hangs, and the skies smoulder,
And the lungs choke.
Once the tribe did thus on the downs, on these downs burning
Men in the frame,
Crying to the gods of the downs till their brains were turning
And the gods came.
And to-day on the downs, in the wind, the hawks, the grasses,
In blood and air,
Something passes me and cries as it passes,
On the chalk downland bare.
"If there is any kind of supreme being it is up to all of us to become its moral superior."