Sussex Drinking Song (Words by Hilaire Belloc)

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On Sussex Downs, where I was bred,
In rains where autumn lanes are red,
Where Aran tumbles in his bed
And dusty gales go by.
Where branches, bare on vert and glen
And merry hills are whitening then;
I drink strong ale with gentle-men,
Which no one can deny, deny,
Which no one can deny, deny.
In cold November off I go,
And turn my face against the snow;
And watch the wind where ere it blow,
Because my heart is high.
‘Till I settle me down in Steyning to sing
Of the girls I’ve met in my wandering;
And all I mean to do in Spring
Which no one can deny, deny,
Which no one can deny, deny.
‘Tho times be hard and fortunes tough,
The ways be foul and the weather rough;
We are of stout south country stock
Who cannot have strong ale enough
From Crowborough Top to Ditchling Down,
From Hustpierpont to Arundel town,
The girls are fine, the ale is brown;
Which no one can deny, deny,
Which no one can deny, deny.

Raised in a home filled with books on Western civilization, P.G. Mantel became a lover of history at an early age. An amateur writer of verse, he makes himself useful as an editor for Men of the West.

3 Comments

  1. A little research would have shown that the river in the second line is the Arun, not the Aran. You got the other place-names right, though!

  2. A little research would have shown that the river in the third* line is the Arun, not the Aran. You got the other place-names right, though! *sorry, lost count!

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