Hilaire Belloc bought King's Land (in Shipley, Sussex), 5 acres and a working windmill for £1000 in 1907 and it was his home for the rest of his life. Belloc loved Sussex as few other writers have loved her: he lived there for most of his 83 years, he tramped the length and breadth of the county, slept under her hedgerows, drank in her inns, sailed her coast and her rivers and wrote several incomparable books about her. "He does not die that can bequeath Some influence to the land he knows, Or dares, persistent, interwreath Love permanent with the wild hedgerows; He does not die, but still remains Substantiate with his darling plains."

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Thursday, 8 November 2012

Epitaph on the Politician Himself by Hilaire Belloc...



Caricature satirising the 'long-winded speech' of Whig politician Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1788).

Here richly, with ridiculous display,
The Politician’s corpse was laid away.
While all of his acquaintance sneered and slanged
I wept: for I had longed to see him hanged.
Another on the Same
This, the last ornament among the peers,
Bribed, bullied, swindled and blackmailed for years:
But Death’s what even Politicians fail
To bribe or swindle, bully or blackmail.
On Another Politician
The Politician, dead and turned to clay,
Will make a clout to keep the wind away.
I am not fond of draughts, and yet I doubt
If I could get myself to touch that clout.
On Yet Another
Fame to her darling Shifter glory gives;
And Shifter is immortal while he lives.
Epitaph Upon Himself
Lauda tu Ilarion audacem et splendidum,
Who was always beginning things and never ended ‘em.


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