Sagas of Vaster Britain: Poems of the Race, the Empire and the Divinity of Man

by William Wilfred Campbell


 

THE HILLS AND THE SEA


 

GIVE me the hills and wide water,
    Give me the heights and the sea;
And take all else, ‘tis living
    And heaven enough for me.
For my fathers of old they were hillsmen,
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    My sires they were sons of the sea.

Give me the uplands of the purple,
    The sweep of the vast world’s rim,
Where the sun dips down, or the dawnings
    Over the earth’s edge swim;

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With the days that are dead, and the old earth-tales,
    Human, and haunting, and grim.

Give me where the great surfs landward
    Break on the iron-rimmed shore,
Where winter and spring are eternal,

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    And the miles of sea-sand their floor;
Where wind and vastness, for ever,
    Walk by the red dawn’s door.

Back from this grime of the present,
    This slavery worse than all death,

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Let me stand out alone on the highlands,
    Where there’s life in the brave wind’s breath;
Where the one wise word and the strong word
    Is the word that the great hush saith.