Hmm. Hilaire Belloc. I was planning to follow up yesterday's post with a bit about how I rather liked Belloc because he had written a paeon to my local landscape, The South Country.
The Downs aren't butch and rugged and attention grabbing, but they were always nice to come home to, soft and billowy, with a bosomy hug and a scone out of the Aga. After a while the comforts of home pall and one longs for adventure again, but it's nice to think that the green grass and the white chalk and the bright blue sea will be there to come home to.
But then I went and looked the poem up and read it properly, and I must say I think it is the most dreadful, pass-the-bucket, sentimental doggerel after all, and I fear that it was Belloc himself, no doubt ensconced in a cosy corner of some Sussex hostelry coming up with this drivel (he never even gets as far as the East before he starts rambling), who best deserves the epithet 'sodden and unkind' for being so dismissive of the delights of the rest of England.
Still, he was French.