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It lay on the Marsh like thunder. Men saw their churches ablaze with the wildfire in the windows after dark; they saw their cattle scatterin’ and no man scarin’; their sheep flockin’ and no man drivin’; their horses latherin’ an’ no man leadin’; they saw the liddle low green lights more than ever in the dik-sides; they heard the liddle feet patterin’ more than ever round the houses; an’ night an’ day, day an’ night, ’twas all as though they were bein’ creeped up on, and hinted at by Some One or other that couldn’t rightly shape their trouble.


This is from “Dymchuch Flit” in Puck of Pook’s Hill.

The People of the Hills – the fairies – have been alarmed by the sorrows and violence of the religious persecution in 16th century England after Henry VIII’s break with the Roman Catholic Church; the ringing of alarm bells, the breaking of images, and the burnings.

They have decided to flit away, and have congregated on Romney Marsh, near the sea in Kent, to find a boat to take them out of Old England.