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The peculiarities of Olympics meant that some of had to camp near Dover to get our bikes there in time. The canpsite had a view:
A little path down to the beach made me think of Matthew Arnold’s poem Dover Beach:
The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand;
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.
All of this was a perfect fit. Here is the beach
Could any of these pebbles be the actual same ones that he listened to?
Sure enough after sunset we really could see the lights gleaming on the French Coast. Here is a picture of them, which due to the limits of available technology may require a bit of imagination:
Next stop France, preferably without any ignorant armies clashing by night. The full text of the poem is here.