The Dust That Drifted Along Blessed It And
Day by day a change; always a note to make.
The moss drying on
the tree trunks, dog's-mercury stirring under the ash-poles, bird's-claw
buds of beech lengthening; books upon books to be filled with these
things. I cannot think how they manage without me.
To-day through the window-pane I see a lark high up against the grey
cloud, and hear his song. I cannot walk about and arrange with the buds
and gorse-bloom; how does he know it is the time for him to sing? Without
my book and pencil and observing eye, how does he understand that the
hour has come? To sing high in the air, to chase his mate over the low
stone wall of the ploughed field, to battle with his high-crested rival,
to balance himself on his trembling wings outspread a few yards above the
earth, and utter that sweet little loving kiss, as it were, of song - oh,
happy, happy days! So beautiful to watch as if he were my own, and I felt
it all! It is years since I went out amongst them in the old fields, and
saw them in the green corn; they must be dead, dear little things, by
now. Without me to tell him, how does this lark to-day that I hear
through the window know it is his hour?
The green hawthorn buds prophesy on the hedge; the reed pushes up in the
moist earth like a spear thrust through a shield; the eggs of the
starling are laid in the knot-hole of the pollard elm - common eggs, but
within each a speck that is not to be found in the cut diamond of two
hundred carats - the dot of protoplasm, the atom of life.
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