Field And Hedgerow By Richard Jefferies




























































































 -  There was one
row of pollards where they always began laying first. With a big stick in
his beak the - Page 5
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There Was One Row Of Pollards Where They Always Began Laying First.

With a big stick in his beak the rook is blown aside like a loose feather in the wind; he knows his building-time from the fathers of his house - hereditary knowledge handed down in settled course:

But the stray things of the hedge, how do they know? The great blackbird has planted his nest by the ash-stole, open to every one's view, without a bough to conceal it and not a leaf on the ash - nothing but the moss on the lower end of the branches. He does not seek cunningly for concealment. I think of the drift of time, and I see the apple bloom coming and the blue veronica in the grass. A thousand thousand buds and leaves and flowers and blades of grass, things to note day by day, increasing so rapidly that no pencil can put them down and no book hold them, not even to number them - and how to write the thoughts they give? All these without me - how can they manage without me?

For they were so much to me, I had come to feel that I was as much in return to them. The old, old error: I love the earth, therefore the earth loves me - I am her child - I am Man, the favoured of all creatures. I am the centre, and all for me was made.

In time past, strong of foot, I walked gaily up the noble hill that leads to Beachy Head from Eastbourne, joying greatly in the sun and the wind. Every step crumbled up numbers of minute grey shells, empty and dry, that crunched under foot like hoar-frost or fragile beads.

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