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.