Field And Hedgerow By Richard Jefferies

 -  They were very
pretty; it was a shame to crush them - such vases as no king's pottery
could make. They - Page 6
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They Were Very Pretty; It Was A Shame To Crush Them - Such Vases As No King's Pottery Could Make.

They lay by millions in the depths of the sward, and I thought as I broke them unwillingly that each of these had once been a house of life.

A living creature dwelt in each and felt the joy of existence, and was to itself all in all - as if the great sun over the hill shone for it, and the width of the earth under was for it, and the grass and plants put on purpose for it. They were dead, the whole race of them, and these their skeletons were as dust under my feet. Nature sets no value upon life neither of minute hill-snail nor of human being.

I thought myself so much to the earliest leaf and the first meadow orchis - so important that I should note the first zee-zee of the titlark - that I should pronounce it summer, because now the oaks were green; I must not miss a day nor an hour in the fields lest something should escape me. How beautiful the droop of the great brome-grass by the wood! But to-day I have to listen to the lark's song - not out of doors with him, but through the window-pane, and the bullfinch carries the rootlet fibre to his nest without me. They manage without me very well; they know their times and seasons - not only the civilised rooks, with their libraries of knowledge in their old nests of reference, but the stray things of the hedge and the chiffchaff from over sea in the ash wood.

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