Field And Hedgerow By Richard Jefferies

 -  They go on without me. Orchis flower and cowslip - I cannot number
them all - I hear, as it were, the - Page 7
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They Go On Without Me.

Orchis flower and cowslip - I cannot number them all - I hear, as it were, the patter of their feet - flower and bud and the beautiful clouds that go over, with the sweet rush of rain and burst of sun glory among the leafy trees.

They go on, and I am no more than the least of the empty shells that strewed the sward of the hill. Nature sets no value upon life, neither of mine nor of the larks that sang years ago. The earth is all in all to me, but I am nothing to the earth: it is bitter to know this before you are dead. These delicious violets are sweet for themselves; they were not shaped and coloured and gifted with that exquisite proportion and adjustment of odour and hue for me. High up against the grey cloud I hear the lark through the window singing, and each note falls into my heart like a knife.

Now this to me speaks as the roll of thunder that cannot be denied - you must hear it; and how can you shut your ears to what this lark sings, this violet tells, this little grey shell writes in the curl of its spire? The bitter truth that human life is no more to the universe than that of the unnoticed hill-snail in the grass should make us think more and more highly of ourselves as human - as men - living things that think. We must look to ourselves to help ourselves.

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