Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Field and Hedgerow Being the Last Essays of Richard Jefferies   By: (1848-1887)

Book cover

First Page:

Text prepared by Malcolm Farmer, Juliet Sutherland, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading team

FIELD AND HEDGEROW

BEING

THE LAST ESSAYS

OF

RICHARD JEFFERIES

COLLECTED BY HIS WIDOW

PREFACE.

For permission to reprint my husband's latest Essays my sincere thanks are due to the Editors of the following publications:

The Fortnightly Review. Manchester Guardian. Pall Mall Gazette . Standard. English Illustrated Magazine. Longman's Magazine. St. James's Gazette. . Art Journal. Chambers's Journal. Magazine of Art. Century Illustrated Magazine.

J.J.

CONTENTS.

HOURS OF SPRING

NATURE AND BOOKS

THE JULY GRASS

WINDS OF HEAVEN

THE COUNTRY SUNDAY

THE COUNTRY SIDE: SUSSEX

SWALLOW TIME

BUCKHURST PARK

HOUSE MARTINS

AMONG THE NUTS

WALKS IN THE WHEAT FIELDS

JUST BEFORE WINTER

LOCALITY AND NATURE

COUNTRY PLACES

FIELD WORDS AND WAYS

COTTAGE IDEAS

APRIL GOSSIP

SOME APRIL INSECTS

THE TIME OF YEAR

MIXED DAYS OF MAY AND DECEMBER

THE MAKERS OF SUMMER

STEAM ON COUNTRY ROADS

FIELD SPORTS IN ART: THE MAMMOTH HUNTER

BIRDS' NESTS

NATURE IN THE LOUVRE

SUMMER IN SOMERSET

AN ENGLISH DEER PARK

MY OLD VILLAGE

MY CHAFFINCH

HOURS OF SPRING.

It is sweet on awaking in the early morn to listen to the small bird singing on the tree. No sound of voice or flute is like to the bird's song; there is something in it distinct and separate from all other notes. The throat of woman gives forth a more perfect music, and the organ is the glory of man's soul. The bird upon the tree utters the meaning of the wind a voice of the grass and wild flower, words of the green leaf; they speak through that slender tone. Sweetness of dew and rifts of sunshine, the dark hawthorn touched with breadths of open bud, the odour of the air, the colour of the daffodil all that is delicious and beloved of spring time are expressed in his song. Genius is nature, and his lay, like the sap in the bough from which he sings, rises without thought. Nor is it necessary that it should be a song; a few short notes in the sharp spring morning are sufficient to stir the heart. But yesterday the least of them all came to a bough by my window, and in his call I heard the sweet briar wind rushing over the young grass. Refulgent fall the golden rays of the sun; a minute only, the clouds cover him and the hedge is dark. The bloom of the gorse is shut like a book; but it is there a few hours of warmth and the covers will fall open. The meadow is bare, but in a little while the heart shaped celandine leaves will come in their accustomed place. On the pollard willows the long wands are yellow ruddy in the passing gleam of sunshine, the first colour of spring appears in their bark. The delicious wind rushes among them and they bow and rise; it touches the top of the dark pine that looks in the sun the same now as in summer; it lifts and swings the arching trail of bramble; it dries and crumbles the earth in its fingers; the hedge sparrow's feathers are fluttered as he sings on the bush.

I wonder to myself how they can all get on without me how they manage, bird and flower, without me to keep the calendar for them. For I noted it so carefully and lovingly, day by day, the seed leaves on the mounds in the sheltered places that come so early, the pushing up of the young grass, the succulent dandelion, the coltsfoot on the heavy, thick clods, the trodden chickweed despised at the foot of the gate post, so common and small, and yet so dear to me. Every blade of grass was mine, as though I had planted it separately. They were all my pets, as the roses the lover of his garden tends so faithfully. All the grasses of the meadow were my pets, I loved them all; and perhaps that was why I never had a 'pet,' never cultivated a flower, never kept a caged bird, or any creature. Why keep pets when every wild free hawk that passed overhead in the air was mine? I joyed in his swift, careless flight, in the throw of his pinions, in his rush over the elms and miles of woodland; it was happiness to see his unchecked life... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books