s that the poets have in all time been consummate observers, and that their observations have been as valuable as those of the men of science; and yet we look even to the poets for very casual and occasional glimpses of Nature only, not for any continuous reflection of her glory.
Thus, Chaucer is perfumed with early spring; Homer resounds like the sea; in the Greek Anthology the sun always shines on the fisherman's cottage by the beach; we associate the Vishnu Purana with lakes and lotuses, Keats with nightingales in forest dim, while the long grass waving on the lonely heath is the last memorial of the fading fame of Ossian.
Of course Shakespeare's omniscience included all natural phenomena; but the rest, great or small, associate themselves with some special aspects, and not with the daily atmosphere.
Coming to our own times, one must quarrel with Ruskin as taking rather the artist's view of Nature, selecting the available bits and dealing rather patronizingly with the whole; and
ith the loud proclamation of the Golden-Crowned Thrush,— scheat, scheat, scheat, scheat,—rising and growing louder in a vigorous way that rather suggests some great Woodpecker than such a tiny thing.
And penetrating to some yet lonelier place, we find it consecrated to that life-long sorrow, whatever it may be, which is made immortal in the plaintive cadence of the Pewee-Flycatcher.
There is one favorite bird,—the Chewink, or Ground-Robin,—which, I always fancied, must have been known to Keats when he wrote those few words of perfect descriptiveness,—
If an innocent bird Before my heedless footsteps stirred and stirred In little journeys.
What restless spirit is in this creature, that, while so shy in its own personal habits, it yet watches every visitor with a Paul-Pry curiosity, follows him in the woods, peers out among the underbrush, scratches upon the leaves with a pretty pretence of important business there, and presently, when disregarded, ascends some small tre