Birds and Poets

Birds and Poets - by John Burrows

The beauty of nature includes all that is called beautiful, as its flower;

and all that is not called beautiful, as its stalk and roots.

Indeed, when I go to the woods or the fields, or ascend to the hilltop, I do not

seem to be gazing upon beauty at all, but to be breathing it like the air. I am not dazzled

or astonished; I am in no hurry to look lest it be gone. I would not have the litter and

debris removed, or the banks trimmed, or the ground painted. What I enjoy is commensurate

with the earth and sky itself. It clings to the rocks and trees; it is kindred to the

roughness and savagery; it rises from every tangle and chasm; it perches on the dry oak-stubs

with the hawks and buzzards; the crows shed it from their wings and weave it into their nests

of coarse sticks; the fox barks it, the cattle low it, and every mountain path leads to its haunts.

I am not a spectator of, but a participator in it. It is not an adornment; its roots strike to the

centre of the earth.