pick out the separate melodies; the song of the birds was, indeed, so much a part of their surroundings that an act of definite listening was necessary to hear it. It linked him on to Nature; it made Nature articulate. He heard the hearty whistle of the blackcap among the swaying tree-tops, shrill with joy; a whitethroat tossed itself exultantly into the air beside him; he heard the warblers trilling, the little calling cry of the chiff-chaff, the tiny poem of the willow-warbler, the merry laughter of the dainty wren. The tits shot everywhere, pecking in seed, pricking the sunshine with their tiny beaks, darting, flashing. He passed a farm and saw the vigorous outline of a blackbird, perched upon an oak bough still bare, fluting as Pan fluted upon many-fountained Ida long ago; a chaffinch dipped at him over the wall from wet shrubberies beyond, hopped to a twig in the sunlight above the blackbird, and let loose a shower of notes like silvery drops of water. Singing shook itself out of the atmosphere everywhe
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