came to him. It came to him from the deserted parks, from the distant Cherwell flowing through its willow-roots and osier-islands, from the flat meadow-country beyond, stretching away to the coppices of the low boundary hills. It was a voice made up of many whispers, each imperceptible, or almost imperceptible in itself; whisper of water and dry reeds, of broken twigs and dry leaves fluttering to the ground, of heaped dead leaves or coarse winter grass, stirring in some slight movement of the air. It seemed to his imagination as though under the darkness, in the loneliness of night, the man-mastered world must be secretly transformed, returned to its primal freedom; and that could he go forth into it alone, he would find it quite different from anything familiar to him, and might meet with something, he knew not what, secret, strange, and perhaps terrible.
Such fancies, though less crystallized than they must needs be by words, floated in the penumbra of his mind, coming to him perhaps with the blood o