Moorland Idylls

Grant Allen Moorland Idylls
Project Gutenberg
Grant Allen
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Опис: We sat late on the verandah last night, listening to the low trilling croon of the night-jar. It was a balmy evening, one of the few this summer; the sunset was lingering over the heather-clad moors, and the lonely bird sat perched on one bough of the wind-swept pine-tree by Martin’s Corner, calling pathetically to his mate with that deep passionate cry of his. I know not why, but the voice of the night-jar seems to me fuller of unspoken poetry than that of any more musical and articulate songster. Away down in the valley a nightingale was pouring his full throat among the oak-brush; but we hardly heeded him. Up on the open moorland, in the twilight solitude, that grey bird of dusk sat keening and sobbing his monotonous love-plaint; and it moved us more than all the nightingale’s gamut. I think it must be because we feel instinctively he is in terrible earnest. Those profound catches in the throat are the very note of true love; they have in them something of high human passion. And we could see the bird himself, too, on his half-leafless perch, craning his neck as he crooned, and looking eagerly for his lady-love. It was a delicious moment. We murmured as we sat George Meredith’s lines—

“Lovely are the curves of the white owl sweeping

  Wavy in the dusk lit by one large star.

Lone on the fir-branch, his rattle-note unvaried,

  Brooding o’er the gloom, spins the brown eve-jar.”

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