Tiptree Hall has its own literature also, in two or three volumes, written by Mr. Mechi himself, and describing fully his agricultural experience and experiments, and giving facts and arguments which every English and American farmer might study with profit.
ENGLISH AND AMERICAN BIRDS.
“What thou art we know not;
What is most like thee?
From rainbow clouds there flow not
Drops so bright to see,
As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.”
“Do you ne’er think what wondrous beings these?
Do you ne’er think who made them, and who taught
The dialect they speak, whose melodies
Alone are the interpreters of thought?
Whose household words are songs in many keys,
Sweeter than instrument of man e’er caught!
Whose habitations in the tree-tops, even,
Are half-way houses on the road to heaven.”
Having spent a couple of hours very pleasantly at Tiptree Hall, I turned my face in a northerly direction for a walk through the best agricultural section of Essex. While passing through a grass field recently mown, a lark flew up from almost under my feet. And there, partially overarched by a tuft of clover, was her little all of earth—a snug, warm nest with two small eggs in it, about the size and color of those of the ground-chirping-bird of New England, which is nearer the English lark than any other American bird. I bent down to look at them with an interest an American could only feel. To him the lark is to the bird-world’s companionship and music what the angels are to the spirit land. He has read and dreamed of both from his childhood up. He has believed in both poetically and pleasantly, sometimes almost positively, as real and beautiful individualities. He almost credits the poet of his own country, who speaks of hearing “the downward beat of angel wings.” In his facile faith in the substance of picturesque and happy shadows, he sometimes tries to believe that the phoenix may have been, in some age and country, a real, living bird, of flesh and blood and genuine feathers, with long, strong wings, capable of performing the strange