Glimpses of Eden

20 March 2014 | by Jonathan Tulloch

HOW HIGH does a skylark rise? Mesmerised, I stood in the field watching the little brown bird sing its way higher and higher. Deeper and deeper into the blue sky the lark rose until it was hundreds of feet up. A cold morning, and the wind ever freshening, yet the lark, who weighs little more than a shuttlecock, rode the stiff air currents without deviating. And still it lifted, until all at once it passed from view to become, in the words of Tennyson, a “sightless song”. No wonder skylarks, such strong symbols of freedom, delight poets and composers.And conscripted soldiers, too. During the slaughter on the Somme and other battlefields, whenever the whizzbangs and firing ceased, even for a minute, the skylarks would rise; high above all the death, the larks would lift like bar

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