10 MAY 1935, Page 23


The Perfect rune

W. H. Hudson once said that the English countryside reached the height of its beauty on or about May 18th. It Was a remark based upon years of observation, and anyone who looks at the country somewhere about the time these notes appear may confirm it for himself. However forward or cold the earlier spring has been, the balance of the year seems to adjust itself scmewhere about that time. It reaches a perfection of richness and freshness that it never attains again. The oaks alone, in flower with light tassels of greenish yellow, are most glorious; the young beech-leaves, almost transparent, are wonderfully tender and brilliant in the sun ; the way itself lies on the hedges in thick clouds of cream. The like and the chestnut are in bloom and the bird season reaches its height. The display of passion is intense. The cuckoo 'is not yet monotonous and the nightin- gale and the blackbird are perfect: The sleepy and in some way melancholy silence of full summer has not begun. In gardens there is a perfect union between spring and summer, so that rises and tulips bloom together, and pinks and prim- roses. Atd in the fields there is a glory o2 moon-daisy and -campion and totter-gm es and clover that never comes again, and everywhere one's feet are dusted with gold.