He is at his very best, perhaps (as behoves a
great oarsman Who might have been in the Oxford eight) on the river. Some of his descriptions of quiet Thames scenery could scarcely be bettered, though they are too gentle for those in search of emotion. An absurd little query insists on rising to my mind when I read the best of these Thames lyrics. He speaks of the cows "robbing the golden market of the bees." Did he mean buttercups ? And if he did, was Ile aware that cows do not eat that slightly poisonous plant ? There is a good Philistine question ! But I have seen cows show bellies yellow with buttercup pollen after lying down in those Thames-side meadows. In that sense, at any rate, they were robbers of another's market ! Perhaps it was the river that drew him from Yattendon, famous for its poets, to Boars Hill, long since christened "the nest of singing birds."