has nothing to do with human pleasure or human profit. 
If we were all laid prone, frozen, stiff, still the sky would 
be experimenting with its blues and golds. Perhaps then, 
looking down at something very small and close and 
familiar, we shall find sympathy. Let us examine the rose. 
We have seen it so often flowering in bowls, connected 
it so often with beauty in its prime, that we have 
forgotten how it stands, still and steady, throughout 
an entire afternoon in the earth. It preserves a demeanour 
of perfect dignity and self-possession. The suffusion of its 
petals is of inimitable rightness. Now perhaps one de-
liberately falls; now all the flowers, the voluptuous purple, 
the creamy, in whose waxen flesh a spoon has left a swirl 
of cherry juice; gladioli; dahlias; lilies, sacerdotal, eccle-
siastical; flowers with prim cardboard collars tinged apricot 
and amber, all gently incline their heads to the breeze—
all, with the exception of the heavy sunflower, who proudly 
acknowledges the sun at midday, and perhaps at midnight 
rebuffs the moon. There they stand; and it is of these, the 
stillest, the most self-sufficient of all things that human 
beings have made companions; these that symbolise their 
passions, decorate their festivals, and lie (as if they knew 
sorrow) upon the pillows of the dead! Wonderful to 
relate, poets have found religion in nature; people live 
in the country to learn virtue from plants. It is in their 
indifference that they are comforting. That snowfield of 
the mind, where man has not trodden, is visited by the 
cloud, kissed by the falling petal, as, in another sphere, 
it is the great artists, the Miltons, the Popes, who console,
not by their thought of us, but by their forgetfulness.

Meanwhile, with the heroism of the ant or the bee, 
however indifferent the sky or disdainful the flowers, 
the army of the upright marches to battle. Mrs. Jones 
catches her train. Mr. Smith mends his motor. The 
cows are driven home to be milked. Men thatch the roof. 
The dogs bark. The rooks, rising in a net, fall in a net