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Strudwick, When Apples Were Golden and Songs Were Sweet but Summer Had Passed Away (1906, Manchester City Art Gallery)

One day during my last term at school I walked out alone in the evening and heard the birds singing in that full chorus of song, which can only be heard at that time of the year at dawn or at sunset. I remember now the shock of surprise with which the sound broke in my ears. It seemed to me that I had never heard the birds singing before and I wondered whether they sang like this all the year round and I had never noticed it.

As I walked on I came upon some hawthorn trees in full bloom and again I thought that I had never ever seen such a sight or experienced such sweetness before. If I had been brought suddenly among the trees of the Garden of Paradise and heard a choir of angels singing I could not have been more surprised.

Strudwick, The Ten Virgins (1884, Private Collection):
Strudwick, The Ten Virgins (1884, Private Collection)

I came then to where the sun was setting over the playing fields.

A lark rose suddenly from the ground beside the tree where I was standing and poured out its song above my head, and then sank still singing to rest. Everything then grew still as the sunset faded and the veil of dusk began to cover the earth. I remember now the feeling of awe which came over me. I felt inclined to kneel on the ground, as though I had been standing in the presence of an angel; and I hardly dared to look on the face of the sky, because it seemed as though it was but a veil before the face of God.

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Strudwick, Songs without Words (1875, Pérez Simón Collection)
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