Linda Scheller

Hill Top

                                                 Beatrix Potter (1866-1943)

Each crooked twig articulates the tree, a lace of bone
Achieves the body’s architecture. These compel
My eyes to see, my hands to sketch and paint. I dwell
In nature’s residence observing every detail, quite alone
With beauty and my animals. As fruit may hide a stone,
So grasses hide a teeming world of spiders and decay.
Soft busy mice, shrewd cats, the patient cold amphibians portray
The foibles of humanity in miniature. With line and tone,
I copy and experiment to render nature visible to all.
The picture letters blossomed into little books, which bought
My independence and my farm, my life among the sheep
And pigs within the realm of Wordsworth. Everything I sought,
I found in nature, learnt its lessons well, and heed its call
To flower in the shifts of light which cause the heart to leap.

 “Hill Top”

     Schooled at home, Beatrix Potter concentrated on natural sciences and art. 
She illustrated fairy tales and scientific texts and then became famous as the 
author and illustrator of The Tale of Peter Rabbit. She bought Hill Top and took 
up farming, buying additional farms, parks, and tracts in England’s Lake District 
with the proceeds from her books for children. At her death, she bequeathed 4,300 
acres to the National Trust in order to preserve and protect the region’s traditional 
farms and natural scenic beauty.