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WALDEN Or Life In The Woods

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Author Topic: WALDEN Or Life In The Woods  (Read 990 times)
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Posts: 1663

« Reply #75 on: March 23, 2009, 02:09:10 am »

In the morning I watched the geese from the door through the mist,
sailing in the middle of the pond, fifty rods off, so large and
tumultuous that Walden appeared like an artificial pond for their
amusement. But when I stood on the shore they at once rose up with a
great flapping of wings at the signal of their commander, and when
they had got into rank circled about over my head, twenty-nine of
them, and then steered straight to Canada, with a regular honk from
the leader at intervals, trusting to break their fast in muddier
pools. A "plump" of ducks rose at the same time and took the route
to the north in the wake of their noisier cousins.

  For a week I heard the circling, groping clangor of some solitary
goose in the foggy mornings, seeking its companion, and still peopling
the woods with the sound of a larger life than they could sustain.
In April the pigeons were seen again flying express in small flocks,
and in due time I heard the martins twittering over my clearing,
though it had not seemed that the township contained so many that it
could afford me any, and I fancied that they were peculiarly of the
ancient race that dwelt in hollow trees ere white men came. In
almost all climes the tortoise and the frog are among the precursors
and heralds of this season, and birds fly with song and glancing
plumage, and plants spring and bloom, and winds blow, to correct
this slight oscillation of the poles and preserve the equilibrium of

  As every season seems best to us in its turn, so the coming in of
spring is like the creation of Cosmos out of Chaos and the realization
of the Golden Age.

      "Eurus ad Auroram Nabathaeaque regna recessit,

       Persidaque, et radiis juga subdita matutinis."

      "The East-Wind withdrew to Aurora and the Nabathean kingdom,

       And the Persian, and the ridges placed under the morning rays.

       Man was born. Whether that Artificer of things,

       The origin of a better world, made him from the divine seed;

       Or the earth, being recent and lately sundered from the high

       Ether, retained some seeds of cognate heaven."

  A single gentle rain makes the grass many shades greener. So our
prospects brighten on the influx of better thoughts. We should be
blessed if we lived in the present always, and took advantage of every
accident that befell us, like the grass which confesses the
influence of the slightest dew that falls on it; and did not spend our
time in atoning for the neglect of past opportunities, which we call
doing our duty. We loiter in winter while it is already spring. In a
pleasant spring morning all men's sins are forgiven. Such a day is a
truce to vice. While such a sun holds out to burn, the vilest sinner
may return. Through our own recovered innocence we discern the
innocence of our neighbors. You may have known your neighbor yesterday
for a thief, a drunkard, or a sensualist, and merely pitied or
despised him, and despaired of the world; but the sun shines bright
and warm this first spring morning, re-creating the world, and you
meet him at some serene work, and see how it is exhausted and
debauched veins expand with still joy and bless the new day, feel
the spring influence with the innocence of infancy, and all his faults
are forgotten. There is not only an atmosphere of good will about him,
but even a savor of holiness groping for expression, blindly and
ineffectually perhaps, like a new-born instinct, and for a short
hour the south hillside echoes to no vulgar jest. You see some
innocent fair shoots preparing to burst from his gnarled rind and
try another year's life, tender and fresh as the youngest plant.
Even he has entered into the joy of his Lord. Why the jailer does
not leave open his prison doors- why the judge does not dismis his
case- why the preacher does not dismiss his congregation! It is
because they do not obey the hint which God gives them, nor accept the
pardon which he freely offers to all.

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