I Knew A Man By Sight Poem by Henry David Thoreau

I Knew A Man By Sight

Rating: 3.5

I knew a man by sight,
A blameless wight,
Who, for a year or more,
Had daily passed my door,
Yet converse none had had with him.

I met him in a lane,
Him and his cane,
About three miles from home,
Where I had chanced to roam,
And volumes stared at him, and he at me.

In a more distant place
I glimpsed his face,
And bowed instinctively;
Starting he bowed to me,
Bowed simultaneously, and passed along.

Next, in a foreign land
I grasped his hand,
And had a social chat,
About this thing and that,
As I had known him well a thousand years.

Late in a wilderness
I shared his mess,
For he had hardships seen,
And I a wanderer been;
He was my bosom friend, and I was his.

And as, methinks, shall all,
Both great and small,
That ever lived on earth,
Early or late their birth,
Stranger and foe, one day each other know.

Michael Walker 01 August 2019

A very touching narrative about the slow growth of his friendship with this man, who was a stranger at first. It is charming that they bowed to each other first, then later shook hands, and only then had a chat. I like this poem.

0 0 Reply

stranger is he who the unknown passer by and the poet sees him in several opportunities and it is a mystery of identity and anyway a poem much interested.

4 4 Reply
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2 20 Reply
Daphne Grant 12 March 2007

I think, and I may be wrong that the mystery of life is somehow in the Author's mind. How many friends we might have made it's all a question of circumstance, the where and the when.It's like Dons No man is an island too. And another quotation, that an enemy is out there, turn him into a friend. Daphne Grant

13 4 Reply
Terri Lynn Baker 10 June 2006

When One Writes or Paints a picture...This comes from the HEART. If others choose to respond or view This...These reactions come from the SOUL. How One decides to *PERCEIVE IT ALL...IS entirely up to themselves. ~SUPPORT IS STRENGTH~

10 4 Reply
Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

Concord, Massachusetts
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