Henry David Thoreau

(12 July 1817 – 6 May 1862 / Concord, Massachusetts)


Poem by Henry David Thoreau

Low-anchored cloud,
Newfoundland air,
Fountain head and source of rivers,
Dew-cloth, dream drapery,
And napkin spread by fays;
Drifting meadow of the air,
Where bloom the dasied banks and violets,
And in whose fenny labyrinth
The bittern booms and heron wades;
Spirit of the lake and seas and rivers,
Bear only purfumes and the scent
Of healing herbs to just men's fields!

Comments about Mist by Henry David Thoreau

  • M Asim NehalM Asim Nehal (12/9/2016 11:14:00 AM)

    Wonderful explanation for the mist, a fantastic poem, indeed.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Seema JayaramanSeema Jayaraman (9/29/2015 8:30:00 PM)

    I liked this poem, It brings the images of a vast Mist swept meadow blooming with daisies and violets...thanks for sharing(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Jaime Mackey (3/19/2013 4:26:00 PM)

    It's not the best poem. I like some of the word choice like 'Drifting meadow of the air.'(Report)Reply

    10 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Morgan StarMorgan Star (3/21/2012 7:39:00 AM)

    perfect poem for today misting/raining up here in the USA(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    9 person did not like.
  • William WaterwayWilliam Waterway (3/19/2012 9:44:00 PM)

    As a water researcher/author/poet - this poem speaks to me on many levels.
    The last two lines, Bear only purfumes and the scent, o healing herbs to just men's fields!
    This is the completion of a thought whereby the fecund marshes and wetlands create conditions that produce prodigious blooms of flowers and herbs along their banks. Thus, the drifting meadow of the air carries the purfume to the cultivated fields of local farmers. Air that is saturated with moisture will absorb and carry the scent of flowers and herbs in a stronger fashion than thin, dry air that evaporates upward and cannot absorb or hold the scent of plants. Daisies, which are flowers that open during the day and close at night, are a favorite flower of poets because it not only heralds the beginning of a new season - but because daisies also have herbal healing powers that made it popular amongst country folk. The same goes with odoriferous violets - which is another scented spring flower.(Report)Reply

    12 person liked.
    10 person did not like.
  • Carlos Echeverria (3/19/2012 10:26:00 AM)

    Thoreau enraptured by a glimpse of primordial beauty.(Report)Reply

    10 person liked.
    13 person did not like.
  • Joseph Poewhit (3/19/2010 8:44:00 AM)

    I don't think a postcard could capture that into it's image.(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    14 person did not like.
  • Indira RenganathanIndira Renganathan (3/19/2010 3:55:00 AM)

    Highly serene, descriptive and metaphorical except for the last three lines...
    'Spirit of the lake and seas and rivers,
    Bear only purfumes and the scent
    Of healing herbs to just men's fields! '....Does it mean that where there is mist perfumes and scent are not diffused properly...but they do just to the far away field men....or is it perfume and scent of the healing herbs are just for humans only....puzzling is that just men (or justman)(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    10 person did not like.
  • Terence George Craddock (3/19/2010 1:19:00 AM)

    A poem with the theme of mist and water vapour beneath the immersion layer. Water in various forms but no rain. It reminds of the earth before the flood, when according to the Bible it had never rained, but the air was full of water vapour. The poet is calling upon the ‘Spirit of the lake and seas and rivers’ to
    ‘Bear only purfumes and the scent
    Of healing herbs to just men's fields! ’
    Like incense burned in offering to God or at religious ceremonies, these just men, apparently deserve a special blessing. It appears to be an idyllic paradise setting the poet is imaging or describing, a perfumed Eden.(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    11 person did not like.
  • Ramesh T ARamesh T A (3/19/2010 1:07:00 AM)

    Nature has created misty dream like atmosphere with clouds, dews over meadows spreading over rivers, seas, etc. with herbal scent and perfume influencing man's fields! A scene quite refreshing to lonely persons of seclusion and out of mood indeed this could be a healing balm so to say! A nice situation Thoreau has created in his poem!(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    10 person did not like.
  • Duncan Wyllie (3/19/2007 3:41:00 PM)

    Wonderful imagery, a tasteful write indeed, Love duncan X(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    10 person did not like.
Read all 11 comments »

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Read poems about / on: dream, river, sea

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003