Mist Poem by Henry David Thoreau


Rating: 2.9

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!

Carlos Echeverria 19 March 2012

Thoreau enraptured by a glimpse of primordial beauty.

10 14 Reply
Joseph Poewhit 19 March 2010

I don't think a postcard could capture that into it's image.

8 14 Reply
Terence George Craddock 19 March 2010

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.

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Duncan Wyllie 19 March 2007

Wonderful imagery, a tasteful write indeed, Love duncan X

7 10 Reply
Ramesh T A 19 March 2010

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!

5 10 Reply
M Asim Nehal 09 December 2016

Wonderful explanation for the mist, a fantastic poem, indeed.

1 1 Reply
Seema Jayaraman 29 September 2015

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

7 1 Reply
Jaime Mackey 19 March 2013

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

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Morgan Star 21 March 2012

perfect poem for today misting/raining up here in the USA

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William Waterway 19 March 2012

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.

14 10 Reply
Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

Concord, Massachusetts
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