Thoreau

WHO nearer Nature’s life would truly come
Must nearest come to him of whom I speak;
He all kinds knew,—the vocal and the dumb;
Masterful in genius was he, and unique,
Patient, sagacious, tender, frolicsome.
This Concord Pan would oft his whistle take,
And forth from wood and fen, field, hill, and lake,
Trooping around him in their several guise,
The shy inhabitants their haunts forsake:
Then he, like Æsop, man would satirize,

Ode To Adversity

Daughter of Heav'n, relentless pow'r,
Thou tamer of the human breast,
Whose iron scourge, and tort'ring hour,
The bad affright, afflict the best!
Bound in thy adamantine chain,
The proud are taught to taste of pain,
And purple tyrants vainly groan
With pangs unfelt before, unpitied and alone.

When first thy sire to send on earth

Amongst The Roses

I walked through a Forest, beneath the hot noon,
On Etheline calling and calling!
One said: "She will hear you and come to you soon,
When the coolness, my brother, is falling."
But I whispered: "O Darling, I falter with pain! "
And the thirsty leaves rustled, and hissed for the rain,
Where a wayfarer halted and slept on the plain;
And dreamt of a garden of Roses!
Of a cool sweet place,
And a nestling face

The Dog And His Master

NO better Dog e'er kept his Master's Door
Than honest Snarl, who spar'd nor Rich nor Poor;
But gave the Alarm, when any one drew nigh,
Nor let pretended Friends pass fearless by:
For which reprov'd, as better Fed than Taught,
He rightly thus expostulates the Fault.

To keep the House from Rascals was my Charge;
The Task was great, and the Commission large.
Nor did your Worship e'er declare your Mind,

Sic Vita

Like to the falling of a star,
Or as the flights of eagles are,
Or like the fresh spring's gaudy hue,
Or silver drops of morning dew,
Or like a wind that chafes the flood,
Or bubbles which on water stood:
Even such is man, whose borrowed light
Is straight called in, and paid to night.
The wind blows out, the bubble dies;
The spring entombed in autumn lies;

Fatality

The tree is happy because it is scarcely sentient;
the hard rock is happier still, it feels nothing:
there is no pain as great as being alive,
no burden heavier than that of conscious life.

To be, and to know nothing, and to lack a way,
and the dread of having been, and future terrors...
And the sure terror of being dead tomorrow,
and to suffer all through life and through the darkness,

To His Young Mistress

Fair flower of fifteen springs, that still
Art scarcely blossomed from the bud,
Yet hast such store of evil will,
A heart so full of hardihood,
Seeking to hide in friendly wise
The mischief of your mocking eyes.

If you have pity, child, give o’er;
Give back the heart you stole from me,
Pirate, setting so little store

The Passionate Shepherd (Excerpt)

Who can live in heart so glad
As the merry country lad?
Who upon a fair green balk
May at pleasure sit and walk,
And amid the azure skies
See the morning sun arise;
While he hears in every spring
How the birds do chirp and sing;
Or before the hounds in cry
See the hare go stealing by;

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

Chorus - For auld land syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Mannahatta


I WAS asking for something specific and perfect for my city,
Whereupon, lo! upsprang the aboriginal name!

Now I see what there is in a name, a word, liquid, sane, unruly,
musical, self-sufficient;
I see that the word of my city is that word up there,
Because I see that word nested in nests of water-bays, superb, with
tall and wonderful spires,
Rich, hemm'd thick all around with sailships and steamships--an

Tell Me Not Here, It Needs Not Saying

Tell me not here, it needs not saying,
What tune the enchantress plays
In aftermaths of soft September
Or under blanching mays,
For she and I were long acquainted
And I knew all her ways.

On russet floors, by waters idle,
The pine lets fall its cone;
The cuckoo shouts all day at nothing

Verses To A Child

1

O raise those eyes to me again
And smile again so joyously,
And fear not, love; it was not pain
Nor grief that drew these tears from me;
Beloved child, thou canst not tell
The thoughts that in my bosom dwell
Whene'er I look on thee!

Salve!

TO live within a cave--it is most good;
   But, if God make a day,
   And some one come, and say,
'Lo! I have gather'd faggots in the wood!'
   E'en let him stay,
And light a fire, and fan a temporal mood!

So sit till morning! when the light is grown
   That he the path can read,
   Then bid the man God-speed!

Summer Wind

It is a sultry day; the sun has drank
The dew that lay upon the morning grass,
There is no rustling in the lofty elm
That canopies my dwelling, and its shade
Scarce cools me. All is silent, save the faint
And interrupted murmur of the bee,
Settling on the sick flowers, and then again
Instantly on the wing. The plants around
Feel the too potent fervors; the tall maize
Rolls up its long green leaves; the clover droops

Bride Song

From 'The Prince's Progress'

TOO late for love, too late for joy,
   Too late, too late!
You loiter'd on the road too long,
   You trifled at the gate:
The enchanted dove upon her branch
   Died without a mate;
The enchanted princess in her tower
   Slept, died, behind the grate;

Sonnet 25: Let Those Who Are In Favour With Their Stars

Let those who are in favour with their stars
Of public honour and proud titles boast,
Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars,
Unlooked for joy in that I honour most.
Great princes' favourites their fair leaves spread,
But as the marigold at the sun's eye,
And in themselves their pride lies burièd,
For at a frown they in their glory die.
The painful warrior famousèd for fight,
After a thousand victories once foiled,

To A Lady Asking Foolish Questions

Why am I sorry, Chloe? Because the moon is far:
And who am I to be straitened in a little earthly star?

Because thy face is fair? And what if it had not been,
The fairest face of all is the face I have not seen.

Because the land is cold, and however I scheme and plot,
I cannot find a ferry to the land where I am not.

Because thy lips are red and thy breasts upbraid the snow?

The Deserted House

There's no smoke in the chimney,
And the rain beats on the floor;
There's no glass in the window,
There's no wood in the door;
The heather grows behind the house,
And the sand lies before.

No hand hath trained the ivy,
The walls are grey and bare;
The boats upon the sea sail by,

Forever

"Forever": 'tis a single word!
Our rude forefathers deemed it two:
Can you imagine so absurd
A view?

"Forever"! What abysms of woe
The word reveals, what frenzy, what
Despair! "For ever" (printed so)
Did not.

On The Death Of President Garfield

I.

FALLEN with autumn's falling leaf
Ere yet his summer's noon was past,
Our friend, our guide, our trusted chief,--
What words can match a woe so vast!

And whose the chartered claim to speak
The sacred grief where all have part,
Where sorrow saddens every cheek