Ralph Waldo Emerson: Walden


In my garden three ways meet,   Thrice the spot is blest; Hermit-thrush comes there to build,   Carrier-doves to nest.  There broad-armed oaks, the copses' maze,   The cold sea-wind detain; Here sultry Summer overstays   When Autumn chills the plain.  Self-sown my stately garden grows;   The winds and wind-blown seed, Cold April rain and colder snows   My hedges plant and feed.  From mountains far and valleys near   The harvests sown to-day Thrive in all weathers without fear,—   Wild planters, plant away!  In cities high the careful crowds   Of woe-worn mortals darkling go, But in these sunny solitudes   My quiet roses blow.  Methought the sky looked scornful down   On all was base in man, And airy tongues did taunt the town,   'Achieve our peace who can!'  What need I holier dew   Than Walden's haunted wave, Distilled from heaven's alembic blue,   Steeped in each forest cave?  [If Thought unlock her mysteries,   If Friendship on me smile, I walk in marble galleries,   I talk with kings the while.]  How drearily in College hall   The Doctor stretched the hours, But in each pause we heard the call   Of robins out of doors.  The air is wise, the wind thinks well,   And all through which it blows, If plants or brain, if egg or shell,   Or bird or biped knows;  And oft at home 'mid tasks I heed,   I heed how wears the day; We must not halt while fiercely speed   The spans of life away.  What boots it here of Thebes or Rome   Or lands of Eastern day? In forests I am still at home   And there I cannot stray.