You are on page 1of 488

'

.

:

-

i , :

.

J;;V;

^k-<

*-d rrry.y
Q)

j/ fJ&jJ&
i

^

AUTUMN: FROM THE JOURNAL OF HENRY D. THOREAU

EDITED BY

H. G. O.

BLAKE

" This world
;

is

no blot for us
;

Nor blank it means intensely and means good To find its meaning is my meat and drink." Browning, Fra Lippo Lippi.
" In the last stage of civilization, poetry, religion and philosophy will be one, and there are glimpses of this truth in the first." Thoreau, December

17, 1837.

BOSTON AND NEW YORK HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY
<$U
$trtjer?iOe

Pre??, Cambridge

1892

A

dS

777

W7V
Copyright, 1892,

By HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN
All
'~~7

&

CO.

rights reserved.

-v

/

_••••••

•••

«

The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass.

,

U. 8. A.

Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton

& Company.

PKEFACE
With
the present volume, the four seasons, as

they are represented in Thoreau's journal, are

nominally completed, though but a part of the

Spring and

Summer

has been given, and

much

has been omitted in

all

the four volumes printed.

As I have
journal
is

said before,

my own

interest in the

in the

character and genius of the

writer, rather than in

any account of the phe-

nomena

of nature.

According to Thoreau's own
is,

view, such a journal

in the strictest sense,

an

autobiography.

"

Our
;

thoughts," he says, " are
all else is

the epochs in our lives

but as a jourhere."

nal of the winds that blew while

we were

And

again in this volume, under October 21,

1857, " Is not the poet bound to write his

own

biography

?

Is there
?

any other work for him but
not wish to

a good journal

We do

know how
on the

his imaginary hero, but

lived

from day to day."

how As

he the actual hero,
the "

Week

." though describing a voyage very limited as to time and distance. to Conantum. feel company of read- though not a very large one. than the most varied adventures of ordi- nary travelers in distant lands. I sure of an eager and earnest ers. yet from its intermingling of thought with loving observation and poetic description seems a far-reaching journey. however partial. satisfaction I have also the of discharging a duty which seemed to devolve thus making better to upon me by inheritance. in and about Concord. visited other continents. far. so these oft-repeated walks and boating excursions Fair Haven. Here was a young man. with little a liberal education and or no pecuniary . the in Cliffs. civito. life. known a life which has been me for so many years of the deepest interest. as every be. Concord and Merrimack Kivers. One may have and yet never gone so In continuing to publish these volumes. abound more genuine more of the true spirit of travel. which in the hurry and rush of our present lization is certainly well life worth attending a which. etc.iv PREFACE. points so clearly finite life must and steadily towards the highest ideal.

but fall in with the current. how was this plan — how with simple wants and in ob- scurity he enjoyed the wealth of the world. In view of these things. The remarkable thing about this man it is that though not a church-goer. this Many persons talk in way. society are . and acted upon conviction. the charge of egotism and selfish- ness will at once spring to the lips of many. but to the degree in earth. who on entering the world determined not to throw obstacles in the life way of his true by attempting to earn such a living and such a position as the usages of society set before him. as did in his manners and successful conversation. how is false the aims of that real success not in proportion to the property and distinction one acquires. he yet regarded tate of as the clear dic- wisdom thus his to make the most of life.PEEFACE. listen approvingly to such preaching. He knew early. which he finds heaven here upon idea was not expressed by though this him in the language of religion. V means. The cheerful serenity which appears it in his writings. shows for him. . not caring for the institutions of religion. through the intimations of his genius. with little experience.

he com- part in works of philanthropy Had lost he done otherwise. though more quiet in its operation is than associated schemes of reform. doubtless the most power- ful influence in the progress of mankind. we should from his character somewhat of that strong personal element which. THE EDITOR.VI PREFACE. that know better than he is fatal to an unworthy self-regard the object he had in view. ." Though deeply monly took and reform. of us But probably few did. " Renounce joy for my fellow's sake ? That 's joy Beyond joy. probably have interested and sometimes ac- tive in the cause of little human freedom.

all men commend me. open with the it seeds in still them but when I held by its base. more gain willful sacrifices to my vices. to if my own it. and ends. It even of others' make enormous happiness. 1859. Heard fall of in the night a snap- some small body on the floor from time to time. ping sound. it may be. ing not most of them. would seem as nothing good could be accomplished without some vice to aid in Sept. 1854.. flies. . In the morning I found it was produced by the witch-hazel nuts on my desk springing open and casting their seeds quite across my chamber. myself to owe all I sometimes seem to for which my little success. be- as I have said. September 21. release a seed. 21. it . .. I am perhaps than others. I fly out.AUTUMN. hard and stony For several days they are as these nuts were. and the shooting black seeds about suspect that first it is my chamber. for I see first not when the witch-hazel nut gapes open that the seeds if many.

. . immaterial or atmosphere. than .. The ex. and from between my thumb and fly fit It appears to close to the shell at its base. slippery base is compressed by it. as to a deed done. The pods are nearly them open.. those lighter ones which are furnished with a pappus. 1852. . will turn out to be birds.. in subtlest. In we impart each form of thought to each. Of what account are titles and offices and opportunities. 1860. and so transported by the wind ally the food of birds i. it make one slip by pressing it.m.. half of . and an ever memorable occasion. e. even after the shell gapes. and the various lords and distinguished men he met. I perceive that one just ready to open opens with a slight on being I suspect touched. the best of ourselves. such as . . letting finger.. if you do no memorable deed? Sept. country.2 I think that its AUTUMN. of the To Easterbrook broom spring. 22. little. that those which the wind takes are less gener- and quadrupeds than the love heavier and wingless seeds. Sept. etc.plenipotentiary refers in after speeches with complacency to the time he spent abroad. which the winds do not and so transported more sought by the by them. that such seeds as these. 21. p. and the pod curls a transport. the unyielding shell which at length expels just as I can..

. Crossing the is hill behind Minott's just as the sun preparing to dip below the horizon. I wonder if there . like a bloom on fruits. We on account of the are no longer distracted. . the thin haze in the atmosphere north and south along the western horizon reflects a purple tinge. the air and bracing. are any finer days in the year than these. are enabled By simple. . and mutually enrich each other. A painted tortoise. tuck. The river is peculiarly smooth. . from the hilltop. outside of the weeds. looks as air in that attitude. as I look from the stone bridge. . so fine .AUTUMN. with his head out. . and bathes the mountains with the same. fewness of objects. 3 commonly vanishes or evaporates in aspirations.. . We to erect ourselves. m. our minds. persimmons. . moonlight Is it it not another evidence of yesterday. 1854. 22. I wonder if this phenomenon is observed in warmer weather. with head As is I look off at an angle of and flippers outstretched. The landscape has acquired some fresh verdure withal. or suggests if it. To him humanity is not only a flavor. p. the ripe day ? I saw all is . Over NawshawSept. but an aroma and a flavor also. or before the frosts have come. resting in the 45°. The frosts come to ripen the days like fruits. The lover alone perceives and dwells in a certain human fragrance.. and the water clear and sunny.

perchance. who had it not heard it. The wet or damp sand yielded no peculiar sound. . struck the beach of "musical sand. . Fishermen might walk over their lives. R much . it The sound was not at all musical. mile southeast of the village of Manchester . nor did that which lay loose and deep next the bank. Sept 22. . sound made in waxIt was a squeaking I result of the fric- sound. when we struck forcibly with our heels. as like the ing a table as anything. It is simple as the rudiments of an art. A clear. . may be one third of a mile long and some twelve rods wide. 1858. as indeed they have done. One Leave Salem for Cape Ann on foot. a lesson to be taken before sunlight. bread and water. . We first perceived the sound when we scratched with an umbrella or the finger swiftly and forcibly through the sand also still louder . should say it was merely the . " scuf- fing " along. high. "We found the same kind of sand on a similar but shorter beach on the east side of Eagle Head.4 It is simple AUTUMN. nor it all loud." just this side of a large. as of one particle rubbing on another. without noticing it. cold day. rocky point called Eagle Head ! This is a curving beach . to prepare us for that. but only the more compact and was dry. was I about right when he said was like that made by rubbing wet thought it glass with your finger.

like . 1859. write as if they had seen the thing which they pretend to describe. piercing whinner of a colt. anists. 8 p. 23. makes a description pour servir. 23. . but I rarely read a sentence in a botany which reminds of flowers or living plants. Sept.AUTUMN. . . this bright moonlight night. producers society produces Many think themselves well employed as charitable dispens- . I hear from my Sept. Sept. sees. as it The so in- former is affected it by what he . yet I could hear the sound made by my companion's feet two or three rods distant. much a loud. like the scream. 1855. 5 formed and constituted partiand made a great noise. and fills spired to portray the latter merely out a schedule prepared for him.m. probably could have heard it five The surf was high or six rods. . a rapid trill. tion of peculiarly cles. Some of the early bot- Gerard. were prompted and comwere. . chamber a screech-owl about Monroe's house. but most now- adays only measure them. me Very few. a note or two. 1860. then subdued or smothered. . . pelled to describe their plants. and if it had been still. per- — haps. What ! an array of non. I am constantly assisted by the books in identifying a particular plant and learning some of its humbler uses. indeed. 22.

Meanwhile. who produce which somebody else earned. being of the most these luxurious habits. to lurk in the pears that are invented in the neighborhood of great towns. are precisely they the most. maintained at the public expense. . and complain loudest get what they want. they fill the and die and revive from time to time. They there as if cling like the glutton to a living suck his vitals are up. " The evil that men do lives after toes produced them. wholesome plants rank and weedlike. so coarse that nobody could eat it. All that I ever got a premium for was a monstrous squash. and nothing. . who want when they do not They who are literally paupers. . What the grain raised it in the cornfields of Waterloo for. but our vileness and luxuriance make simple. To any man and locomotive man three or four deadheads clinging. How can you expect such bloodsuckers to be happy ? Not only foul and poisonous weeds grow in our tracks." The corn and potaby excessive manuring may be creatures is said to have not only a coarse. but a poisonous quality. they conferred a great favor on society upon it. Some of these bad qualities will be found by living churches. They have nothing to do but sin and repent of their sins. are the most importunate and insatiable beggars. unless be .6 ers of wealth AUTUMN.

autumnal weather is very exciting and bracing.. we should air our lives by removals. for such as prey 7 ? upon men Who cuts the grass in the graveyard ? I can detect the site of the shanties that have stood all along the railroad by the ranker vegetation. and blue-eyed grass. harebells. showing the direction Its surface. I hear that a large owl. .AUTUMN. Starve cellar excursions into the fields and woods. off probably a cat-owl. The river washes with white streaks diagonally to of the wind. it having cleared off in the night. So live that only the most beautiful wild flowers will spring up where you have dwelt. 23. Do not sit so long over any hole as to tempt your neighbor to bid for the privilege of digging saltpetre there. M. . clear and cold after the rain of yes. 24. reflecting the sun. 8 a. The outlines of the hills are . I do not go there for delicate wild flowers. is dazzlingly bright. killed and carried a full- grown turkey in Carlisle. then. . 1860. so that the telegraph harp does not sound where I cross.. its up stream before the wind. . terday. that It is important. a few days ago. . The wind is from the north. and I have donned a thick overcoat for a walk. 1851 via Conantum. your vices. violets. . This windy. To Lee's Bridge Sept. It is a cool and windy morning. of foam on its dark surface course. Sept.

and more conspicuous. making it to appear to flow that way. clad all gay colors. such as can be seen only in this clear air. covered with shrub oaks. this cow wandering ing . bare and hard. which for some reason has not been cut this year. scarcely darker than. What shorn can be handsomer for a picture than First this our river scenery now! smoothly all meadow on the west looking from Conantum swaths distinct. and hardly to be distinguished from. berry bushes on Conantum are all The huckleturned red. with varied lights and shades from its waving grass. looking for rising sixty then the hill. each bush a feather in . It is a far brighter red than the blossoms of any tree in summer. not clothed with a thick I notice one red tree. Cliff. black as ink. with the with apple-trees caststrong light. restlessly about in and low- then the blue river. remarkably distinct and and their surfaces air. now at length each grass-blade if bending south before the wintry blast.8 AUTUMN. so dry. against the woodside in Conant's meadow. the sky. bordered by willows and button bushes then the narrow meadow beyond. sprinkled side of the stream. feet to a terrace-like plain. though . ing heavy shadows. its waves driven southward or up stream by the wind. one it.. etc. maples. as aid in that direction . in a livery of now variously tinted. a red maple. fine.

P. April 19. Time stands still while they are The artist cannot be in a hurry. . To Melvin's Preserve.AUTUMN. Saw at the East India Marine Hall a Bay lynx killed in Danvers July 21st (I think in 1827) another killed in Lynnfield in March. . . found in the road near Concord. with its orchard on the slope and to the right of the cliff the distant cap . The . These skins were now. [Salem. at any pale rate. and feel Great works of art have endless leisure for a background..] . 1858. has space. its 9 and further in the rear. 1859. and the surface of the earth so pleasingly varied that it seems rarely fitted for the abode of man. as the universe hurried these days. the air so clear and wholesome. supposed to have belonged to a British Sept. Sept 24. Lincoln hills in the horizon. distinct. officer. with small brown spots. crowned where gray rocks here and there project from amidst the bushes. dirty whitish. I have many affairs to attend to. 24. in The animals much Saw a large fossil larger turtle. the woodsome two hundred feet high. m. or white wolfish color. cliff. the landscape so handsomely colored.. than I expected. quite light. created. with the plates a slate-colored stone from western New York also a sword in its scabbard. . 1832. 1775. some twenty inches in diameter. and . .

this old Carlisle road — road and for walkers. rapidity. not in spite of every thing but one. and no more worldly . go. nor the baker's jingling wild things fruits cart. It is not by compromise. with its springy hausted vigor. It reminds now me of all try. a clear field. road where abound. for berry-pickers. no courteous bowing to one-handed knights. earth moves round the sun with inconceivable ruffled and yet the surface of the lake is not by it. mountain sides any essence of Dicksonia fern. I wonder? Surely that giant who Is there up counand unex- my neighbor expects is to bound up the Alle- . You are to fight in a field where no allowances will be made. road for Melvin and Clark. You . zoological and botanical. where there are countless rocks to jar those who venture in wagons road which leads . at whose gate you never arrive. . and live at last. as I was going along there. but in spite of every thing. not for the all nor butcher. that a man will He must conquer save his soul. letting Repentance & Co. I perceived — the grateful scent of the Dicksonia fern partly decayed. . Going along travelers sheriff. it is not by a timid and feeble repentance. that well-meaning but weak firm that has assumed the debts of an old and worthless one. are expected to do your duty. to and through a great but not famous garden.10 AUTUMN.

11 ghanies will have his handkerchief scented with The sweet fragrance of decay! When I wade through by narrow cow-paths. They do not know what confor his objects. before milk and water were inRana sylvatica passed vented. She gives it to who go a-barberrying and on dank auThe very scent of it. as well as where. before man was created and fell. judgment on it. it is as if I had strayed into an ancient and decayed herb that. Young men have not learned the phases of nature. and the mints. to look he must always anticipate her a little. since stitutes a year. A man must attend to nature closely for many years to know when. yielded in the saurian period.AUTUMN. or that one year is like another. Though you may have sauntered near to heaven's gate. will take you far up country in a twinkling. if you 'tumnal walks. or rather that peculiarly scented Rana palustris. as the sportsman knows when to look for plover. essence those have a decayed frond in your chamber. when at length you return toward . You would think you had gone after the cows there. I would know when in the year to expect certain thoughts and moods. It was in his reign it was introduced. this Nature perfumes her garments with now especially. or were It is the scent the earth lost on the mountains. garden.

the village you give and you begin like to fall into the old ruts of thought. and become begrimed with dust. comes forward to be noticed. It is an endless succession of glades where the barberries grow thickest. not . looking after his apples. . accepted by the town and the traveling world to be represented by a dotted line on charts. and you do not see one. successive yards amid the barberry bushes where you do not see out. out. that it may be wild to a warm imagination. passer. There I see Melvin and the robins. which leaves towns bewhere you put off worldly thoughts where you do not carry a watch nor remember the proprietor where the proprietor is the only tres. The lonely horse in its pasture is glad to see company. whose . and many a nut-brown maid. not indicated by guideboards. . fail to report Your thoughts very properly ters. but this is greater than they all. hind That old Carlisle road.12 AUTUMN. offered Others are called great roads. a regular roadster. as if you were just going to put up at (with ?) the tavern. It is only laid to walkers. undiscoverable by the uninitiated. up the enterprise a little. or had even come to make an exchange with a brother clergyman on the morrow. . the only one who not mistakes his calling there. themselves to headquar- They turn toward night and the evening mail. title is good where fifty may be a-barberrying. and takes an apple from your hand.

by offering resistance to his him to act at all. din and tumult and disorder we hear the trumpet sound. like the aeronaut. the earth herself. My friend must be my am tent companion.AUTUMN. enables In fact. we tread hard- on the step below. neck in earth to take the poison out of them. action. He vaults the higher in proportion as he employs the greater resistance It is fatal when an elevation has been gained by too wide a concession. must float at the mercy of the winds. to the They bury poisoned sheep up Sept. Nature. or cannot sail and steer himself for calm weather. I astonished to find how . 1851. for they are but borderers upon the earth. . Birds were very naturally made the subject of augury. At each he spurns the world. it is the hero's d'appui. of the earth. is 13 the only panacea. Sept 25. retaining no point of resistance for the hero. We point stej) cannot be said to succeed to whom the world shows any favor. Prosperity is no field for heroism unless it endeavor to establish an independent and superIn the midst of natural prosperity for itself. Defeat is heaven's success. 25. 1840. which. When we est rise to the step above. creatures of another and more ethereal element than our existence can be supported in. which seem to flit between us and the unexplored.

race. because one bears the title of Christian. and therefore impartially difference viewed. presumes so great a difference between one Asiatic and another. At that distance. and he meets with treatment exactly similar to or worse than that which the American meets with among the Turks. I see but little between a Christian and a Mahometan. of course. in any true sense.14 AUTUMN. I suspect not with much truth. the difference between whose religion and that of the Mahometans is very slight and unimportant. the traveler in the east. and thus I perceive that European and American Christians are precisely like these heathenish Armenian and Nestorian Christians not Christians. much travelers both in the east and west permit themselves to be imposed on by a name that . comes to America to travel through it. the strength of his faith. A man of another an African. for instance. the breadth of his humanity. but the prejudice of I expect the Christian not to be super- but to be distinguished by the clearness of his knowledge. but one . and the other of Christians. civility. and humanity than of their neighbors. stitious. humanity do not race. for instance. predi- cates of them a far greater civilization. other heathenish sect in the west. At length he comes to a sect Armenians or Nestorians. . not. That nation is not Christian where the principles of prevail.

for a covering. so it I concluded had been deserted. was an by seven it. Arabs. in the entry way. perhaps overtaken unexpectedly by cold weather. little had a pleasing inverted cone. apparently still-born. and in appearing partially benumbed with cold. . finds the religion to 15 The traveler in both cases be a mere superstition and nest frenzy or rabidness. it. suspended from the roof and from one another by one or two suspen- sion rods only. looking nearer. eight or nine inches or eight. Examined a hornets' suspended from contiguous huckleberry bushes. occupying nearly an inch in Within were the sixthickness. it. their heads projecting. Cutting off the bushes which sustained with I proceeded to open my knife. sided cells in three stories. The of It tops of grow out effect. Most of the cells were empty. but which in the sun seemed rapidly recovering themselves. the lower story much smaller than the rest attic of what may be called the the structure were two live hornets. the bushes appearing to leafy sprigs. but. I found no hornets buzzing about Its entrance appeared to have been enlarged. First there were half a dozen layers of waved brownish paper resting loosely on one another. but in some were young hornets still.AUTUMN. and Tartars. I discovered two or three dead hornets. men it of war. These .

On the greater or less drought of the summer. If the drought has been uncommonly would so it would . I suspect that I know on tints will what the brilliancy of the autumnal depend. as this year. 25. 1852. The smooth sumach and the mountain ash are a darker. the swamps you have overlooked is revealed. In these cooler. The insects appear to be very sensible to cold.16 AUTUMN. Sept. I see them flitting and screaming from pine to pine beneath. There shrill is hawks. the plant shoidd last. the outer of grayish. Their almost always a pair of scream and that of the scarlet of the owls and wolves are related to each other. I of the jay sounds a little perceive. Found the fringed gentian Sept. paper. Hawks. the note more native. I should think it far destroy the. November 7th 25. last year. be sap and vigor to the . deeper. Standing on the cliffs. windier. bloodier red. 1854.vitality of the leaf that attain only to a dull. crystal days. severe. like the seeds of the milkweed. looking white against the green pines. too. inner circles were of whitish. to become full of brilliant in dead color in autumn that autumn. Every one in easily detect them at a distance. sailing about in the clear air. is The dogwood the most conspicuous and interesting of the You can now autumnal colors at present.

17 Do Cut ? I see a Fringilla hiemalis in the It is a Deep black- month earlier than last year. beginning at the Clamshell reach. like a rich. were of a fine grayish silver color. All these colors five were prolonged in the rippled reflection to or six times their proper length. with fine mother . satcloud. high in the sky. which gradually faded into a gray. the red at least balances the green. the vine being inconspicuous. There was a clear pale robin's-egg sky beneath. dark slate one. The furze gradually burnt out on the lower edge of the cloud. How they spot it On the shrub oak plain as seen from the Cliffs. All the lower edge of a very broad dark slate which reached backward almost to the zenith. a fine Quaker color. The effect .pearl tints. unusual at sunset (?). iny pearl. like a furze plain densely on fire a short distance above the horizon. and some little clouds. It looks shaggy rug now. but nearer. before the woods are changed. on which the light fell.of . was lit up through and through with a dun golden fire. uniform. pale pink vermilion. seen against the upper part of the distant. changed into a smooth. by the very bright red detained I am berry leaves strewn along the sod. There was a splendid sunset while I was on the water.! AUTUMN. the sun being below the horizon. hard.

to my surprise. my hand upon and this is it in a favorable light as I sit its I perceive that each of three edges notched or serrated with minute forward-pointing bristles. It is of much of the Oriental There was remarkable the pagoda in what graceful attitudes agility seem to require. and wherever it rested on a post. The curves of the great tent. a certain sourness in the air. 1855. though. 25. Holding a white pine needle in turning cliff. but in winter and lying close to the branches. To Emerson's Cliff. says. I perceived the peculiar scent which belongs to Sept. nor Bigelow mentions it. at least eight or ten rods in diameter. . after the margin contracted. In the evening went to C Approaching." Fine and smooth as it looks. which were long bands of red perpendicular in the water. 25. feats of strength and m. was particularly remarkable in the case of the reds. . perfection. p. perhaps. Sept. sug- gesting trodden grass and cigar smoke. suggested that the tent was the origin architecture. "Welch's (?) circus with . neither Gray Loudon. the main central curve. it is serrated.18 AUTUMN. such places. 1859. — the Arabic. however. So much does nature avoid an that even this slender leaf is unbroken line serrated. " Scabrous and inconspicuously serrated in spreading in summer.

We read on his sign only refreshment for man and beast. entangled in to restrain it from rising higher. Dreamed of purity last night. a little dense as if web of cotton spun over it. 26. as by a little web it. It was not I that originated. and a drawn hand directs to Ispahan or Bagdad. is heroic only when breaks. The increasing scarlet and yellow tints around the meadows and river remind me of the opening of a vast flower bud. autumn: all. it The small cottony were. It is the flower of petals of its corolla. protected. They are the the valleys. 1840. Sept. 26. but I was invested. cotton against frost and snow. P. Sept. The day. which we soon leave without ceremony. whose expanding bud just begins to blush. it for the most part. leaves of fragrant everlasting in the fields for some of time. 1852. however. my thought was tinged by another's thought. Ministerial M. in the forest As yet. but I that entertained the thought. To Swamp. there are very few changes of foliage. The thoughts seemed not to originate with me. is Every author writes to be the final resting-place. by which connects with the wilder oaks. it 19 This is its concealed wildness. in the faith that his book and sets up his fixtures as for a more than Oriental permanence but it is only a caravansary. . which are of the width of autumn..

warming with their color sandy hillsides and deserts. apparently all flower and no leaf . apparently without leaves. The large ferns brown now. Rising apparit ently with clean bare stems from the sand. 20 AUTUMN. its form and its colors. the swamp. It is a warm and very plea- sant afternoon. with in- conspicuous linear leaves. Succory in bloom. especially when the sunlight falls on minute rose-tinted flowers that brave the and advance the summer into fall. Larks. and mingled with deciduous blue curls. a more high. . rising cleanly out of the sand. wisp-like. it bears the frost well. little desert of than an acre blushes with The tree fern is in fruit now.. very interesting now. spreads out into this graceful head of slender rosy racemes. giving a rosy is tinge to Jenny's desert. less This it. reminding me. over the asters. on the edge of are yellow or fly in flocks. both by it .. though we have not had much. climbing three or four feet etc. The Polygonum articulatum. of rose-tinted with its slender dense racemes flowers. golden-rods. like robins. with its delicate tendril-like fruit. It is much divided into many- spreading. 1854. I walk along the river-side in w . of a peach orchard in blossom. Sept 26. like the glow of evening reflected on the sand frosts. slender-racemed branches. foot or It looks warm and brave...

others with red or yellow cheeks. Merrick's pasture. I suspect that the yellow maples had not scarlet blossoms. marsh hawk circling low along the the meadow.colored afternoons. shell. bright autumn I see far off the various . 26. gowns of cranberry pickers against the green The river stands a little way of the meadow. and I see muskrat houses. over the grass again. and the summer is over. while very few trees a most remarkable object in the off. I sit on Clamshell bank and look over the meadows. Sept. Up river to Clam- These are warm. such their business this I watch a edge of September afternoon. as if dead but as soon as it feels my paddle under it. serene. Hundreds of crickets have fallen into a sandy gully. and now are incessantly striving to creep or leap up again on the sliding sand. it is lively enough. especially seen against the light. landscape. and it now at last alights to rest on a tussock. Some are a reddish or else greenish yellow. a rod from shore. . 21 Some . As long as the fish leaps it is motionless. The pickerel weed is brown. I see a large black cricket on the river. now is the whole tree bright scarlet against the cold green pines. looking for a frog. single red maples are very splendid are changed. seen a mile It is too fair to be believed. 1857. m. AUTUMN. out of this dusty road into those bare solitudes which they inhabit.. p. and a fish is leaping at it.

both large and small bling into the river this They are not only tum- all along shore. the mole crickets. Their shore. or. would not be able. What blundering fellows these crickets ! are. still larger cousins. saw a small striped snake swim across a piece of water . but into sandy gully. with several others. to escape from which is a Sisyphus labor. sitting-room and pantry at once. which real one. if they tried to swallow him. I perceive because the heat as bright as the of the reflected sun. is is added to that of the real one. and slender weeds man shins up a when I find that one has climbed to the summit of my knee. watching two foraging crickets which have decided to climb up two tall almost bare of branches. in windfall apples. as a liberty pole sometimes. Speaking to Rice of that cricket's escape. the sun is intolerably it is warm on my left cheek. Coming home. are all creaking loudly and incessantly along the Others have eaten themselves cavern- ous apartments. he said that he once. They are incessantly running about on the sunny bank. for when I cover the reflection with my hand the 1 heat is less intense.22 AUTUMN. I have not sat there many minutes. That cricket seemed to know that if he lay quietly spread out on the surface. either the fishes would not suspect him to be an insect.

but he found that he had caught a Tartar. when flocks begin to scour over the weedy in the morning. for the bull-frog. liar for May be they are somewhat pecuall winter. 1859. hanging on Sept. The Solanum Dulcamara berries are another kind . too. 26. was upon it. or perhaps trusting to fall in a pleasanter place. etc. Evidently the small graminivorous after these seeds are ripe. 1858. The spikes of Panicum more crus-galli also are par- tially bare. AUTUMN. but at once seized his head in his mouth and was closed his jaws and he thus held the snake a considerable time before the latter able. Sept. not afraid of him. seeing him coming. will be by later ones of sparrows fields. I observe that the seeds of are perlate the Panicum sanguinale an&jiliforme fallen. especially and now is the time. birds abound The seeds of the pigweed are yet apparently quite green. and attempt to him. the least hesitation.. to get away. which seize 23 about half a rod wide to a half-grown bull-frog sat on the opposite shore. When that cricket felt my oar he leaped without consideration. I fancy they are attracted to some extent by this thin harvest of panic seed. To ClamsheU by boat. by struggling. 26. evidently affected haps half by the frosts as chestnuts. He was weed evidently trusting to drift against some which should afford him a point d'appui..

translucent cherry-red. 1852. shoot their seeds off like bullets. not to look at. Yet they are considered ! poisonous ous to us . very delicate. vessels The touch-me-not seed explode in go off like pistols. gracefully over the river's brim than any pendant in a lady's ear. I think.24 AUTUMN. cherry-colored elliptical berries. The flashing clearness of the atmosphere. At Saw Mill Brook many ferns are faded whitish finely cut and flat and very handsome. More light appears to be reflected from the earth. . is Is it not a repoison- proach that so much that ? beautiful is sonous berries ? But why should they not be poiWould it not be bad taste to eat these to feed another sense ? p. less absorbed. like a honeycomb. somewhat hexagonally. Then The peduncle and its what a variety of color branches are green. m. as if pressed . are so well spaced and agreeably arranged in their drooping cymes. which are ready Sept. and the berries a They hang more clear. To C. Smith's HiU. 27. surely. I do not know any clusters more graceful and beautiful than these drooping cymes of scarlet or translucent. They my hat. the pedicels and sepals only that rare steel-blue purple. with steel-blue or lead-colored (?) purple pedicels (not peduncles) like the leaves on the tips of the branches. which grows in drooping clusters. No berries.

and the large red berries of the panicled Solomon's It seal. They are exactly the color of bright sealing-wax. The changed leaves are delicately white. berries are now cone-shaped spikes one and a half inches long. rising far and faintly blue above an intermediate range. turned its head sidewise to me for a with a St. irregular. on club-shaped peduncles. Here and there lies prostrate on the damp leaves or ground this conspicuous red The medeola berries are common now. over the highest peak of the Peterboro' Hills to Monadnock. That is their way. can be the same as that which he looked up at once near at hand from a gorge in the midst of primitive For a part of two days we traveled woods across lots. so must have been a turtle-dove that eyed me near.— AUTUMN. The arum "of scarlet or 25 in perfection. loitering by the way. spike. From Smith's Hill I looked toward the moun- Who can believe that the mountain peak which he beholds fifty miles off in the horizon. as if fair view. through primitive woods and swamps. some- what pear-shaped berries springing from a purplish core. while he stands on his trivial native hills or in the dusty highway. Vitus twitching of neck. especially beneath. vermilion-colored. by ways tain line. ! . looking its to recover its balance on an un- stable perch.

but how much I do not see that is In this way we see stars. but from our native hills we look out easily to the far blue mountain which seems to preside over them. and It stage-drivers en- deavored to dissuade us. I cannot realize that Joe Evely's house still stands there at the base of the mountain. As I look northwestward to that summit from a Concord cornfield. and rivers murmuring through no mistake. a mist that may vanish But what is it. new clearings on stark mountain sides. to one who has traveled to it day after day. tive woods. the lonely mills. as if they borrowed their blueness from their locality. how little can I realize all the life that is passing between me and it. From the mountains we do not discern our native hills. — there can be primi- . wild rocky pastures. was not a month But now that I look across the globe in an instant to that dim Monadnock peak. on the other hand. bluer than themselves. and that I made I cannot real- the long tramp through the woods with invigorating scents before I got to ize that it. the retired up-country farmhouses. between me and it What is it but a faint blue cloud. on the tops of those cool blue ridges are berries in abundance still. has ! ! — I see the very peak.26 AUTUMN. wooded vales. all landlords from which ago. and these familiar fields and copse-woods appear to occupy the greater part of the interval.

each evening Thanksgiving time. I noticed that the shore near the my water was upheaved and cracked as by a small mole track. as no creature was visible. 27. to true source. and. Yesterday I traced the note of what I have falsely thought the its Rana palustris. head directly over the spot from which the sound still came at intervals. I found a mole cricket. it has been in wearied with climbing coolness of its rocky sides. felt the summit. When I could in a cold chamber. muffled till in a cloak. ordinary and led me at once to a bare and soft sandy shore. Sept. that it must issue from the mud." They live on the roots of grass and other vegetables. usual it sounded loud and incessant above crickets.AUTUMN. and in Europe the corresponding species does a great . Harris says their burrows "usually terminate beneath a stone or clod of turf. As all or cricket frog. 1855. has tasted the rasp- and the blueberries that and the springs that gush from its grow on it. threaded the forest and climbed the berries 27 hills that are between this and that. with After long looking and listening. the world was not so much with me. and been sit lost the clouds there. or rather slimy sand. warmed by my own thoughts. Gryllotalpa breviformis. as I had often done before. laying it open with my hand. I concluded.

To Clamshell by fine afternoon to boat." "There are no house crickets in America. It is a very be on the water. but a few survive under stones. . AUTUMN. is I am is tempted to say that the it is it is singularly clear. box and warble M. revisit their p. See furrows made by into deep water.. yet the sun is occasionally air very warm. There is a slight dian-summer-like. said to Perhaps there possess that transparency when full of moisture. The French call crickets cri-cri. 28 deal of harm. I do not tutes the peculiarity coolness in the air. and are ularly active chiefly during the night " have their burrows " in moist ground. many clams now moving now fairly Some single red maples make a show along the meadow. They " avoid the and soft light of day. before or after . Most of them die on the approach of winter. 27." produced by shuffling their wing coverts together lengthwise." Among The males only are musical. The bluebird family as in spring. particcrickets. yet I see quite hazy. somewhat In- know what constiand charm of this weather the broad water so smooth notwithstanding the slight wind. Sej)t. I see a blaze of red reflected from the troubled water. " the " shrilling " is about ponds. 1856. as if owing to some oiliness the wind slid over without rippling it.

I bine. 1857. It has purplish disks. 29 beginning to Through this I see the trees put on their October colors. signify to a sect of is etc. Perhaps it is both because the young are grown. I see the shadow of a hawk flying above and behind me. it was and what precisely it might worshipers Anything that ! called history of India or of the world is im- pertinent beside any real poetry or inspired thought which is dateless. is seen as an erect. The Aster multiflorus may be easily confounded with the Aster tradescanti. actually expressed. As I sit there. and their food. are flying in flocks . slender red column through the thin and yellowing sit on the hillside at Miles's Swamp. A foliage of the elm. but a less straggling top than the tradescanti. out of all proportion to one. to the value of How idea. and blackberry vines here and there in sunny places look like a streak of blood in the grass. the small birds. Like it. I think I see more hawks nowadays. an it. it whitens the roadside in some places. investing the leading stem of woodan elm in the swamp quite to its top. is the histori- cal fact about the when. Sept. 27. and the creak of the mole cricket sounds late along the shore.. rain. when you come in Hindoo literature for instance. where. White birches have fairly begun to yellow.AUTUMN.

in the their migrations middle of the river. most in accordance with the natural phenomena. i. detect the dipper three or four rods note. I sit down and watch it. Monroe's tame ducks sail along and feed near me. Men in obey the same law. Sawing up my raft by river. They soon off. The tame ducks have paddled four or five rods down stream along the shore. and are abundant. about one half their size. now lost for a moment as it turns edgewise in a peculiar light. the passenger pigeon has flown across . and some European plants have been de- tected on the extreme islands. as it does continually. and quadrupeds points to a connection on that side. It is most natural. 27. I need only sit still a few minutes on any spot which overlooks the river meadows before I see some black circling mote beating along the meadow's edge. espe- and betray alarm by a twittering cially when it dives. evidently attracted by these tame ducks as to a place of security.. now reappearing farther or nearer.30 AUTUMN. as I am working there. Sept. birds. e. to suppose that North America was discovered from the northern part of the eastern continent. northeastern coast and which do not extend inland. I see a little dipper. Looking up. At . Many birds are com- mon Even there to the northern parts of both continents. 1860. for a study of the range of plants.

being . and consequently no objective form. and considerable white on the sides of the head or neck with black between. and pursued in this wise by the dipper. and no observable white on back or tail. and threatening to come up in their midst. But what we truly know has no points of repulsion. and whose where I It has a dark repelling points give it senses . and when they enter the water again joins still them within two feet. and I can watch it at my leisure. it suddenly sinks low (all its body) in the water without diving. and then dive. last. a hard crust aids a configuration to the its distinct knowledge. When at last disturbed by me. So. I could see no more of it. no tufts. who does not know what to make of their fears.AUTUMN. they shore and come out upon rush to the . on the 30th. 1840. 31 off. bill. Thus it can float at various heights. in their fear the dipper shows itself close to the shore. Sept 28. The world thinks it knows only what it comes in contact with. They return up stream more or less alarmed. diving from time to time. when it is two or three rods all it and apbut proaching them by diving. I saw one suddenly dash along the surface from the meadow ten rods before me to the middle of the river. It is thus toled along to within twenty feet of sit. and though I watched fifteen minutes and examined the tufts of grass.

but the soul as the air we We know the world superficially. but breathe. Art comes to be pursued for ception in the its own sake : the exquisite conelaborate mind or the elegant and all in all to model becomes the worker. Hugh Miller. surveyed from within. is not the just and the good. it it to a . There is a feeling which at times grows upon the painter and the statuary. most nothing and thus. 28.32 AUTUMN. In the one case our surfaces meet. in his " Old Red Sandstone. in the other our centres coincide. but the the refined." says formation " and the " microscopic beauty " The artist who : sculptured the cherry-stone consigned cabinet. and the al- dread of criticism or the appetite for praise . the soul and air in its We are acquainted with as a bird with the is phenomena which it floats." speaking of " the consistency of style which obtains among the ichthyolites of this of these ancient fishes. Sept. Distinction superficial and formal merely. as if the perception and love of the beautiful had been sublimed into a kind of moral sense. the soul centrally. the exquisite. 1851. but whose province fair. and placed a microscope beside the microscopic beauty of these ancient fishes was consigned to the twilight depths of a primeval ocean. pros- . through the influence of a power somewhat akin to conscience. earth We touch objects as the we stand on. have works.

through which the small-flowered androm- eda puts up. rest- ing on rich uneven beds of a coarse reddish moss." hesitation with which this is said. He speaks of his work becomin fact the rule. in prime. world. as ing if these were the very rare exceptions in a great artist's life. which remain. The fall danits now very fresh and abundant. been found fraught with loveliness. want all in all to the worker in rising above the dread of criticism and the appetite of praise. Botany in and not the very definition of it. and never intended for the The say no- thing of ity. ception which of is He describes that as an ex- The supposed harmony between " the perception and love of the beautiful " and a delicate moral sense betrays what kind of beauty the writer has been conversant with. This saddle swamp flower. M. 2 p. [the spruce swamp in Conant's side- Grove] contains beautiful specimens of the Sarracenia purpurea. to 33 ecuted in solitude. presenting altogether a most rich . For a week or ten days I have ceased to look for new flowers or carry delion my is my pocket. called pitcher plant. To Conantum. betrays a latent infidel- fatal far than that of the " Vestiges of " Creation which in another work this author en- more deavors to correct. its simplicity. better The leaves ray out around still the dry scape and flower.AUTUMN.

homely. not no coping of bricks to catch the no alto or basso relievo. These leaves are of various colors. for beauty. " hollow-leaved lavender. when I went to take. unaspiring ! houses people used to live in — that on ConanAnd tum. out came the whole swarm upon me. I do not know why they should linger longer than their fellows whom saw the other day. first knocking on it to see if anybody was at home." I think we have no other plant so singular and remarkable. unless because the swamp is warmer. and found an uncommonly wet seat where I expected a dry one. built for comfort. They were all within. for instance. from plain green to a rich striped yellow or deep red. Here was a large hornets' nest which. earth-loving. which are now full of water. and so wetting my feet. then the broad chimney. There are few whose pride could stoop to enter such a house to-day. I cannot walk without upsetting the numerous pitchers. and luxuriant appearance to the eye. with eye. Though the moss is comparatively dry.34 AUTUMN. I once accidentally sat down on such a Led of pitcher plants. so low you can put your hand on the eaves behind. What honest. lively enough. . No plants are more richly painted and streaked than the inside of Old Josselyn called this the broad lips of these. but I not working.

Sept. if I could put into words that music which I hear that music which can bring tears to the eyes of marble statues. transcendent blue shows best in the shade . etc. Bluebirds. and there were other clusters below : bluer than the bluest . To Great Fields via Gentian Lane. This is the commencement. on low. I eount fifteen in a single cluster there. Violets. A windy day. 1852. etc. and the pedata in the Boulder Field. lambkill.AUTUMN. moist. Its The gentian (Andrewsii) now generally in prime. light in the shade. are heard again in the air. in and perchance check its upward flow. to which the very . and afterward twenty in Gentian Lane near Flint's Bridge. m. muscles of men are obedient! p. palmata. of the second spring. turning to purple with age. all but the blanda. Potentilla Canadensis. contrasts there with the a splendid blue. wild rose. then. What roaring winds to do with the fall ? have these high and No doubt is they speak plainly enough to the sap that these trees. robins. p.. 35 the Boulder Field. and suggests coolness fresh green . m. Those now seen. lily. To I find the hood-leaved violet quite abundant in a meadow. yellow begin again. shady banks. 28. and pubescens. larly They are particu- abundant under the north side of the willow row in Merrick's pasture. Ah. 1858. Sept.. blooming again. 28.

It is like between a young and healthy appetite and the appetite of an epicure. man is the product of The tints shell There is enthusiasm in the sunset. Wisdom is a sort of mo. There is a thrill in the . sionally Instinct. In proportion as a it. 1859. As the lion is said to lie in a thicket or in tall reeds and grass by day. man has a poor ear for music. Sept. but occa- born celestial. will finally assert its pure blood again. 29. it Operas and the the difference like only affect him. and sally She will enout at night. comes to earth and adjusts the controversy. as the white race at length prevails over the black. or loses his ear for is obliged to go far for or fetch or pay a great price for such as he from far. sconce herself for the day in the grass or weeds in some out-of-the-way nook near the house. an appetite for a sweet crust and for a mock-turtle soup. it. 1840. All fair action in enthusiasm.ngrel between Instinct and Prudence. 28. which. on the shore takes new layers and new from year to year with such rapture as the bard writes his poem. inclining to the side of the father. and arouse herself toward night. he can hear. slumbering. and shady recesses of sky.36 AUTUMN. just so with the cat. like a It is minister plenipotentiary from earth to heaven. however. they lurk in the moist the banks. Sept.

There is a happiness in the summer. where. spring 37 when it buds and blossoms. 1854.AUTUMN. Its leaves are still. The witch-hazel at Lee's Cliff. 29. Bluets [Houstonia] Lambkill blossoms again. yellowed. The intense brilliancy of the red -ripe maples scattered here and there in the midst of the green oaks and hickories on the hilly shore of Walden is quite charming.. with poetic fury. 1851. a luxuriant mildew. of enthusiasm. is The pine eye. 1853. etc. All the birds and blossoms and fruits are the product Nature does nothing in the prose mood. they remind me of a line of soldiers. alternating with yellow birches and poplars and green oaks. especially on the western shore and close to the water's edge. so that I think must be later than the gentian. has not been long out. a patient repose in the winter. When I look at the stars. the pumpkin pine. in a favorable situation. has but begun to blosit som. . Sept. one of the richest of my It stands like a great moss. though she acts sometimes grimly. to in green mixed together. Sept. as in earthquakes. redcoats and riflemen trees. They are unexpectedly and incredibly brilliant. which the earth produces without effort. a contentedness in the autumn. and at other times humorously. 29. Sept 29.

are spread for us. Their knowledge the same familiar . for that the beholder to be. 29. 1856. lean hardly clamber along this without getting my clothes covered with especially. To Grape cliff Cliff. these and paniculatum. purely visionary. and not by any other sense. is This suggests that equally all the case with every object. by instinct.38 AUTUMN. Though you were running they would have time to catch and cling to your clothes.m. Instead of being caught ourselves and detained by bird-lime. is felt to be all terrestrial. the rotundifolium desmodium ticks. They cling like babes to a with three teeth. It is One might it is say that views through a telescope or microscope were only by his eye. as it were. These almost invisible nets. however it is our so-called knowledge of vulgar and remote. we are compelled to catch these seeds and carry them with us. like a piece of saw-blade They will even cling to your hand as you go by. not by the whole man. often the whole row of pods of the Des- modium paniculatum. for your life. at- nothing which the astronomers have said taches to them. is there where he is presumed a disruptive mode of viewing so far is as the beholder concerned. p. they are so simple and remote. Sept. and whole coveys of desmodium and bid ens seeds steal transporta- . and to concern the earth alone. mother's breast.

29. deposited in another place. tion out of us. and where it devoured rabbits. Its large track was seen in the snow in Tewksbury. 1859. when he was teaching school in Tewksbury. They saw where it had leaped thirty feet. and traced to Andover and back. Haven above Cardinal shore. as it were. prophesy the coming of the traveler. surely the cliff-side. thought to be one of a pair. How desmodium growing on some rough or the bidens on the edge of a pool. some years ago. in a swamp. Sept. It was on a tree when shot. they wanted. 39 I have found myself often cov- ered. and had to spend a quarter of an hour or more picking them off in some convenient spot and so they get just what .AUTUMN. Juniper repens berries are I see some of last year's dark purple ones at the base of the branchlets. quite green yet. on account of the various ways in which its surging flakes . the other being killed or seen in Derry. It is very handsome this bright afternoon. is There a very large specimen on the side of Fair Hill. with an imbricated coat of the brown desmodium seeds or a bristling chevauxde-frise of beggar ticks. that coat! will transport their seeds on his Dr. Reynolds told me the other day of a Canada lynx (?) killed in Andover. especially if you stand on the lower and sunny side. brute or human.

now killed by the frost. forest reflect the light. less The cuticle of the cracked longitudinally. One string weighed a little more than three quarters of a pound. or ground nuts. which did not turn out very well. or sometimes a foot. Five would have been called good-sized potatoes. looking into its inapproachable clefts and recesses. It is but a slender vine. and not promising such a yield but deep in the . leaflets. reflecting a green or else a cheerful silvery just light. you come to the string of brown and tuber commonly knobby is more or nuts. as of a hawk sailing over. Having dug my potatoes in the garden. The biggest was two and three quarters inches long. It is as if we were is giants and looked an evergreen the light low. and green or silvery. here sand.40 AUTUMN. it is down on from whose flaky surface Though it. and found an unexpected yield. if they had been the common kind. There were thirteen that I should have put with the large potatoes this year. variously reflected. by the railroad fence. . soil. five or six inches. I dug up the tubers of some half a dozen plants. I took a basket and trowel and went forth to dig my wild potatoes. so so dense and rigid that neither men nor cows think of wading through We got a bird's-eye view of this evergreen forest. and seven inches in circumference the smallest way.

AUTUMN. 1851. 30. and 10 a. The ripe. It with leaves as with fruits and woods. . when they are remarka- and almost uniformly gray or brown. on being cul- tivated. they would become monstrous. 1852. different characters of the trees appear their leaves. Hastings. coolest night — Pratt. Sept.. etc. Rice. tint of the black ash? lage street. distinguished almost as far as is it is visible. or in the spring and summer. a Populus grandidentata. at this season. 30. so to speak. better now. looking almost black at the first glance. Our apparatus was first a simple round tin box. clear day after the and severest frost we have had. In ease of a famine I should soon resort to these roots. 41 forming meridional furrows. a white birch. the elms What is the autumnal contrasts vil- The former strongly with the other shade trees on the and buttonwoods. as much as the common potato. myself in a wagon. is ble. a red maple. animals : and men when they are mature. Sept. Pond. If they increased in size. The white ash has got its autumnal mulberry hue. bee-hunting. for instance. To Fair Haven A fine. their different characters appear. when they are undistinguishably green. when than at any other season than in the winlittle ter. an ash. m. and the root or shoot bears a large proportion to the tuber. are . Now.

After on our return [hav. we found it to be resounding with the hum of bees. bees. as well as butterflies. wasps. ing been unsuccessful thus far]. on the sunny hillside sloping to the pond. the whole resting on a circular bottom a little larger than the lid of the tin box. with a couple of narrow slits in the wood. we saw a large mass of golden-rod and aster. It was Here were far more flowabout one o'clock. to admit air. each side of the glass. about two and a half inches square. before the flowers were gone. and we feared the frosty night might make the bees slow to come eating our lunch we set out forth. with a glass window occupying two thirds of the upper side under a slide. with a sliding door in it.42 AUTUMN. . of the tin box in one and holding the lid hand and the wooden box . We were earnest to go this week. both bumble-bees and honeyfresh. the filling it within one third of an inch of top then a wooden box. of its own size and form. ers than we had seen elsewhere. side at By the road- Walden. but too narrow for the bees to pass. and flies. about four and a half inches in diameter and one and a half inches deep. . and bees in great numbers. several rods square and comparatively Getting out of our wagon. containing a piece of empty honeycomb . So pouring a mixture of honey and water into the empty comb in the tin box.

and then sometimes. and the upper slide closed. and in about a minute they went to feeding. and they were left feeding or sucking up the honey in broad daylight. to catch the honey-bees 43 with the slides shut in the other. the lower side was closed. starting once more.AUTUMN. In from two to three minutes one had loaded himself and commenced leaving the box. the slide was drawn again. Then the latter was wholly removed. that he might so. against the wooden box. alight to empty himself or clear his feet. as he As soon and was buzzing against the glass. Then. perhaps. making it dark. Then placing the open tin box close under the wooden one. had done . He would buzz round it back and forth a foot or more. finding that he was too heavily loaded. only a foot or two in diameter. cutting off the flower stem with the edge of the lid Then holding the lid still at the same time. that the light might attract the bee to pass up into the wooden box. he would circle round irregularly at first. and also the slide covering the win- dow at the top. as was ascertained by raising slightly the wooden box. we proceeded by shutting them in suddenly between the lid of the tin box and the large circular bottom of the wooden one. as if to examine the premises. in a small circle. and more bees were caught in the same way. we drew the slide in the bottom.

to line them. straight. till know them at length. but all toward the village. as far as I could see him. It if especially They did not fly almost had heard. and swifter and swifter.44 AUTUMN. till his orbit was ten or twelve feet in diameter. which was lying on a woodpile. you looked against a wood or the hill. which might be eight You had or ten rods. As none flew in the right direction for us. You must operate in an open place. looking against the sky. and as mnch from the ground. or as far as we could see. Those belonging to one hive all had to digress to get round an applethere were hives. but within three or four feet of the same course. though its centre might be moved to one side ing. and circling wider and wider. or where we knew tangent. in a minute or less from his first starta waving or sinuous line right and left. again. We sent forth as many as a dozen bees. as I tree. rising higher and higher. toward his nest that is. was very difficult to follow him. Not one of the bees . . (all this as if to ascertain the course to his nest). to follow his whole career very attentively indeed. for half a dozen rods. and you had to lie low to fetch him against the sky. to see when and where he went off at a he darted off in a bee line. which flew in about three directions. not in a wood. we did not attempt In less than half an hour the first returned to the box.

gave him a little dab. in the surrounding flowers 45 had discovered it. green. and we observed. He may have gone more than three quarters of a mile. never resting by the way. come to get their honey for . he had a head wind to contend with while laden. from the village. though I had been informed of it. little We were furnished with boxes of red. at the distance to which the village bees go for flowers. as assured of their course. and with a stick we sprin- powder on the back of one while he was feeding. So they came back one themselves and departed. and white paint in dry powder. off after another. with enough of the powder still on his back to mark him plainly. loaded But now they went if with very little preliminary circling. blue. and it settled down amid the fuzz of his back. and I was surprised. ramblers from his some out-of-the-way nook. and gave him a distinct red jacket. He went off like most of them toward some hives about three quarters of a mile distant. by kled a little of the red the watch. perhaps own yard. yellow. are. The rambler little in the most remote woods and pastures that the bees which are thinks humming is so industri- ously on the rare wild flowers he the herbarium in plucking for like himself.AUTUMN. the time of his departure. fly swiftly They and surely to their nests. In just twenty-two minutes red jacket came back. At any rate.

Those above named were the only look for them. to the bees. time to hunt bees combs are full of honey. the richer for this experience. known village. and then he was so overloaded and bedaubed that he had to alight after he had started. and before the flowers are so scarce that they begin to consume the honey they have stored. which lasts long and which emitted a sweet.46 his hives. up. All the honey-bees we saw were on the blue-stemmed golden-rod. I feel It taught agreeable fragrance. common and prevailing flowers on which to Our red jacket had performed the voyage in safety. both of the forest and the The if botanist should make interest with the bees he would know when the flowers open and when they close. and it took him several minutes to clear . No bird had picked him Now is the Are the kingbirds gone? them when their and take up. We also caught and sent forth a bumble-bee which manoeuvred like the others. ers still If there are any sweet it is flow- lingering on the hillsides. Forty pounds of honey was the most our company had got hereabouts. that even the insects in me my path are not loafers. not on the asters. but in this hour each is about his business. though we thought he took time to eat some before he loaded himself. but have their special errands. Solidago ccesia. AUTUMN. not merely and vaguely in this world.

1858. bloom. There they keep less up their spluttering notes. but to The tiny bee which we thought lived far away there in a flower-bell. perhaps because the sweet which they collect from the atmos- phere is rare and also widely dispersed. that remote vale. himself. all i. and bloom in favored To us they are a culture bees meat and drink. than in spring. he sail rises up over the top and sets with his sweet cargo straight for his distant haven. How well they of know the woods and ! and the haunt every flower The flowers are widely dispersed. though quite near me. while beneath is green. though somewhat loud. e.AUTUMN. not in vain that the late. These are the first I have seen. 30. Perhaps this is the most sin- . and it. the bees are enabled to travel far to find deposit on the earth. a precious burden which the heavens bear and A large flock of grackles or chiefly amid the willows by the concealed river-side. and anon of the wood. fields. low in the button bushes beneath them. too. I observe the peculiar steel-bluish purple of the night-shade. I fancy. and now for some time I think the redwings have been gone. and a luxury. These are the first arrivers from the north. in is a great voyager. dotted with bright berries over the water. the tips of the twigs. It is 47 flowers spots. where they breed.. Sept.

48 gular AUTUMN. home-like to us than it The town seemed far more when we made our way It was comparatively and the inhabitants were sensibly or poetically employed. we entered Gloucester each time in the dark at mid-evening. traveling partly across lots fell into till we we were simply seekway of villagers whom the road. It is almost black in some lights. as if it had been the harbor of in the morning. it is a rich purple. Neither Its very is there any scent to betray is Its amaranthine quality instead of high color. among the autumnal tints. dry and unwithering like an its artificial flower white flexuous stem and branches. full of fire. too. contrasting with the green beneath but veins seen against the sun. In our late walk on the Cape [Ann]. and saw the moonlight reflected from the smooth harbor and righting up the fishing-vessels. Then we went straight to our chamber. it. The pearly everlasting is an interesting white Though the stem and leaves are at present. it is . its The form of the leaf is peculiar. affects brown centre now me as a fresh and original color. too. inquiring the we could not out of still. distinctly steel-blue in the . like wire wound with cotton. on a dry hillside. see. still green. circles in the It monopolizes small midst of sweet fern. and as ing a bed. perchance. shade. .

of the houses. we walked all day. without communicating with any inhabitant. with short windows in the upper story. to Boston last October. m. as spectability. Virginia. Just put a fugitive who has taken the name of Henry Wil- liams. slave. 5 p. Venice. There if are also many large square three-story houses. of which is a remarkable variety there. 1851. but saw them as quietly and distantly as in a picture. but he having been able to raise . Walking early in the day and approaching the rocky shore from the north. there 49 remarking on the By day we went peculiar angles of tae beveled roofs. the shadows of the cliffs were very distinct and Though grateful. and our spirits were buoyant. Oct 1. who is his father. about buying himself. the third story were as good as a gig for re- When entering the town by moontell we could not always whether the road skirted the back yards or the front yards tinently stare after the traveler and the houses did not so imperand watch his coming as by day. He escaped from Stafford County. into the cars for Canada. Some villages we went through or by. light. his master asking 8600.AUTUMN. Has been in Shadrack's place at the Cornhill Coffee House had been corresponding through an agent with his master. it seemed the days were not long enough to get tired in. .

Lovejoy. heard that there were writs out for two Williamses. Examined an Asclepias CorOct. a mulatto said he could guide himself by many other stars than the north star. ?iuti pod. but when I went to buy his ticket saw one at the station who looked and behaved so much like a Boston policeman that I did not venture that time. They steered for the north star even when it appeared to have got round to the south. knowing their rising and setting. and was informed by his fellow-servants and employer that Augerout. and another which Garrison had formerly given him on another occasion. to the number in one instance of 134. already opening. and again . As they dry. Intended to dispatch him at noon through to Burlington. already right side up. closely packed in an imbricated manner. He lodged with us and waited in the house till funds were collected with which to forward him. fugitives. bringing a letter to our family from Mr.50 AUTUMN. hole Burns and others of the police had called for 'him to Accordingly he fled on foot. 1856. when he was Concord last night . of Cambridge. as I counted. but $500 . the pods crack open by the seam along their convex or outer side. They frequently followed the telegraph when there was no railroad. 1. He was an intelligent and very well behaved man. revealing the seeds with their silky parachutes.

and then must know all the particulars. 270. qualities of pregnant fact is that it of the a One does not surprise us. listening to every sound and watching every motion How various his notes. to a hoarse and terrene voice or cluck He has a ! . held by the converging tips of the down.! AUTUMN. 1. they lie. like meridians. an anecdote or story which is told some time afterwards. 1858. and just ready to float away when the wind of the spongy core around rises. 51 As tail. as a hawk sails over. Let a full-grown but young Oct. with the silk ends exposed at Children call them The silk divided once or twice by the raised partition which they are arranged. till the tip of his bill through his trembling wattles and comb and his bright eye to the extremity of his clean toes How alert and restless. surpassing the most accomplished violinist on the short strings. from the finest and shrill! est alarum. cock stand near you. round plump the is fish. At the top of some more open and drier is already a little clump of loosened seeds and down two or three inches in diameter. and we only perceive afterwards how interesting it is. We do not enjoy poetry fully unless we know it to be poetry. I do not perceive the poetic and dramatic capabilities of me. they resemble somewhat a fishes. How full of life he is from its significance.

Oct. And then. strain . any danger to be apprehended from I would fain suggest that only he is dangerous to himself. how. but the mere effervescence of life. 1860.52 AUTUMN. 1851. like the bursting of bubbles in a wine vat. quite a wintry prospect. Some of the white pines on Fair Haven Hill have just reached the . I do not remember such cold at this season. m. Oct. regretted that he One man tells me he had not taken his mittens with him when he went to his morning's work. . mowing in a meadow. he gathers impetus and air. 2. Remarkable frost and ice this morning . not a vulgar note of defiance. The leaves of trees stiff 21° + this and white at 7 A. found the dipper with two inches of ice in it frozen solid. for the dog that rushes for every occasion and Partlet cackling in the barn.renowned and ear -piercing word past. at 11 A.. M. on her head What does that more alarming than a dozen ! How long prejudice survives! The big-bodied fisherman asks me doubtingly about the comet seen these nights in the northwest if — there is that side. elevating himself and flapping his wings. and when he went to a spring. I hear it was morning early. P. 1. Is any gem so bright as his eye ? The cat sleeps It is portend? comets. and launches forth that world . M.

with shaped rays. strap- quite fresh. How much more beautiful the lakes now. whole tree and carry Oct. berries are in their prime. unspotted red inclining to crimson. as in an ornamental frame Some maples in sprout lands are of a delicate. with five very regular sharp teeth in the end of each. The prinos scarlet. and bright. and now Its seed vessels are per- fect little cream pitchers of graceful form. here still and there. seven in diameter. broadest at the end.! AUTUMN. like Fair Haven. still. as the flowers did. bidens. Oct. 53 others have almost entirely shed their leaves. 1856. broad. Succory its with its cool blue. The same The beggar is the state of the ticks. The scarlet leaves some time out of flower. and what . surI would fain pluck the passing most flowers. 1852. surrounded by the autumn-tinted woods and hills. clear. pitch pines. 2. now adhere to my clothes. acme of their fall . 2. alternately long and short. dium sooner thus steel filings in — as I also find the desmo- a magnet discovers the a heap of ashes — than if I used my eyes alone. and Hieracium Canadense pretty. sixteenths of an inch somewhat lighter than the They are now very fresh They are arum berries. it home for a nosegay. make almost as bright a patch in the meadow stem of the rhexia.

He is as youthful and about as knowing as any of them. All wish to have a hand in it. all but the one at the end of the line soon run to right and left. only five or six years old. length. . a real by dint of pulling him into a run down a and hill. obeying the faint tug at the halter. getting a horse in a pas- ture. The horse marches gravely behind. they get scarcely faster than a walk. and though he moves very deliberately. They stop at last at the bars. and then the family puppy. family horse. but he seems to be very docile. comes bounding to join them and assist. It is sur- prising that he obeys such small specimens of humanity. AUTUMN. effect is the perfect freshness and greenness of the leaves amid which they are Gerardia purpurea still. all in a row. who is at work in a neighboring field. and are leading him. for their father apparently. a brown pointer (?). I am amused to see four little Irish boys. The leaves of this and the angalosam are turned crimson. Solidago speciosa completely out. or five days ago say three or four days. about two thirds grown. expecting him to be upon them. At shouting.54 adds to their seen. without having looked behind. Now and then I see a Hypericum Canadense flower still. or honestly stands . got hold of a very long halter. though not a flower was out September 27th. They have. which are down.

but tells his stories with fidelity and gusto to the minutest details. that stand around the edges. Oct. it is Corydalis still fresh. while the superstructure is young oaks and etc.. as Herodotus does in his histories. hick- ories. blueberries. the legs are not . only the the lower edge of the woods that green. The chief incidents of Minott's life must be more distinct and interesting now than immetaller diately after they occurred. or maple flames upward amid the masses some other riper and mellower tree. are pulling at though they are together straining every nerve to start him. Generally speaking. though here and there some of green. very now shows bright autumnal tints. still 55 aware that they all from time to time. for he has recalled and related them so often that they are stereotyped in his mind. 1840.AUTUMN. the birches. private discourse No man his has imagined what sur- members have with rounding nature. or how intercourse affects his much the tonor of that own health and sickness. 1857. 2. 3. It is inter- esting to behold the faithful beast. as if not all. While the head goes star-gazing. he does not suspect himself. thus implicitly obeying the lead of the youngest and weakest. the oldest and wisest of the company. Oct. huckleberry bushes. Never having traveled far his from hillside.

he does not forget to put a window in the wall. it is Of five the Brahmin. grows. to let alone in all these. sleeps. and out of these I command a southern prospect. diis and the best economy seek a site. drinks. the body It eats. senses. in the soul's household agines. It oftenest escapes to a higher employment. priority. necessarily astronomers. in fidelity. but are acquiring independent experience in lower strata of nature. We . double. it serves truth always. dies. It converses with the heavens. and carries no false news. If any joy or grief is to be expressed. than of universal nature. part How much do they feel which they do not imHow much rumor dies between the knees ! and the ears ence. single. How man ! serves this sense more than any other "When he builds a house. The rest serve and escort and defend I attach some superiority. takes care of gests. it a freeman of my members After all. even It is the oldest servant . to this sense. The eye does the least drudgery of any of the it. too. the eye is the swift runner that carries the news. it images what it imwhat it idealizes. ! Surely instinct was this experi- I am no more itself. castes.56 AUTUMN. In cir- cumspection. Why need I travel to the points of the and consult compass ? My eyes are south windows. Through it which is a kind of religion. it ideates idolatry crept in.

than amid that which was just brought from the cabinetmaker's. A wild sound. 1853. No other sense has so tiny is dark. Seen from Heywood's Peak at Walden. Hear the loud laughing of a loon on the pond from time to time. the is now more beautifully painted. 3. 3. which have come down from other generations.. like a coffin To sit under the face of an old clock that has been ticking one hundred and fifty years. m. and suited to the wildest lake. see truth. Oct. The pine fall or change has commenced. sit How much more agreeable to in the midst of old furniture like Minott's clock and secretary and looking-glass. The most prominent trees are the red maples and shore the yellowish aspens. 3. with the future. not to say immortal. Our desmuch to do The body of science will not be complete till every sense has thus ruled our thought and language and action in its turn. and the trees are mottled green and yellowish. Viola lanceolata in Moore's Swamp. heard far. 57 We are children of light. I Oct. . 1852. p. To Flint's Pond. about a clock that began to tick it when Massachusetts was a province. apparently alone in the middle. Oct. there is ! — something mortal. hear a hylodes (?) from time to time. and smells of varnish. 1857. AUTUMN.

or a dozen rods from me. but it has put me on 1858. I hear out towards the middle. and in all cracks and and soon the flames will leap upwards to the tops of the tallest trees. a gen- eral conflagration just fairly under way. it and think it rare. excess of How many men ! manner the alert. and consciously described some arc of beauty or other with his head or hand. sure to find out the most suitable I find it One year on the Great Fields.58 AUTUMN. The next I find and unexpected place. its edge. Many lift . glow yellow and fires just through the green. The hillside its all aglow along fissures. It flits about of sparrows from field to field. and behaved very simply and well till the moment he was passing out the door. where the outside scarlet trees. like kindled at the base of the trees. It is interesting to consider how that crotalaria spreads soil. have a fatal There was one came to our house the other evening. in a new like a flock Standing on the railroad. the plashing the shiners . itself. He then suddenly put on the airs of a well-bred man. made apparently by like them. and the shrubs scattered generally through the wood. I look across the pond to Pine Hill. Oct 3. for they look and shine leaping in schools on the surface. It was but a slight nourish. soon to forest is envelop every tree.

and. almost blackish above. bluish one which arises from the chimney. 1859. some other and per- haps better looking part of the person be exposed. but most rise way out. as they swim slowly This I ascertain by paddling out to along. Is it peculiar to this season ? The large leaves of are dark purple. M. where some family is preparing its evening meal. p. 3. seems to me that they might be if necessary. only part 59 themselves quite out for a foot or two. some black oak sprouts but greenish beneath. them.. twenty black points at There are several schools indulging in this sport from time to time. once. To Bateman's Pond Oct. Perhaps they leap and dance in the water I have just as gnats dance in the air at present. and covered. There are few more agreeable sights than this to the pedestrian of Spencer traveler. seen it before in the fall. little No cloud is fairer to him than that beneath. AUTUMN. Looking from the hog pasture over the valley Brook westward. we see the smoke rising from a huge chimney above a gray roof and the woods at a distance. all It suggests of domestic felicity . back by the hog pasture and old Carlisle road. Some affect faces that I see are so gross that they like a part of the person it me improperly exposed.

forever preach to Such an abode we offer you. the sluttish help in the kitchen indifferent and sink-room. see the tired laborers their day's come in from work thinking stolidity of their wages. saying. To go into an actual farmer's family at evening. in the horizon. If old. painting landscapes. perance. to have this faith. the and patient misery which it only the spirits of the youngest children rise above. . In our minds we clothe each unseen inhabitant with all the success. or vulgarity. moroseness. There we imagine that life is lived of which we have only dreamed. to such life encourage a we you. its We have only to see a gray roof with curling up. ever fair to why mountains us? Because we imagine for a moment that they be the home of man. suggests one train of thought . all the serenity. and that man's in life may may be harmony with them. but serene labors which proceed at the same pace with the declining day. we can conceive of. itself. meanness. plume of smoke There we sus- pect no coarse haste or bustle. or writing verses which celebrate man's oppor- tunities. hopeful. There is no hireling in the barn nor in the kitchen. why lakes. Why are distant valleys. suggests .60 AUTUMN. if young. The sky and clouds and earth with their beauty. we imagine him serene . Men go about sketching. Here is not haggard poverty and harassing debt here is not intemus.

are nothing to them. Eembrandts. an Elegy in a Country Churchyard. than to see when the cover Oct. 4. It is vastly easier to discover is off. so that the sight of his roof at a distance sug- gests an idyl or a pastoral. or of his grave.AUTUMN. that sees Health. then swept clean in the barn it. when its smoke is ascending peacefully to join the kindred clouds We are ever busy hiring house and above. but in the eye it. nature with their calm and peaceful Oct. high spirits. How all poets What graceful have idealized the farmer's life figures and unworldly characters they have as! signed to them ! Serene as the sky. Turners. There is and peopling them in our imaginations. 4. having just taken off the surface down to a hard pan. 1840. tance. another to look 61 down on that roof from a dison an October evening. Minott was telling me to-day that he used to know a man it in Lincoln till who had and no floor to his barn. are the great landscape painters. but waited the ground froze. Claudes. emulating lives. Consider the infinite promise of a man. 1851. threshed his grain on He also used to see men it threshing their buckwheat in the field where grew. He used the word gavel to de- scribe a parcel of stalks cast on the ground to . no beauty in the sky. see We never any beauty but as the garment of some virtue. serenity. lands.

I was admiring his cornstalks disposed about the barn. and I am always sure to find them in the dictionary. to-day. who suffer their stalks to remain out till they are dry and dingy and black as chips. cuts . He is not looking forward to the sale of his crops. but he is paid by the constant satisfaction which his labor yields him. but everything as if he loved it. the one who most realizes to me the poetry of the farmer's life. too He has not too to do. and at his leisure a pitch-pine it tree. clean. that I know. he lets no hired selects man rob him of that amusement. trouble him. well. and handsome green. His are good old English words. but simply to amuse himself and much work man live. of such a fresh. He does nothing with haste and drudgery. He knows every pin and nail it is If any part of to be floored. hauls it or gets hauled to the mill and so and he . and takes infinite satisfaction in every part of it. AUTUMN. it. money-making farmers. Minott is perhaps the most poetical farmer. retaining their strength and nutritive properties. He cares not so much to raise a large crop as to do his work in his barn. much land to no hired nor boy.62 dry. though I never heard them before in my life. over or astride the braces and the timbers. but he goes slowly to the woods. so unlike the gross and careless husbandry of speculating. He makes the most of his labor.

He loves to walk in a swamp in windy weather. but merely simple. he never reads a book since he finished the " Naval Monument. Farming is an amusement which has lasted him longer than gunning or fishing. Oct. dulges in no luxury of food. and none in the town is kept so beautifully clean. and yet it is always planted soon enough. . He always prophesies is a failure of the crops. Just at the edge of evening. 1858. He handles and amuses himself with every ear cf his corn crop as much as a child with his play- and so his small crop goes a great way. His barn floor is fastened down with oak pins. for he does not want riches. He is never in a hurry to get his garden planted. which he says will rust and give way. He might well cry if it were carried to market. 63 knows the history of his barn floor. With never failing rheumatism and trembling hands. The seed of weeds is no longer in his soil. and yet satisfied with what he gets. Though If his sister dies before him. He inthings. yet he is not penurious. he seems yet to enjoy perennial health. 4. or furniture. or dress. and he prefers them to iron spikes. and hear the wind groan through the pines." he speaks the best of English. he may have to go to the almshouse in his old age. I saw on the sidewalk something bright like fire. yet he is not poor.AUTUMN.

becoming a and whiter as the darkness inmore universal . gradually from the light. A man whom I met in the street was able to tell the time by his watch. oak. its light is quite blue. though he were never on the river before. was a very pale brown. See B a-fishing notwithstanding the wind. holding over what was in my hand. it M . Yet methinks his misfortune is good and he is the more mellow and humane. . I found that it came from the bottom of some old fence posts which had just been dug up near by. creased. loses self-respect. Carried toward a candle. which was all aglow. It suggested that a lamp-post might be I cut It more luminous at bottom than at it top. a stick. told me that he heard his dog barking the other night. and goes a-fishing. the mason. A man runs down.64 as if AUTUMN. and going out found that it was at the bottom of an old post he had dug up during the day. It was rotten wood. fortune. probably white. and then I wondered if a drunkard's spittle were luminous. some almost white. out a handful and carried light. and proceeded to poke it on to a leaf with. fails. in the and flaky and as I withdrew it it began to glow with fire in its distinctly blue recesses. quite soft about. being quite rotten and soft. and there glowed for a foot or two. The posts were Mr. molten lead were scattered along.

as if the outmost fire. Nobody holds you . where I so. perchance better employed than ever.A UTUMN. It is better than a poor debtors' prison. I have always found that what are called the best of manners are the worst. life They cover no at all. The outmost parts and edges of the foliage are orange . better than most relation to his fellow-men than false respect manded a successful money-getting. and coming to understand his real position and relation to men in the world. orange handsomer than those that are wholly changed. They are the universal slave-holders who treat men as things. being turned first toward the sunny were baked by it. 4. If I am disappointed. There he stands at length. for they are sim- ply the shell without the meat. parts. the recesses green. of a rich . 1859. and he really stands in a truer the object of when he comfrom them. The hill hickories on the northwest side of this are in the prime of their color. I feel as if owed my hosts an apology for troubling them Oct. I find that I have no right to visit them. 65 Perhaps he begins to perceive more clearly that life is something else than acquiring property. some with green intimately mixed. holding communion with nature and himself. When I have made a visit my expectations are not met.

M. considering the ness of this year. Their green- . but her society is commonly more select. intermixed with yellow- ish and sere brown and shriveled ones. by wall-sides and on open springy hillsides. curved and full of fruit. mistress are large straggling tufts of the Dicksonia fern fall- above the leaf-strewn green sward. handsome. and overtopped by now withered and unnoticed osmundas. not fear- ing the frosts.66 AUTUMN. To Conantum. All men sympathize by their lower natures. the few only by the higher. the whole clump perchance strewn with fallen and withered maple leaves. green sward! They are unusually preserved earli- about the Corner Spring. life and greenness No matter how much they are strewn with withered leaves. more cheap than the man They are marks by the help of which the wearers ig- nore you. The help may have some of the tenderloin. fragile as they are. but she must eat it in the kitchen. as if they were evergreen. of manners. Their lingering greenness is so much the more noticeable now that the They affect us leaves generally have changed. Long. and remain concealed themselves. moist and green they spire above them. The appetites of the commonly the same as those of her servant. lanceolate re- green fronds pointing in every direction. the cold. such persistent in the midst of decay. How interesting now. p.

It is only cheap. You must be aware that no thing is what you have taken it to be.AUTUMN. you must forget your botany. and we know that the first severer frost will cut off is them too. In what book is this world and its beauty described ? Who has plotted the steps toward the discovery of beauty ? You must be in a different state from common. so long as I presume that I have an introduction to it from some learned man. If you would make acquaintance with the ferns. I do not get nearer by a hair's breadth to any natural object. Your greatest success will be simply to perceive that such things are. is comparatively rare. and you will have no communication to make to the Royal Society. and you must approach the object totally unprejudiced. but if . no- thing could be easier than to ascertain it . ness 67 is so much the more interesting. because so many have already fallen. In the summer greenness to us. If it were required to know the position of the fruit dots or the character of the indusium. To conceive of it with a total apprehension. I must for the thousandth time approach it as something totally strange. and now it is a thing the emblem of life when we to forget all our learning that we begin know. purpose. Not a single scientific term or distinction is the least to the You would fain perceive something.

no redthe wings for a long time chipbirds (but without case with crowns . but . that the young?). hear their sveet sveet and sveet sveet sveet. and forth several times over my head. when away Such a flock circled back goes the whole flock. helping to this redeem your life. just like ducks reconnoitring before they alight. signify anything. I see and hear probably flocks of grackles with their chestnut split and is shuffling note. you are surprised to see how alert the spies are. and They are very see their tails dark beneath. with a yellow ring round the eye. and the yellow-browed sparrow. These larks have dusky bills and legs.68 it is AUTUMN. and give their note of alarm. and run in the stubble. that they be another sacred scripture and revelation to you. for the most part invisible. . and see them on the ground and on rocks. about the needles. I start up a large flock of shore larks. Hear the pine warblers in the pines. field hillside stubble west of Holden the large wood. that they amount to anything. peeping out behind it. reddish legs. wary. required that you be affected by ferns. and a Going over slight whitish bar on the wings. perhaps. baywings on the walls and fences. If you look with a glass. to you. end is not so easily accomplished. while one or two appear to act the sentinel at some rock.

Oct. bluebird. which has reday. by which he emerges.. 1840. fairies come out. air is The then peopled. and infold ourselves in our being. bluebirds (in families on the almost bare them. where the excavated sand heaped up . another not so easily discovered. woodchuck : has two or more holes a rod or two apart one. The soul departs out of the body. is or the front door. and sleeps in God. many of etc. Each night I go home to rest. on the principle by which a well is . very small. and has its day. the chickadee. without any sand about it. as the song elms). 5. A all part of me. 1851. and the sweet phe-he of Now the year itself begins to be ripened by the frost like a persimmon. 5. At night we recline and nestle. ripe. hear half-strains from sparrow.AUTUMN. The maiden-hair fern at Conantum is apparently unhurt by frost as yet. As she withdraws herself. Man has always garded the night as ambrosial or divine. — I robins. Each night I am gathered to my fathers. limbs droop and the eyelids and Nature re- reclaims her clay again. goes abroad at night posed in silence like the owl. I observe that the Oct. 69 first fine days of the in the warm hazy light. the fall. and probably purple finches. phcebes. The birds seem to delight in these fall. smaller directly at the surface than beneath. a divine slumber.

grant purple gerardia. dug. according to Peabody. and hasten forward.70 AUTUMN. I hear the red-winged blackbirds by the riverit were a new spring. I wonder three quarters full. The whippoor- will is not heard. great bidens. scared up the by us. In their sluggish flight. but find it to . fralife-everlasting. they can hardly keep their legs up. late golden-rods. As I go through the woods. purplish asters. Ardea minor. only the some sparrow. side again. like that of the fragrant it I suppose is that. I perceive a sweet dry scent from the under woods life-everlasting. as if seem to American bittern. making as small a hole as possible at the surface. To Cliffs. they can soar. to prevent caving. The birds appear to depart with the coming of the frosts which kill the vegetation. They have come to bid farewell. where all around is in shadow. trailing his legs in the water. 8 P. nor the mosquito. boomer if This. Still. etc. and directly or indiThe rectly the insects on which they feed. is [stake-driver] . Moon The nights now are very still. I fre- quently see a light on the ground within thick and dark woods. flew across the river. expecting to find some decayed and phosphorescent stump. M. for there is hardly any noise of birds or occasional lisping of insects.

like a collection of humble cottages on the moor for there is suggested some humble hearth beneath. I notice many puck- pale-brown. The howling of the wind about the house just before a storm to-night sounds extremely like a loon on the pond. so are the fairies to As moonlight men. brown. How fit M. They are low Oriental domes or mosques. . It required very clear weather in the northwest. dome-shaped puffballs ered to a centre beneath. from which this smoke comes up. I was told at Monument to-day that Mr. just It is so fine that it rises into the air. to sunlight. as it were the homes of slugs and crickets. by the fence little of old barn boards. and light wafted away like . To Hill and over the pastures westward. p. Bunker Hill Oct. 1852. be some clear moonlight that crevice in the leaves. 5.! AUTUMN. and a storm clearing up here. 1853. invented plainly to inhabit the moonlight. and is smoke from a chimney. 5. Oct. falls 71 through a The is fairies are a quiet. snuff-colored dust rises from the orifice smoke from a chimney. In the huckleberry pasture. 1856. When their you pinch like them. Oct. a smoke-like. several Savage saw the times while work- White Mountains ing on the monument. 5. gentle folk. at top. sometimes crowded together in nests.

than wander to Europe or Asia. These wear best and yield most.. less. the white pigeon- egg kind. and report all their behavior faithfully. and watch other motions there It is well to find ment in simple for it is only ourselves that we report in either case. and perchance we shall report a more rest- worthless self in the latter case than the former. with rough. please ixie They plain. cricket has eaten out the whole inside of another in which he is housed. which I now see all headed one way and slowly advancing. 72 AUTUMN. and some snug but humble family passing its Sunday evening beneath each one. I imagine with what contentment and faith I could come home to them at evening. This before they are turned to dust. not a little by their resemblance to rude. On one lived. watch them and project their course carefully on a chart. crystallized surface. I locate there at once all that is simple and admirable in human life. with a little hole beneath him . I think I would rather watch the motions of these cows in their pasture for a day. There is no virtue which these roofs exclude. dome-shaped. I find a slug feeding. this is a different species. . A your employment and amuseand homely things. turf-built cottages on the where some humble but everlasting life is I imagine a hearth and pot.

fusion. The latter seems to scream more fitly and with more freedom through the vacancies occasioned by fallen maple leaves. There is at no doubt." says he. lets it all pass off by flashes through his tail. birds. of events which belongs to a summer walk. but the greater part is make-believe. " See there. Oct. like a bull-dog's. chirrups and vibrates his tail. portionally large for his body. and see him running by fits nut bough toward me. an excess of inquisitiveness and caution. " " Who 's that ? Oh. while he clings to the bark as if he were holding in . what shall I do ? and makes believe run off. 73 not There is now that pro- and consequent confusion. 1857.AUTUMN. and scratches along a foot as if it was a He finds noise and activity for both of It is evident that all this ado does not the bottom. as the cawing of a crow or the scream of a jay. I hear the alarum of a small red squirrel. insects. but takes out his nut and tastes it in the midst of his agitation. and hence what does occur affects us as more simple and significant. however. and starts along a chestHis head looks disprofull of nuts. There are few flowers. dear. and a love of the marvelous. perhaps because he has his chaps He in. proceed from fear. us. 5. or fruits now. but does not get along an inch. see there. He can hardly keep it up till I am gone. holds himself mile.

night or two. a graceful. 5. it like a whipbut the fore part mostly clings fast to the bark with desperate energy. to whose handle. snapping the tail over lash.74 a race-horse. like the swell on lakes and seas. and chirrups and chatters louder than ever. is The revolution of the seasons a great and steady flow. but still nature. 6." shadow and find that still tail. supple-jointed now and always. peaceful motion. trying to work himself into a fright. Oct. AUTUMN. head downward. no but she rubbish acdoes fresh- . " to throw with a jerk. Nois where does any rigidity grow upon muscles harden. He gets down the trunk at last upon a projecting knob. The hind part of his body is urging the forward part along. Oct. No cumulates from day to day. Squirr. bottom are like these nights." " oura. The little chips which re- main so in the water or sink to the stars in the sky. but I improve it much by putting in water. many The comet makes a great show Its tail is at least as long as the whole of the Great Dipper. within a rod of you. In the evening I am it glad to my phosphorescent wood of last night glows somewhat. till within a it reached in a great curve." seems to have quite as much to do with the name as the Greek " skia. 1858. no bones protrude. 1840. and we plainly see stars through it.

perfectly almost the former gleaming like the moonlight. m. in her No man was ever yet too nice to walk house. nay greener. She has no lumber-room.30 p. flected in When we their fire men kindling side. To is Fair Haven . rolling upward in the form of an inverted pyramid. reddish blaze. the cloud in the sky. and there is dark notwithstanding the no sound but the crackling . 7. ness predominate on her cheek. His religion allows in her woods and fields. in her attire. contrasting with the white light of the moon. with a dense volume of black smoke from the burning pitchpine roots. Oct. and the moon's disk restarted. again. The blaze was reflected in the water almost as distinct as the substance. it. when water is not at hand. it is moon. the Arab to cleanse his body with sand. It is not begrimed with all the dust all that has been raised. 6. fifths full not a still. but still the sward is just as green. 1851. Pond by and the oil in boat. this day. saw some fisherfor spearing. The morning air is clear even at for all that. no dust-hole. 75 and cleanliness The dust settles on the fences and the rocks and the pastures by the roadside. by the river- It was a lurid. air moon four The water so. or Cocytus for It looked like tarring a ship on the shore of Styx . The dew makes clean Nature keeps her besom always wagging.AUTUMN.

though their figures. Although the work betrays that he has given . while the smoke and flames are blown in his face. and the reflection of its disk on the rippled water by our boat-side appears like bright gold pieces falling on the river's counter. for I had But its title heard that such was its character." lam disappointed in not finding a more out-of-door book. The fishermen can be seen only fire is near at hand. Like devils they look. I have just read Euskin's " Modern it Painters. Now the fishermen's fire left behind becomes As surely as the sunlight falling a star. but as Turner painted her. . and then they appear as dusky. 6. AUTUMN. and seen at the same angle in front on the surface of the pads. the other paddling the boat slowly and silently along close to the shore with almost imperceptible motion. clad in old clothes to defend themselves from the fogs. . The bright sheen of the is moon is constantly traveling with us. seen only by their enlightened sides. so the blaze at a distance appears a star. one standing up forward holding the spear ready to dart. half visible far away. . might have warned me.76 of the fire. He does not describe nature as nature. Oct. fuliginous enveloped in smoke. through an irregular chink makes a round figure on the opposite wall. 1857. Such is the effect of the atmosphere.

. the capillaceous roots or leaves of the water marigold and other capillaceous-leaved water-plants.! AUTUMN. and chiefly concerns us. still. close attention to 77 appears to have nature. and a good deal of labor. By boat to Corner Spring. sometimes rising from amidst the dead pontederia stems or resting on the but- ton bushes or the willows. We pulled one to pieces to examine the There was a small cavity which might inside. etc. They all the are of an oval form. how very little poetry Oct. A Our warm. There were show some art . how little about nature as she i. quite wet and of course dark and narrow. boat so small and low that we are close water. . communicating immediately with a gallery under water. the clamshells. Potamogeton Robbinsii. How is much is written about nature as somebody has portrayed her. just above the level of the water. forming a somewhat conical mound. e. flagroot. it been with an artist's and critic's design. a plant which looks like a cock's tail or a peacock's feather in form. 1851. these houses Seen at this stage. now dead. how much prose. composed of mouthfuls of pontederia leaf stems. hold two or three full-grown muskrats. 7. clear afternoon. ing their houses way are now buildabout two thirds done. bright. to the The muskrats . The mouthfuls are disposed in layers successively smaller.

Certainly they do not fear cold. can get very near for it unwilling to preferring to hide amid the weeds. a few pieces of the white root of some waterplant. has departed. They seem far. through which is the only exit. confrere. perhaps a pontederia or lily. with immeasurable water in the cellar. and to have advanced equally like Saw the Ardea minor walking a hen with long green is along the shore Its penciled legs. in a wet coat never changed. . This is a settler whom our lowlands and our bogs do not hurt. their human native to our river. ? How The mud What itself will have the ague as soon as occasion has he for a dentist ? Their look unfinished. There they dwell in close contiguity to the water itself. always in a wet apartment. throat so like the reeds it amid which passer that holds is its and other shore plants head erect to watch the to discern is it. worse than a Broad Street cellar But probably these are not their breeding-places. to be all building at once in different parts of the river. life to a lower scale than Diogenes. The muskrat and the fresh-water mussel are very The Indian. it difficult it. or con- Think of bringing up a family in such a place. They have reduced sumption. long has the muskrat dined on mussels river he.! 78 AUTUMN. rapidly rising nests now like truncated cones. ague. You fly. in it.

AUTUMN. 1852. bluebirds. and hedge-mustard. It is perfect autumn. Ranunculus repens. To Great Meadows. The sun comes out of clouds. The sunshine harmonizes rising through the yellow with the imbrowned and fiery foliage. Also see painted tortoises and shad frogs. one mass of red and yellow. soapwort gentian. 7. Now is the time to behold the maple swamps. Polygonum hydropipepurple. and there and elsewhere the dark red ashes. caducous polygala. It is a warm. small bushy white aster. small. now turned dark white erigeron. . scratchgrass polygonum. The muskrats have begun to erect their cabins. and song sparrows. houstonia. robins. Saw one done. the roides. m. I sit on Poplar Hill. and then in the village the warm brownish-yellow elms. Perhaps the autumnal tints are as bright and interesting now as they will be. Oct. autum- nal dandelion very abundant. find 79 p. all on fire . a few golden-rods. It is the mellowing year. the unknown. these and the blood-red huckleberries are the most conspicuous. Indiansummerish afternoon. flowerless bidens. I no fringed gentians. where the villagers are preparing for tea. I notice the Viola ovata. red clover. I see a hundred smokes elm tops in the village. Do they build them in the night ? Hear and see larks. yarrow. and lights up and warms the whole scene.

with a regular edging of low bushes of the same color with the meadow. Oct 7. of brilliant scarlet and yellow and crimson trees. and occasionally large masses. while smaller bluebirds are warbling faintly but . on the verge of the horizon. and on the hills around shoot up a million scarlet and orange and yellow and crimson fires. backed by green forests and green and russet fields and hills. are white or gray houses. one quarter of a mile wide. by the of the landscape. It is always incredibly fair. often beneath the largest and most graceful of them.80 AUTUMN. Skirting the meadow are straggling lines. beauty and sit down by the 1857. Halfway up Fair Haven Hill. Beyond stretches a forest. some two miles across. wreath upon wreath. extending southwest and northeast. Here and there amid the trees. and a blue river winding slowly through it northward. and between each two wreaths I know lies a similar vale. with a broad. rise half a dozen dark blue mountain summits. yellow meadow tinged with brown at the bottom. but ordinarily we are of it. mere objects in it. Large birds of a brilliant blue and white plumage are darting and screaming amid the glowing foliage a quarter of a mile below. and not witnesses air I see through the bright October a valley. I am surprised for the thousandth time orchard wall to behold it at my leisure. and far beyond all.

The first thing that suggests itself is to get a horse to draw them. breaking your chairs to and wearing out the house. sweetly around me. tolling of a distant funeral Its serious sound was more in harmony with that scenery than any ordinary bustle would have been. if or to a church to-morrow. and that brings me at once into contact with the stables and dirty harness. I do not know how to entertain those who cannot take long walks. why won't they take an honest nap in the afternoon and let me go? But when two o'clock comes. there they sit. In the midst of the most glorious Indian summer . If they can't walk. It chanced that I heard just then the bell. It suggested that man must die to his present life before he can appreciate his opportunities and the beauty of the abode that is appointed him. the very elasticity of the air and promise of the day abetting me but they are as heavy as dumplings by mid-afternoon.AUTUMN. afternoon. they alarm me by an evident disposition to sit. and see there is anything said to suggest that the inhabitants of these houses know what manner of world they live in. with their backs the light. and I do not get over my ride for a long time. I give up my forenoon to them. of 81 the dwelling-place Such is man . . taking no note of the lapse of time. and get along pretty well. but go to a caucus in the village to-night.

but there being a reflections slight ripple on the surface. these were not true to the height of their substances. yellow. forming sharp pyramids of the several colors gradually reduced to mere dusky points. breadth of base. etc. I saw by a peculiar intention of the eye. As I sat on the high bank at the east end of Walden this afternoon at five o'clock.. The effect of this prolongation was a very agreeable softening and blending of the colors. sub-aqueous rainbow-like phenomenon. green. you were to brush firmly aside with your hand or a brush a fresh hue of paint or so many lumps There was accordof friable colored powders. from three to a dozen feet in height. etc.82 AUTUMN. Those brilliant effects shrubs. color. especially when a small bush of one bright tint stood directly before another of a It was just as tint. a very striking. but brightly as to of course in the order in . A passer- by might have noticed the sunny reflections of those bright-tinted shrubs along the high shore on the side. but were extended downward with mathematical perpendicularity three or four times too far for the height of the substances. which they stood. were all reflected. contrary and equally bright if . dimly so far as the details of leaves. were concerned. and scarlet. but unless on the alert for such he would have failed to perceive the full beauty of the phenomenon. only as to color. and order.

like an Indian maiden." says he. Picked up an Indian gouge on Dennis's Hill. To the Marlboro' road. if the truth were by attending to small known. 8. . the other day on the abundance of the apples. M. 2 p. I have seen similar inverted pyramids in the old drawings of tattooing about the waists of the aborigines of this country. and apologize for themselves or another as having attended to such. and reflected The tapering towards the beholder." That 's the kind of beauty they see in apples. 83 ingly a sort of belt. colored points or cones round her waist in Octocolors seem to be reflected and refrom ripple to ripple. and almost their whole lives were misspent. Remarking to old Mr. their ordinary business was the small thing.AUTUMN. 7. when. too. and amused or instructed themselves things. Some white oak acorns in the path by a woodOct. "Yes. Oct. 1851. as wide as the height of the hill. Many people have a foolish way of talking about small things. extending downward along the whole north or sunny side of the pond. having neglected their ordinary business. Walden. "and fair as dollars. losing brightness each time by the softest possible gradation. rainbow-like belt of ber. 1860. composed of exceedingly short and narrow inverted pyramids of the most brilliant colors intermixed. brilliant- wears this broad.

number of diminishes the number of my It increases the ! my friends. so bright a red. to the eye. There is mast for me too. I could feed myself in the woods fruit. at this season. Filled my tree is The sweet-acorn pockets with acorns. Their sweetness the sweet- The whole world I sweeter to me for having discovered such palatableness in this neglected nut. How easily. wear better it falls. first am related again to the men. like the leaves on which polished or varnished. — this Dodonean famous and well known to the boys. found to be unexpectedly sweet and pal- atable. Such as these are no mean food. ness of bread. the bitterness being scarcely perceptible. as well as for the pigeon and the squirrels. The jointed polygonum in the Marlboro' road is an interesting flower. without leaves. to find that the grass tasted sweet tious. it is so late. No wonder the first men lived on acorns. it I were nutri- and foes. To my taste they are quite as good as chestnuts. Found another gouge on . though inobvious from its minuteness. There can be no question respecting the wholesomeness of this diet. mixed with other minute flowers. An arrow-head at the desert. if I should be at least equally pleased. What can be handsomer. as they are repreis like is sented to be. than the color of the acorn.84 side I AUTUMN. above the sand like sorrel.

The box had the appearance of having been floated off in an upright position by a freshet. 1857.. in greater force and with more noise than usual. only the box itself the stick which held the bait. and my neighbor has got out his is full. 85 To have found two Indian is it gouges and tasted sweet acorns. Walking through the Lee Oct. farm swamp. 8. etc. it and found in it the remains of a gray rabbit. and must have been dead some years. black clouds. He had gradually starved to death in it. None of the furniture of the trap remained. low. for one afternoon ? not enough A warm duces its night like this at this season proeffect on the village. the fog being the color of the sky. the string. AUTUMN. skin. The trapper lost The box had not . and mould closely fitting the rightangled corner of one side. The moon The tops of the woods in the horizon. It had been a rabbit's living tomb. seen above the fog. a dozen or more rods from the I opened river. look exactly like long. The boys are heard in the street now at nine o'clock. bones. the rabbit its life. What a tragedy to have occurred within a box in one of our quiet swamps ! his box. I found a large box trap closed. Dennis's Hill. were all gone.. as so much vegetable mould. It was wholly inoffensive. flute.

increasing weakness and emaciation tell and delirium. slowly. To the same camphor. as it sailed. To Conantum. This shrub. elliptical fruit. the night. far amid the alders. Oct. it was buried Let the trapping boy dream of the dead rabbit in its ark. heard for a few rods through the swamp. glossy. The green leaves bruised have the fragrance of lemons and a order belong thousand cinnamon. ing and struggle. 1851. but found them not so palatable as the raw. is thrice crowned. that alive. with a grand and solemn motion. and its fruit. Yet one would soon get accustomed to this. perchance from being boiled with the shells and skins. Lauras sassafras. having acquired a bitterish taste. Boiled a quart of acorns for breakfast. finding. 9. Heard two screech owls in Oct. is The seed vessel of the sweetbrier a very beautiful. cassia. I am always exhilarated. last. M. spices. what with the fragrance of its leaves. like a small meeting house with its rude spire. by the sight of sassafras. I hear the green . 2 P.86 AUTUMN. They by the contortions of the body. its blossom. 1850. the rabbit breathed its you of opening the tomb and This was such a case. as were the early voyagers. After days and nights of moan- been gnawed. 9.

AUTUMN.
locust again

87

he is turned straw has revived them.
equally sweet.

on the alders of the causeway, but color. The warm weather

All the acorns on the same tree are not

They appear

to

dry sweet.

I see half a dozen snakes in this walk, green

and

striped, one very

young striped snake. They
of the year.
side of the

appear to be out enjoying the sun, and to make
the most of the last

warm days

The

hill

and plain on the opposite

river are covered with the

warm deep

red leaves

of shrub oak.

On

Lee's hillside

by the pond,

the red leaves of some pitch pines are almost
of a golden yellow
rich

hue seen in the sunlight, a

autumnal

look.

The green
is

are, as it were,

set in the yellow.

The witch hazel here
magical
of
hillside,

in full blossom

while

its

on this broad yellow leaves
are completely bare

are falling.
leaves,

Some bushes

and leather-colored they strew the ground. It is an extremely interesting plant, October and November child, and yet reminds

me

of the very earliest spring.

Its blossoms

smell like the spring, like the willow catkins.

By
all

their color as well as fragrance they belong

to the saffron

dawn
life
is

of the year, suggesting

these signs of autumn, falling leaves,

amid and
eter-

frost, that

the

of nature

by which she

nally flourishes

untouched.

It stands here in

88

AUTUMN.
hill,

the shadow on the side of the

while the

sunlight from over the top of the hill lights
its

up
Its

topmost sprays and yellow blossoms.

and angular, is not to be mistaken for any other. I lie on my back with joy While its leaves fall, its under its boughs. blossoms spring. The autumn, then, is indeed a spring. All the year is a spring. I see two
spray, so jointed

blackbirds high overhead going south, but I

am

going in

my

thoughts with these hazel blossoms.

It is a fairy place.
tality of the soul.
it

This

is

a part of the immor-

I was thinking that bloomed too late for bees or other insects to extract honey from its flowers, that perchance they yielded no honey, I saw a bee upon it.

When

How

important, then, to the bees this late blossassafras tree behind Lee's,

soming plant.

A large

two feet

in diameter at the ground.

There is a thick bed of leaves in the road under Hubbard's elms. This reminds me of
Cato, as
if

the ancients

made more
legito
;

ture than we.
erunt,

He

says,

use of na" Stramenta si deearn substernito

frondem iligneam

ovibus bubusque."
the leaves of the

If litter is wanting, gather

holm oak, and strew them under your sheep and oxen. In another place he says, " Circum vias ulmos serito et partim populos, uti frondem ovibus et bubus habeas."

AUTUMN.
There
is

89
of the
it

little

or no use

made by us

leaves of trees, not even for beds, unless

be

sometimes to rake them up in the woods, and cast them into hogpens and compost heaps.
Oct. 9, 1857.
It has

lover of art
other,

is

one,

come to this, that the and the lover of nature anis

though true art
It is

love of nature.

but the expression of our monstrous when one cares

but

little

about
;

thian columns
Oct.
9,

which
the

rise

and much about Corinyet this is exceedingly common. 1858. I watch two marsh hawks from the woods before me as I sit on
trees,

cliff,

at first plunging at each other, gradu-

come round in and higher, and floating toward the southeast. Slender dark motes they are at last, but every time they come round eastward, I see the light of the westering sun reflected from the under sides of their wings.
ally lifting themselves, as they

their gyrations, higher

Oct. 9, 1860.

Up

Assabet.
is all

I

now
its

see one

small red maple which
in,

a pure yellow with-

and a bright red or

scarlet

on

outer surdis-

face and prominences.
tinct painting of scarlet
is

It is

a remarkably

on a yellow ground.

It

an indescribably beautiful contrast of scarlet and yellow. Another is yellow and green where
this

was

scarlet

and yellow, and

in this case, the

bright and liquid green,
is

now

getting to be rare,
scarlet.

by contrast

as

charming a color as the

90
I

AUTUMN.
wonder that the very cows and the dogs in
them. I saw a dog glance up and down the painted

the street do not manifest a recognition of the
bright tints about and above
terrier

street before

he turned in at his master's gate,
lit

and I wondered what he thought of these
trees, if
spirits,

they did not touch his philosophy or

but I fear he had only his

gish thoughts after all-

He

trotted

common dogdown the
else as

yard as if it were a matter of course, or if he deserved it all.

For two or more nights past we have had remarkable glittering golden sunsets as I came home from the post-office, it being cold and cloudy just above the horizon. There was the most intensely bright golden light at the west end of the street extending under the elms, and
the very dust a quarter of a mile off was like

gold dust.

I wondered

how a
if it

child could stand

had been a furnace. This haste to kill a bird or quadruped, and make a skeleton of it, which many young men and some old men exhibit, reminds me of the fable of the man who killed the hen that laid golden eggs, and so got no more gold. It is a perfectly parallel case. Such is the knowledge you get from anatomy as compared with that you may get from the living creature. Every fowl lays golden eggs for him who can find them, or can detect alloy and base metal.
quietly in that light, as

AUTUMN.
Oct. 10, 1851.

91

The air this morning is full and again it is spring. There are many things to indicate the renewing of spring
of bluebirds, at this season, the blossoming of spring flowers,

not to mention the witch-hazel, the notes of spring
birds, the springing of

grain and grass and

other plants.

Ah, I yearn toward
lieve in the

thee,

my

friend,

but I

have not confidence in thee.

We

do

not be-

same God.

I

am

not thou, thou art
I meet thee un-

not

I.

We trust

each other to-day, but we dis-

trust to-morrow.

Even when

expectedly, I part from thee

with disappoint-

Though I enjoy thee more than other men, I am more disappointed with thee than with others. I know a noble man what is it hinders me from knowing him better ? I know not how it is that our distrust, our hate, is stronger than our love. Here I have been on
ment.
;

what the world would call friendly terms with one fourteen years, have pleased my imagination sometimes with loving him, and yet our
hate
is

stronger than our love.
unsatisfactorily to

Why
each

are

we

related thus

other?

We are almost a sore to one another. Ever and anon will come the thought to mar our love, that change the theme but a hair's breadth, and
we
shall

be tragically strange to one another.

We

do not know what hinders us from coming

;

92
together, but
relations

AUTUMN.
when I
consider what
are,

my

friend's

what his tastes and habits, then the difference between us gets named. I see that all these friends and acquaintances and tastes and habits are indeed

and acquaintances

my

friend's self.

The witch-hazel loves a hillside with or without wood or shrubs. It is always pleasant to come upon it unexpectedly as you are threading
the woods in such places.

Methinks I
apart from
its

attri-

bute to

it

some

elfish quality
its

fame.

I love to behold

gray speckled stems.

The

leaf first green, then yellow for a short season

then,
color.

when

it

touches the ground, tawny leather-

As

I stood

amid the witch-hazels near

Flint's

Pond, a flock of a dozen chickadees came

flitting and singing about me with great ado, a most cheering and enlivening sound, with incessant day - day - day, and a fine wiry strain, between whiles, flitting ever nearer and nearer inquisitively, till the boldest was within five feet

of

me

;

then suddenly, their curiosity sated, they

by degrees farther away, disappeared, and I heard with regret their retreating day -dayflitted

days.

This is the end of the sixth Oct. 10, 1857. day of glorious weather, which I am tempted to call the finest in the year, so bright and serene the air, such a sheen from the earth, so brilliant

AUTUMN.
the foliage, so pleasantly
this day,

93
(except perhaps

warm

which

is

cooler), too

warm

for a thick

coat, yet not sultry

nor oppressive, so ripe the
Certainly these are

season and our thoughts.

the most brilliant days in the year, ushered in perhaps by a frosty morning, as this. As

a dewy morning in summer, compared with a

parched and

sultry,

languid one, so a frosty

morning at this season compared with a merely dry or foggy one. These days you may say the year is ripened like a fruit by frost, and puts on
the brilliant tints of maturity, but not yet the
color of decay.
It is not sere

and withered as

in

November.
Oct. 10, 1858.

The

simplest and most lump-

ish fungus has a peculiar interest for us,

comit is

pared with a mere mass of earth, because
so obviously organic

however remote. It growth according to a law, matter not dormant,
not raw, but inspired, appropriated by
I take
spirit.

and related to ourselves, is the expression of an idea,
If

up a handful of

earth,

however separately
their relation to

interesting the particles

may be,

one another appears to be that of mere juxtaposition generally.

gether thus.
life
its

them toBut the humblest fungus betrays a
I might have thrown

akin to
kind.

my

own.
is

It is a successful

poem

in

There

suggested something superior

to

any particle of matter in the idea or mind which uses and arranges the particles.

94

AUTUMN.
I find the fringed gentian abundantly

open at
all

three and at four

p.

M. (in fact

it

must be

the afternoon), open to catch the cool October

sun and air in
blue
!

its

low position.

Such a dark

surpassing that of the male bluebird's

back.

I see dumb-bells in the minister's study, and

some

of their

Some
who

travelers carry

dumbness gets into his sermons. them round the world in

their carpet bags.

Can he be

said to travel

requires

still

this exercise?

A

party of

school children

had a picnic

in the Easterbrook

country the other day, and they carried bags
of beans for their
there.

gymnasium,

to exercise

with

I cannot be interested in these extremely

artificial

amusements.

The

traveler

is

no

longer a wayfarer with his staff and pack and

dusty coat.
in a saloon,

He
and

is

not a pilgrim, but he travels

carries dumb-bells to exercise

with in the intervals of his journey.
Oct. 11, 1840.
It is always easy to infringe
it

the law, but the Bedouin of the desert finds

impossible to resist public opinion.
Oct. 11, 1852.
rustle with

The chestnut

leaves already

a great noise as you walk through Now the the woods, lying light, firm and crisp.
chestnuts are rattling out.

ing and showing the plump nuts.
ruts in the road

The burrs are gapThey fill the
fallen

and are abundant amid the

;

AUTUMN.
leaves in the

95

midst of the wood. The jays scream and the red squirrels scold while you Now it is are clubbing and shaking the trees.
true autumn, and all things are crisp and ripe.

I observed the other day that those insects

whose ripple I could see from the peak were water bugs. I could detect the progress of a water bug over the smooth surface in almost any part of the pond, for they furrow the water slightly, making a conspicuous ripple, bounded by two diverging lines, but the skaters slide
over it without producing a perceptible ripple.

In

this clear air

and with

this glassy surface,

the motion of every water bug, here and there

amid the

skaters,

was perceptible.

Oct. 11, 1859.

The note

of

the chickadee

heard now in cooler weather above
leaves, has

many

fallen

a new significance.

There was a very severe frost this morning ground stiffened, probably a chestnut-opening frost, a season ripeness, opener of the burrs that contain the Indian Summer. Such is the cold of early or mid October. The leaves and weeds had a stiff, hoary appearance. Oct. 11, 1860. Pears are a less poetic though more aristocratic fruit than apples. They have neither the beauty nor the fragrance of apples,
but their excellence
is

hi

their flavor,

which

speaks to a grosser sense, they are glout-mor-

96

AUTUMN.

ceaux; hence while children dream of apples, and honorables are connoisseurs of pears, and discourse of them at length between sessions. How much more attention they get from the proprietor. The hired man
judges, ex-judges,

gathers the apples and barrels them.
prietor plucks the pears at

The

pro-

odd hours for a pas-

time.

They

are spread on the floor of the best

room, they are a gift to the most distinguished
guest.

They

are

named

after emperors, kings,

queens, dukes, and duchesses.

I fear I shall

have

to wait

till

we

get to pears with American

names, which a republican can swallow.

Oct

12, 1840.
tides

ceaseless

The springs of life flow in down below, and hence this
on the surface.

greenness

everywhere
a well.

But

they are as yet untapped; only here and there

men have sunk

Oct. 12, 1851.

I love very well this cloudy

afternoon, so sober
after so

and favorable

to reflection,
if

many

bright ones.

What

the clouds

shut out the heavens, provided they concentrate

my

thoughts and
!

make a more

celestial

heaven

below
less in

I hear the crickets plainer.

I wander

my thoughts, am
Deep streams
in

less dissipated,

am aware
thoughts
if

how

shallow was the current of
are

my
as

before.

dark,

there

were a cloud

their sky; shallow

ones are

bright and sparkling, reflecting the sun from

!

AUTUMN.
«

97

their

bottoms.

The very wind on

my

cheek

seems more fraught with meaning.
I seem to be
ture,

my

intellectual

more constantly merged in nalife is more obedient to
memorable
seasons.

nature than formerly, but perchance less obedient to spirit.
I have less I

exact less of myself.

meanness, getting to
if

am getting used to my accept my low estate. Oh,
I
if

I could be discontented with myself!
M.

I

could feel anguish at each descent
p.

To

Cliffs.

I

hear Lincoln bell tolling

for church.

harp.

At first I thought of the telegraph Heard at a distance, the sound of a bell
it

acquires a certain vibratory hum, as

were

from the
harp.
if

air

through which
is

it

passes, like a

All music

a harp music at length, as
It is
bell,

the air were full of vibrating strings.

not the mere sound of the

but the hum-

ming

in

the air

that enchants

me, just as

the azure tint which

much

air or distance im-

parts, delights the eye.

It is not so

much

the
veil.

object, as the object clothed with

an azure

All sound heard at a great distance thus tends
of the universal lyre.

same music, vibrating the strings There comes to me a melody which the air has strained, which has conversed with every leaf and needle of the woods. It is by no means the sound of the bell as heard near at hand, and which at this disto produce the

. because of the woods. but it is in some measure the voice of the wood. 1852. It is not merely a repetition of my voice. a sound which is very much modified. and refined before it reaches my ear. sifted. and therein is the magic and charm of it. patent to the sky. and out of this profusion of dazzling light came the autumnal is less tints. From the mountain top you may not be able to see out. as Its window or skylight broad as its surface. but on the lake you are bathed in light. but echoes. as if the earth absorbed none.98 AUTUMN. I am struck by the simplicity of light in the atmosphere in the autumn. where they have been getting out sand for the brickyards. the delicate stratification of this great globe. like the leaves of the choicest volume just shut on a lady's ! table The piled up history the slow and delicate process by by which the globe ! I am struck was formed. Can it be because The delicacy of there vapor ? the stratification in the white sand by the railroad. that portion of the sound vibrating which the elements take up and modulate. The echo is to some extent an independent sound. 12. its tance I can plainly distinguish. It lies out. What an ample share of the light of heaven each pond and lake on the surface of the globe enjoys No woods are so dark and deep but it ! is is light above the pond. Oct.

which the thickness of ceal. my nail will con- apparently not so big as the prominence on an orange. have just sat down. sending down its showers from time to time. and deciding that Oct. I think the law is really a humbug. can be distin- guished farther than any other tree. suggests ever the same quiet. rural and domestic life passing beneath it. 12. This town has made a law recently against cattle tice was done. and a benefit principally to the lawyers. I know that it is now a rich brownish or yellow canopy of rustling leaves. together with those in which men honest and dishonest do go to law. Homestead telegraphs to homestead through these distant elms seen from the hilltops. I fancy I hear the house dog bark. whose harvest time . Though the little prominence appears so dark here. 1857. The tea-table is spread. discussing the of laws and courts. with the mistress. and lowing of the cows asking admittance to their yard beneath it. I have heard of judges accian evening party. dentally efficacy met at with the aid of the jury system substantial jus- But taking those cases in which from going to law. The master and the hired men in their shirt- sleeves. I think. has already come. 1858. and however faintly seen in the distant horizon. Oct 12.AUTUMN. honest men refrain . It is like the vignette to an unseen idyllic poem. its little dark dome. 99 The elm.

till a Sunday came. 13. The judges may the courts and law over their nuts and raisins. many quibbles. There is a soberness in a rough aspect. and assigned a penalty of dollars. as I heard. . But their pyramids are roughly done. I am troubled by an Irish neighbor's cow and and have threatened to have them put in the pound.100 AUTUMN. mind were kept out several days. Indeed. He if never knew the complainthe defendant had a cattle ant to get his case. man The only prayer for a brave be a-doing. to contend. 1840. This is the prayer that Why ask God for a respite when he is heard. five going at large. and then they were all in my grounds again. but he must needs have recourse to him again ? God cannot give us any other than self-help. the my neighbors tell me that I cannot have them impounded on that day. there are so horse." but I must believe they mean n that they really get paid a " substantial salary. The workers in stone polish only their chim- ney ornaments. has not given it? Has he not done his work. but all However. Oct. I observe that very many of my neighbors do for this discuss the question of reason regularly turn their cattle loose on Sundays. is to and made man equal to his occasions. and mumble for the decision that " substantial justice is done. But a lawyer tells me these town laws are hard to put through.

and those animals which depend upon them. which addresses a depth in but the polished surface only hits the ball of the eye. has sway If he has passed a thought and reflection. To Cliffs. in winter. The alert and energetic man Oct. merely sensual summer. and the lid sings like the wind in the shrouds. he In winter cold realives in his senses mainly.AUTUMN. I think. leads a more intellectual life in winter than in summer. Insects disappear for the most part. he passes his winter in a torpid state like some reptiles and other animals. and gulls flying. the winter of his discon- tent never comes. he lives in son. 1852. as in a torrid zone. to the healthy man p. and fishermen running to and fro on the beach. I see vessels stranded. Man depends more on himself. Oct. his own resources. He and migrates into his mind. but the nobler . The draft of my stove sounds like the dash- ing of waves on the shore. to perpetual summer. Fair Haven as at Pond never.m. 13. less on what is outward. 1851. 101 unhewn granite. not warm passion. the surf on the beach as in the shell is The steady roar of as incessant in my ear on the mantelpiece. In summer the animal and vegetable in him flourish more. 13. in ns. looks so handsome . animals abide with man the severity of winter.

the sward looks short and firm. but far amid the western hills there rises a pure. ories. AUTUMN. It is a sufficiently clear and warm. which now most tinted beautifully framed with the autumn- woods and hills. and look Maple fires smoky in the first swamps. a rather Indian summer day. is required now. Oct. and can be seen from more distant points than any other of our ponds. hick- sings above these warm rocks.. To Poplar Hill. When my eyes were resting on those it smoke-like bare trees. are like innumerable small is flames on the hillsides about the pond. The chickadee takes heart too. The water or lake. How peaceful great nature ! no disturbing sound. did not at occur to me why the landscape was not as brilliant as a few days ago. The air is singularly fine-grained. The shrub-oak a deep red with grayish. . white smoke in There constant volumes. aspens. The mountains are more distinct from the rest of the earth and slightly impurpled. withered. is always the cenFair Haven lies more tre of the landscape. 13.102 this season. and Birches. lose their leaves The outside trees in the swamps first. apparently white-oak leaves intermixed. open. 1852. and they are gath- ering the apples in the orchard. and The warmth we welcome and appreciate plain is it all. from however distant a point seen. seeming to lie is up more. are burnt out generally. etc.

This has been the ninth of these wonderful days. 13. curl Two pursuing each other would air. It is the earlier Indian summer. seems to detain the sun full of life that expands These twigs are so that they can hardly contain themselves. which at first I refer to the decaying leaves. again by the sunny The shad bush swamp side. 103 I see a pretty large flock of tree sparrows. it. times I have been cheered Several this sight surveying in former lisp years. faith! They in anticipate spring. They ignore winter. which puts forth fresh and tender leaves I would not fear the winter on its approach. when The chickadee it. and one of the warmI am obliged to sit with my window wide est. find my some sheltered recess of the where these leaves have exlatter years let me have some shad-bush thoughts. 1859. seems to a sweeter note at the sight of more than the shad bush. What Away In swamp you panded. In the It fall I will take this for my coat of arms. I perceive the peculiar scent of witch hazel in bloom for several rods around. very lively and tame. . pursuing each other and drifting along a bushy fence and ditch like driving snow. It by is is leafing like a youthful or poetic thought in old age. upward like a breaker in the into the open all the evening as well as all day. and drop hedge again. Oct.AUTUMN.

The life of a winebibber is like that of a fungus. having ordered a cask of wine to be placed in a cellar in order to improve it. " at the end of three years he directed his butler to ascertain when on attempting to he could not effect it in consequence of some powerful obstacle. This appeared to have grown from. 13. I remember seeing in an old work a plate of a fungus which grew in a wine-cellar and got its name from that circumstance. door was consequently cut down. though . or to have been nourished by the decomposing particles of the wine. the cask being empty and carried up to the ceiling. where Perhaps it it was supported by the fungus. British naturalists very generally apologize to the reader for having devoted their attention to natural history to the neglect of some important duty. The the state of the wine. when the cellar was found to be completely filled with a fungus production so firm that it was necessary to use an axe for its removal. It is related in " Chambers' Journal " that Sir Joseph Banks. 1860. The scientific differs from the poetic or lively description somewhat as the photographs which we become so weary of viewing differ from paintings and sketches. Oct.104 AUTUMN." was well that the fungus instead of Sir Joseph Banks drank up the wine. open the cellar door.

the comparison science is is is 105 All too favorable to science. After all. Surely poetry and eloquence are a more universal language than that Latin which is confessedly dead. though you should count and measure and analyze every atom which seems to compose it. and then science itself will aside. for every object that of metres for . is In science I should say till all description postponed we know be cast are the whole. No scientific description will supply the want of this. and who knows how near to absolute truth such unconscious affirmations truest. But unconsidered expressions of delight which any natural object draws from us something all complete and final in themselves. a means to an end which never attained. the truest and that by which another living man can most readily recognize a flower. since is to nature be regarded as it concerns man.AUTUMN. only a makeshift. In a sense. Which are the pro- sublime conceptions of Hebrew phets and seers. or the guarded statements of modern geologists which we must modify or unlearn so fast ? as A scientific description is such you would get. is the unmeasured and eloquent one which the sight of description it inspires. the may come. you have got nothing new thus. if you should send out the scholars of the polytechnic school with all sorts made and patented to take the measure you of any natural object.

occupies the whole of the present. not and each last. its indicating the highest quality of the object. and rests on object is first. under the and individuals of all the natural kingdoms ask our attention and admiraWe make straight lines. but smelled Gerard has not only heard of and seen and and tasted it. and a flourish of trumpets at the beginning. That which presents itself to us this moment. as our friend or our- selves even. tion in a round robin. raised a plant. but a true description growing out of the conception and appreciation of itself it is a new fact. the order or system insisted on. relation to man. applied You are not distracted from all his senses to it.106 AUTUMN. putting a captain at the head and a lieutenant at the tail. the other chiefly interests those who have it. true natural order. seen it and brings it the reader. never to be daguerreotyped. like to read a good home to We description of nothing so well as of that which and are most familiar with we already know the best. with sergeants and corporals all along the line. The one description interests those chiefly who have not seen the thing. The species . Each the very topmost point of the sphere. In the is the thing to the system or arrangement. see mechanically is mechanically daguerreo- we typed on our eyes. where nature has made curves to which zenith.

1851. belong their own sphere music. in which it requires several genwithal. tion. but in the clearer perception of it. will fail to elicit erations unlike each other to evolve the perfect animal. It does not require a more on its wake its strings. When it the vapor from the engine rose above the woods. There was but strong wind to wind this morning. able for us to square her circles. A gentle but steady breeze will often call forth its finest strains. Some men's lives are a yearning toward a higher state. rise. which the clouds in the western horilittle zon do. but an aspiraand they . morning red inclining to saffron. there are phenomena analogous to what zoologists call alternate reproduction. and 107 It is indispens- our rewards to him who will do it. new and Oct. the level rays of the rising sun falling on pre- sented the same redness. It depends direction and the tension of the wire apparently. In the psychological world. 14. we offer The best he saw it observer describes the most familiar object with a zest and vividness of imagery as if for the first time. Down the railroad before sun- A freight train in the Deep Cut. the novelty consisting not in the strangeness of the object. when a strong but unsteady gale. yet I heard the telegraph harp.AUTUMN. blowing at the wrong angle any melodious sound.

14. are my funds deposited. It is indeed a golden autumn. and I hear them creaking their content. and such as these. too. what metamorphosis Oct. funds of health and enjoyment. other. but not the sand banks. preparing him Any flowers seen now may be I see perfectly fresh succory. are wholly misapprehended until they are referred to or traced through all their metamor- phoses. tansy. To White Pond. In these banks.108 AUTUMN. crudities The coolness refreshing. Oct. Invest in these . We cannot pronounce upon a man's state intellectual and moral it is until we foresee for. You may run on them as much as you please. Was there there have a chance to get ripe ever such an autumn? panic' And yet was never such a in the commercial world. All kinds of this year. a Viola ovata. autumnal dandelion. m. They are the stockholders in these banks. even as the crickets do. solid and warm. am glad to reach the shade of Hubbard's Grove. 14. You may see them on change in any warmer hour. etc. 1856. and hard times The merchants and banks are failing all the country over. This afternoon I it is warmer even than is yesterday. the tenth or eleventh of these memorable days. and streaked with bloody blackberry vines. and find their account in it. not to speak of yarrow. Anp. 1857. some Polygala sanguinea. called late ones.

109 and contentment. pitch and white. country banks. their crop. a contrasting with the fresh and liquid green of year's leaves. or interferes with me. I go abroad but are soon out of my sight. I take these walks to every point of the compass. Let your capital be simplicity I do not suspect the solvency I know who is the president and cashier. or this These quite distinct colors are regularly and equally distributed over the whole tree. and it is always harvest time with me. The last year's leaves about a foot beneath the ex- tremities of the twigs on all sides. last effect. My crop To-day I see them getting in their beans and corn. I am and always gathering fields my crop from these woods is and waters. Sat in the old pasture beyond the Corner Spring woods to look at that pine wood now at the height of its change. now changed They are and ready to ness as clear yellow.AUTUMN. and no man in is my not way. over the land each day to get the best I can and that is never carted off. Their change produces a very singular and pleasing find. the terminal plumes. You have the warmth of the yellow and . They are regularly parti-colored. of these banks. have their period of bright- well as broader leaves. even to the day of November. and they are a spectacle to me. fall.

1859. The and become nutriment for the green ones which still aspire to heaven. We sit on the rock on Pine Hill overlooking Walden. should be with our own maturity. with a distant circumference of whitish haze. 14. not yellow to the very extremity of our shoots. but youthful and untried green extremities.110 AUTUMN. There is wind enough to raise waves on the pond and make it bluer. To and around Flint's Pond Oct. A fine Indian -summer day. The pears like a great inverted shield painted yellow red. with Blake. So it the coolness of the green. neither in our science and wisdom. strikes me in the scenery here now is the contrast of the universally blue water with the brilliant tinted woods around it. The tints generally earth ap- may and ors. I hear a man laughed at because he went to Europe twice in search of an imaginary wife . The nearer woods where chestnuts grow are a mass of warm glowing yellow. ever putting forth afresh at the foretelling a maturity as yet unknown. There is a thick haze almost concealing the mountains. or with imbricated scales of those col- and a blue navel in the middle where the pond lies. What ripe leaves fall to the ground. be about at their height. but on other sides the red and yellow are intermixed. In the fall of the leaf there is no fruit. there is no true maturity.

Men still God in the ripple. 1840. and found out their mistake too late to at them. m. . Lawrence flows. and see the waves look so angry and black. Some are as big as small haycocks. 15. pil- grims go only to Niagara. It would be cruel to laugh see Oct. inspirIt iting.30 a. for the most part. and feel the surging of the boat. You could not now study the river bottom for the black waves and the streaks of foam. but not in miles of water. trees.. transparent day when I last sailed on the river and the surface was of such oily smoothness. 15. Up the river in a boat to Pelham's Pond with W. The muskrat houses appear now.AUTUMN. mend it. as if you were bound on adventures. 8. etc. is delightful to be tossed about in such a harm- less storm. though some are still rising. to be finished. the sky is full of flitting a wind. C. E. Ill seen nor heard of her. so that sky and There is water are quite unlike what they were that warm. 1851. though he had never But the majority have gone further while they stayed in America. who he thought was there. Of all the two thousand miles that the Oct. have actually allied themselves to one whom they thought their wife. bright. It is pleasant to hear the sound of the waves. We see objects on shore. St. and clouds. They line the river all the way.

the sun shining at an angle on the hills and giving each a shadow. telling and thus without a tack we made the south side of Fair Haven. . and reddish or pink the other half. from the it boat. the sun when we are off Israel Rice's. From a low and is novel point of view. and set them up in the bow of water sometimes. then the small scattered clouds grow blue-black above. On the return . and after a short . and I see into their done very texture.112 AUTUMN. or one half. It was pleasant to hear the water begin to ripple under the prow. brings them against the conspicu- and what is low on the meadow hills. On Fair Haven I see the sunlit light green grass in the hollows makes pools where the snow and the sunlit russet slopes. and the moment after mistook them for green bushes or weeds which had sprung from the bottom unusually far from shore. Then to hear the wind sough in your sail. Fair Haven Hill shows to advantage. that is to be a sailor and hear a of our easy progress. of our boat for a sail. sets . land sound. better much sky. Every justice rock and shrub and protuberance has it. . . The hills have a hard and distinct outline. Then we threw our sails overboard. A few golden coppery clouds glow intensely like fishes in some molten metal of the sky. . ous as well as the In this cool sunlight. Cut three white-pine boughs opposite Fair Haven.

M. as if the inhabitants above were emptying their pillow-cases. to whiten and our thoughts to prepare for winter. Like a mist it divides the uneven landscape at a little disThe ground begins tance into ridges and vales. in the houses twinkle now like rowed about twenty-four miles going and coming. falling (after not very cool weather) in large they shine doubly bright. lower retill It is pleasant not to get home after dark. The reflections of dim and elongated straight down into the row across Fair Haven in the thickening twilight and far below it. In a straight line it would be fifteen and a half. twilight the night sets in. steadily and depths. the shores retreat. The lamps stars. filling the air ing still left to blossom at the top of its spike or raceme. we know not float in the air or in the whether we gions. The snow lasted but half an hour. We without speaking. we only keep in the midlow stream of light. 15. 1852. The first snow is Oct. a few buds beflakes.AUTUMN. to steer by the lights of the villagers. White-weed. 113 the stars in the water are like the zodiacal light. The Canada snapdragon is one of the latest flowers noticed. How Father Indians with his Le Jeune (?) pestered the poor God at every turn (they must . We and obscuring the distant woods and houses. 9 A. dle of this As the night draws on her veil.

might perchance burst forth into song in the later Indian-summer days. I stop a while at Cheney's shore to hear an incessant musical twittering from a large flock of young goldfinches which have dull yellow. side covered with a variety of brightest scarlet scarlet you stand fronting a hillyoung oaks. a peculiar dull crimson (or salmon ?).114 have thought attention to it AUTUMN. heartfelt melody. p. Theirs is an honest. 1857. 1859. 16. his one idea). Up Assabet. dark If be the scarlet oaks. Oct. only getting their when they required some external aid Then indeed they save them from starving. though full in bloom but the lowest are many of them green. Then the will — — and variously tinted red oaks. were good Christians. and. The next most uniformly reddish. 15. clear and hand- . express as much con- tent as the note of a bird ? Oct. and green. Am surprised to find an abundance of witch hazel now at the height of its change. if they did not leave us. The chickadees sing as if at home. and finally the yellowish and half-decayed brown leaves of the black oak. scarlet. drab and re- black plumage. 15. Shall not the voice of man m. yellow. are the white oaks. large-leaved Oct. but chiefly of leaves. Young birds can hardly strain themselves. the ones uniformly deep. The tallest bushes are bare. . 1858.

I see the new muskrat ests that spring . me that plants exposed turn early. just dropped. 16. 115 some yellow of various shades. and p. and in the forfrom it. clear Novemberish day. making cheerfully their annual contribution to the as if soil. reddish. from a pale lemon in the shade or within the bush. but a more delicate pale brown. or not at all. and the wall. AUTUMN.sticks. and lie up light on joggle . how light it lies up on the grass. resting thick on its top and its shelves. A cold. They live in the soil whose and bulk they increase. Oct. The ground is nearly concealed by them. and that great rock. der this part of the pine needles have just See the pale brown carpet of them unpine . 1859. A great fallen. it They fall to rise again they knew that was not one annual de- posit alone that pine-trees fertility made this rich mould in which grow. thence walk to Ledum Swamp and Conantward. and on the bushes and The needles are not yet flat and underwood. How beautifully they die. to a darker and warmer yellow without. m. When I get to Willow Bay. This reminds . Paddle to Puffer's.. while the same species in the shade of the woods at a much later date assume very pure and delicate tints. Some have even a hue of crimson some are green with bright yellow along the veins.

" It is the old error . but from New England. sies. I see the conical winter lodges of the muskrat rising above the withered pontederia and flags. Testament. This may not be an annual phenomenon to you. the freshly erected winter lodges of the muskrat along the reminding us that. commonly strive with all their might to confine themselves to the imported symbols alone. is Surely is a defect in our Bible that are to be not truly ours. but it has an important place in river-side. choosing darkness rather than light. For thirty years I have annually observed. ever commit. There it will be some refer- ence to it by way it of parable or otherwise in my New Bible. All the true growth and experience.116 AUTUMN. quadrupedal men maintaining their ground in our midst still. but a Hebrew The most pertinent illustrations for us drawn not from Egypt or Babylonia. So surely as the sun appears to be in Libra or Scorpio. Natural objects and phenomena are the original symbols or types which express our thoughts and feelings. having little or no root in the soil. about this time or earlier. they would fain reject as " American- which the church. the living speech. now nearly- houses erected. conspicuous on the leafless shores. the state. the school. my Kalendar. if we have no gypwe have a more indigenous race of puny. Yet American scholars. holding fast to the old and to isms.

no older than itself. as yel- low rays. white How cheerful these ! but waving tufts They reflect all the sun's light without a particle of his heat. . and send to us but not heat. or outline of a light The very edge has this hoary tawny or russet hill on it. Every rain exposes new arrow-heads. From the shore you look back on the silver-plated river. which is It is no more like it. stop at Clamshell. clear. water surface Your thoughts sparkle like the and the downy twigs. and call it a meander? meandering than the Meander is musketacpriding. A thousand is such tufts its light. 117 that our river When I really know it pursues a serpentine course to the Merrimack. the tering white tufts of the lit Andropogon scoparius and cheercold. tradition. Novemberish light is inspirit- Some twigs which are bare. up by the sun were affectingly fair ing to behold.AUTUMN. This cold refines and condenses us. be- gin to glitter with hoary light. shall I continue to describe by referring to some other river. now catch up the sun. Light without heat getting to be the prevail- ing phenomenon of the day now. Our. This ing. cold. When we emerged from the pleasant footpath glit- through the birches at Witherel Glade. We and dabble for a moment in the relics of a departed race. and weeds. bright.

The blossoms of spring contrast strangely with the leaves of autumn. silver-plated waters at even is steadily- coolly await the frost. blueberry bushes by the pathside. white blossoms. There is a more than maiden modesty between us. now blood-red. on an American sward. We should sooner blot out I observed to-day the small the sun than disturb friendship. placid. In the presence of my friend Oct. The former seemed to have expanded from sympathy with the maturity of the leaves. like that pint of cider in the middle of a frozen barrel. as in the spring.118 AUTUMN. as if I fed on In the other. I find myself more simple and sincere than in my most private moment to myself. spirits are strong. where I walk on an imported sod or English grass. I have no feature so fair as my love for him. The muskrat adding to his winter lodge. I love to get out of cultivated fields. 1840. 17. . I nibble ground nuts. turnips. I am literally true with a witness. There is no need of adding a peculiar instinct telling him how high He has had a longer experito build his cabin. In the former case my thoughts are heavy and lumpish. 1850. and walk on the fine sedge of woodland hollows. ence in this river valley than we. The cool. Oct full of 17. I am ashamed of my fingers and toes.

and they had followed me along the hedge. the little top-heavy. and sudden fading and withering has nothing or little to do with fresh yet. What a new beauty the blue of the river acquires seen at a distance in the midst of the variously tinted woods. hopping amid the alders within three or four feet of me. great masses of gray. They day-day d. I heard a smart tche- and looking up saw four or five chickadees which had come to scrape acquaintance with me. 1857. 17. I . I am walking with a hill between me and the soldiers. I think perhaps it will be worth while to keep within hearing of account in it. for why should so many fresh ones succeed still ? As I stood looking. day-day-day close to ear. Oct. and then. The and I trainers are out with their find band of music. and lisped their faint notes alternately. they pecked the dead twigs. Yet I hesitate. I had heard them further off at first. 17. 119 Many fringed gentians quite and withered. though I have not subscribed for it. 1856. ! It appears as color which ordinarily it does not. Oct. my volatile fellows. elysian. etc. though most are faded I suspect that their very early frost after all. black-crowned. yellow. as if to make me think they had some other errand than to peer at me. my their strains this afternoon.AUTUMN.

a luxury. I think. The river reflects more light. an ideal which he had lost sight of or never perceived. What I put into my pocket. an afterglow. generally has to keep company with an arrow-head or two. It is remarkable that our institutions can stand before music. just as our now at the season of the fall of the leaf. as it were. that so few habitually intoxicate themselves with music. 1859. Oct. so alcohol. Oct. I may it whet my senses so. it is so revolutionary. will many with risk it. and our winter evenings fires with their brighter may be said to begin. therefore. One reason why I associate perfect reflections from still water with this and a later season may be that now by the fall of the leaves so much more light is let in to the water. . surprising. AUTUMN. 17. mental reflections are more distinct at this season of the year when the evenings grow cool and lengthen. No doubt these strains do sometimes suggest to Abner. in this twilight of the year. just before the cool when the air has a finer grain. walking behind in his red-streaked pants. it will reveal a glory where none was seen before. It am wont is to find music unprofitable. however. 1858.120 . perchance. whether berry or apple. I think the reflections are never purer and more distinct than twilight has come. 17. I hear the These latter chinking against a key as I walk.

in each case forget- ting or ignoring the fact that call it the belongs here. killed others.AUTUMN. The beating. when we them to consist with a quiescent state of the elements. pulsations are so long that in the interval there is almost a stagnation of life. So in geology allow we are nearest to discovering the true causes of the revolutions of the globe. 121 If see they were sure Oct. and the naturalists call Canada it lynx. 17. as do many it came it out of a menagerie. The first cause of the universe makes the least noise. we should fields for farmers raking the them. The longer the ceptible its motion. and at the White Mountains it they call the Siberian lynx. is now The greatest appreciable revolutions are the work of the light-footed air. are the perennial crop of Concord fields. that While the man that my the lynx thinks. the less per- variableness. I Concord lynx. and the subterranean fire. My most essential progress must be to me a state of absolute rest. to the subject of The it era of greatest change is the condition of greatest inlever. 1840. the stealthypaced water. it would pay. It is the slowest pulsation which is the most vital. 18. We The discover the causes of all past change in the present invariable order of the universe. Its pulse has beat but once. I am independent of the change I detect. . Oct. 1860.

Some questions which are put to me are as if I should ask a bird what she will do when her nest is built. first wind makes the desert without a every being. per- as only an insect eye could perform. across to Britton's. still within and behind them. 1855. 18. October-like. where it is unopened. does the sun rise and set. and day and night alternate. rustle.! 122 AUTUMN. an invisible I cannot make a disclosure. It is a rich sight. down turnpike and leaves in this condition now. its To is own cause and inconceivable agent. A-chestnutting. to the vegetable kingdom. M. consequently. that of . chance. Oct. whose pulpy part some insect has eaten. . How much beauty in decay up a white-oak leaf. It is very beautiful held up to the light such work Yet. such a revelation of ribs is as repulsive as the skeleton in the animal kingdom. and her brood reared. secret. exposI pick ing the delicate network of its veins. 1856. Rain all night and half this day. my Oct. beneath. that reveals the wonders of nature. In each case. 18. No fruit will ripen on the common. but yet mingled red and green. You should see Let me open my doors never so wide. dry and stiff. There are countless oak and also with a submarginal line of network exposed. P. it is some little gourmand working for another end.

mere reminiscence of a nut. and there is no room to The two outside nuts have each one conspare. and of various forms. thus comin a burr. as to all richly rough with great brown burrs which are opened into several segments. where it was joined to the burr. The base of each nut. and the whole upper slopes of the nuts are covered . beyond it. stowed away in their bristly chest. and there are not commonly more than two good nuts. all shell. abortive.AUTUMN. so forth. but this year the burrs are small. according to the season and the number They are a pretty fruit. very often only one. is marked with an irregular dark figure on a light ground. show the wholesome-colored nuts peeping The infall on the slightest jar. a large chestnut tree. both sides of which will then be ready to convex. dividual nuts are very interesting. vex side without. where the yellow leaves have been thinned out (for most now strew the ground evenly as a carpet throughout the chestnut woods. The middle nut has two flat sides. Three pactly is the regular number. while the upper or small end tapers into a little white woolly spire crowned with a star. each bulging out into a thin. Sometimes there are several more in a burr. com- monly like a spider or other insect with a dozen legs. and so save some seed). 123 with a dome-shaped top. the middle one. and one flat side within. oblong or crescent-shaped.

though no subject life is is too me. grandeur and meanness. separate brown-ribbed skin. joy and sorrow. its divided transversely. exaggerate the theme. I see that they look with compassion on me. sucand failure. that they think it is a mean and unfortunate destiny which makes me walk in these fields and woods But so so much. and indeed most words in the English language. significant.124 AUTUMN. advent they peep forth. prickly burr. is and I do not trivial for hesitate. Yet I see where gnawed through many closed and left the pieces on the stumps. and each covered by if nature had smuggled the seed of one more tree into this chest. My work is writing. is The theme nothing. Some in- themes they think are and others I feel that my . There are sometimes two meats within one chestnut shell. with the same hoary wool which reminds you of the frosts on whose Within about as this thick. spines. pleasures very cheap cess my long as I find here the only real elysium. do not mean for me what they do for my neighbors. the nuts are safe. as Men commonly significant. as a porcupine behind the squirrels have burrs. I cannot hesitate in my choice. life is very homely. the everything. All that interests the reader intensity of the life exerted. until its they are quite mature. tried by the ordinary standards. the depth and We touch our . and sail on this river alone.

All these brooks and rivers and ponds shall be your highshall see the whole earth covered a more deep with purest white crystals in which you slump or over which you glide. 18. 1859. but that he should emit and communicate to me his essential fragrance. the pyramid of our experience. Oct. subject but 125 by a point which has no breadth. and museums shall If you will stay here awhile. I will promise you sights. would be fresh and fragrant thoughts communicated to us from I want none of his pity common nor sympathy in the sense. lectureof the city ? rooms. Why flee so soon to the theatres. You foot or . a man's experience. strange You walk on water. cheap. and enriching all the world with his visions and his joys.AUTUMN. man is all in all. nature nothing but as she draws him out and reflects him. Give me simple. and all the trees and stubble glittering in icy armor. that he should not be forever repenting and going to church (when not otherwise sinning). but as it were going a-huckleberrying in the fields of thought. but it. way. re-creating. Why can we not oftener reIf fresh one another with original thoughts? the fragrance of the Dicksonia fern ful is so grate- and suggestive to us. that is. how much more refresh- ing and encouraging. our interest in rests on us by a broader or narrower base . and homely themes.

But. said he. P. or drive it single into the ground. house " is incandescent to my eye. while I no house. unless you slant two or more against it. stands erect. and from one seared and tree to tree . AUTUMN. Oh. you may split its lower end into three. not only figuratively. Conantum. 19. it is difficult to make a stick stand. but men. stead. or only one. no. but only a neighborhood to his. I answered. till at length he rides in my road. Now and for some weeks the time for flocks of spar- rows of various kinds flitting from bush to bush (and both bushes and trees are thinly leaved or bare).126 Oct. I said that I suspected any enterprise in which two were engaged together. while I peer in upon him from sur- rounding spaces of Cimmerian darkness. My friend dwells in the east- ern horizon as rich as an eastern city there. is M. fairly come to anchor in my chorage. Oct. none. pull up stakes. 1840. Talking with Bellew [?] this Oct. when they start on a new enterprise. evening about Fourierism and communities. 19. There he sails all lonely under the edge of the sky but thoughts go out silently from me. He Perhaps I afford no good anseems to move in a burnished His have atmosphere. which is the best way. 1856. 1855. but really. But never does he harbor. When the sticks prop one another. and belay him. 19.

as well as their colors and motions. as the other day of a sparrow. Generally I should have supposed that there was more than one bird. 19. first to last. Eide to Sam Barrett's mill. further concealed to They are by their resemblance in color the gray twigs and stems which are now be- ginning to be bare. I found that it was almost steadily eyeing me. much alike. are. M. p. for I could see nothing peculiar it. position.AUTUMN. and again to its first birch wood. and was all alive with excitement. . pleased again to see the cobweb drapery of 1858. 127 They are mingled together their notes even. then back to the pine again. 74° + at 1 Am A remarkably warm day. then flew as many rods the other side. very restless all the while. But when I brought my glass to bear on it. being faint. I have often noticed the inquisitiveness of birds. whose motions I should not have supposed had any reference to me. or that it was altogether accidental. distant to a pine within a rod of me. The still sparrow youth are on the wing. if I had not watched it from I stood on the edge of a pine and It flitted from seven or eight rods where it hopped about stealthily and chirped awhile. about Oct. as near to me as it dared. meadow and to another. and hopped about there awhile. that the chipping of this sparrow had no refer- ence to me.

and cheaper good pails with the . You was could count the circles of growth on the end and the dark heart It of the tree seen at each end above. the sails being taken this drapery.128 the mill. makes trays of black birch and of red maple in a dark room under the mill. seems. I was pleased to see the work is done here. and on the sides. and I pray that the cobwebs may not have been brushed away from the mill which I visit. It is as if I were aboard a manof-war. not by machinery. They may make equally hand-made ones. like the twigs under thin ridges of snow in winter. It is like the tassels and dimity in a lady's bed-chamber. on the discarded machinery lying about. All things in the mill wear to the miller's hat it down and coat. Barrett's apprentice. as they were made by hand. a wooden tray of the tray. AUTUMN. so handsome. fine line. is cov-" ered and greatly enlarged by a coating of meal. satisfaction to be reminded we may fill so easily make our own trenchers To see the tree reappear on the table instead of going to the fire or some equally coarse use is some compensation for having it cut down. and this were the fine rigging. in. I was the more pleased with the sight of these trays. hanging in festoons from the timbers overhead. producing a semicircular ornament. and. because the tools used were so simple. that as well as was a them. Each.

as if the chief end of man were to make pails but in the case of the countryman who makes a few by hand rainy days.AUTUMN. no quarrel between the good and the bad." as the phrase is. When labor is reduced to turning a crank. 129 as well as faster. In the other workman's relation to his work is more poetic. it is no longer amusing nor truly profitable. the . and so be " driven. "rr " Men chord sometimes as the flute and the . 1840. He also shows more dexterity and is more of a man. Oct. at the pail factory. but that interests me less because the man is turned partly into a machine there himself. my life. and would fain go to making pails yourself. the relative importance of human life and of pails is preserved. in . 20. My friend is the apology for In him are the spaces which my orbit traverses. in it. and you come away thinking of the simple and helpful life of the man. and carried on on a large scale. You come away from the great factory saddened. we are interested in prietor or only in the same way as the pro- company is. but only between the bad and the bad. the latter a vicious consistency. In ^here is the former case there is inconsistency merely. and the man is sunk case. Let the business become very profitable in a pecuniary sense. while only the pail or tray floats it .

with a tinge of purple on them. They are not of equal fineness of For the most part I find that in another tone. only chromatic strains. nevertheless his sharps are sometimes my flats. though the sameness at last fatigues the ear. We never rest on a full natural note. man and myself the keynote is not the same. but no melody. so that there are no perfect chords in our gamuts. but I We play sacrifice my naturalness. This outline. Many a man. The clouds have lifted in the northwest. or trill upon the same note till our ears ache. and I see the mountains in sunshine (all the more attractive from the cold I feel a cold. and he his. a harmony. is an but memorable and glorious they advantage of mountains in the horizon show you fair weather from the midst of foul. Oct 20. as I had been . No doubt . But if we do not chord by whole tones. when I tell Imn that I have been upon a mountain. — . here). and so we play some very difficult pieces together. I could have seen further with a glass. but this has nothing to do with the peculiar beauty and grandeur of the view which an elevated position affords. pumpkin vine. 1852. no tune through. could and particular objects more distinctly have counted more meeting-houses. asks if I took a glass with me. a perfect chord. It was not to see a few particular objects as if they were near at hand.130 AUTUMN.

20. its apex resting on the Green or Hoosac mountains. Each stick I deal with has a history. appearing Oct. I remember my ad- .AUTUMN. Saw the sun rise from the mountain top [Wachusett]. The facts of science in comparison with poetry are wont to be as vulgar as looking from a mountain with a telescope. a few miles west. It is a counting of meeting-houses. but to split it also. 1855. It is not only to collect this with it my more amusing and bring than from the river on my back. and riders and stems and stumps of perhaps one half boat. and to saw and split that. or three fourths of a tree. as a deep-blue section of a cone there. mountain. that I ascended the and near. I have collected and split up now quite a pile of driftwood. It rap- idly contracted. but to see an infinite variety far 131 accustomed to see them. and its apex approached the mountain itself. the whole conical shadow was very distinct. rails trees. and last of all. thus re- duced to a single picture. The shadow of the mountain makes some minutes' difference in the time of sunrise to the in- habitants of Hubbardston. Oct. Soon after sunrise I saw the pyramidal shadow of the mountain reaching quite across the State. When about three miles distant. 1854. it would be to speak to a farmer for a load of wood. in their relation to each other. and I read it as I am handling it. 20.

half the value of is Thus one it my wood is enjoyed before is housed. drinking water at a clear spring. splitting it. or along growth. Some of my acquaintances have been wondering why I took all this pains. I oak stump will split most easily its circles of in the direction of its diameter. yet I did it. part of its That the most interestingI history. I tell them. I got out some good knees for a boat. how to take ad- vantage of its grain. if it is a it stump. I study the effects of water on separates into so and. why you don't love to have your bed tucked up for you. not at right an- gles with it. which I take has proved. as well as after it. The world will will never find out verse. and the other half equal to the whole value of an equal quantity of the wood which I buy. hint that one reason was that I wanted to get some satisfaction in eating my food. and have suggested various reasons for spair of it. it that it is a profound secret. the curiously winding grain by which many prongs. bringing some de- nearly three miles by water. I feel well at dinner time. why you be so per- I enjoy more. find that a dry and split it most easily. it. while is it is burning in the winter evening.132 ventures in getting AUTUMN. than out of a goblet at a gentleman's . as well as in being nourished by it. When am it. in my making them understand me.

AUTUMN.
table.

133
I

I like

best the bread which

have

baked, the garment which I have made, the
shelter I

have constructed, the fuel I have gath-

ered.

It is always a

recommendation to

me

to

know

that a

man

has ever been poor, has been

regularly born into this world,

knows the

lan-

guage.

I require to be assured of certain phi-

losophers that they have once been barefooted,

have eaten a crust because they had know what sweetness resides in it. I have met with some barren accomplished gentlemen who seemed to have been at school all their lives, and never had a vacation
footsore,

nothing better, and

to live in.

Oh,

if

they could only have been

stolen

by the

gypsies,

and carried
!

far

beyond
better

the reach of their guardians

They had

have died in their infancy, and been buried under the leaves, their lips besmeared with blackberries,

and cock robin for their sexton.
I think that all spiders can

Oct. 20, 1856.

walk on water, for when last summer I knocked one off my boat by chance, he ran swiftly back to the boat and climbed up, as if more to avoid the fishes than the water. This would account for those long lines stretched low over the water from one grass-stem to another. I see one of them now, five or six feet long, and only three or It is remarkable four inches above the surface. that there is no perceptible sag to it, weak as the line must be.

134
Oct. 20, 1857.

AUTUMN.
P.

m.

To

the

Easterbrook
the old

country.

I had gone but

little

way on

when I saw Brooks Clark, who is now about eighty, and bent like a bow, hastenCarlisle road

ing along the road, barefooted as usual, with an

axe in his hand, in haste perhaps on account of
the cold wind on his bare feet.

When

he got

up

to me, I

saw that beside the axe in one hand,
filled

he had his shoes in the other,
apples and a dead talked with

with knurly
stopped and

we had had a noble autumn and might now expect some cold weather. I asked if he had found
said that

robin. He me a few moments;

the robin dead.
its

No, he said, he found it with wing broken, and killed it. He also added that he had found some apples in the woods, and as he had not anything to carry them in, he put them in his shoes. They were queer looking
trays to carry fruit in.

How many

he got in
I noticed,

along toward the toes, I don't know.
too, that his pockets

were stuffed with them.

His old frock coat was hanging in strips about the skirts, as were his pantaloons about his naked feet. He appeared to have been out on a scout this gusty afternoon to see what he could find, as the youngest boy might. It pleased me to see this cheery old man, with such a feeble hold on life, bent almost double, thus enjoying the evening of his days. Far be it from me

AUTUMN.
light in finding

135

to call it avarice or penury, this childlike de-

something in the woods or

fields,

and carrying
no, he

it

home

in the

October evening, as

a trophy to be added to his winter's stores.

Oh,
still,

was happy

to be nature's pensioner

and

bird-like to pick

up

his living.

Better his

robin than your turkey, his shoes full of apples

than your barrels

full.

They

will be sweeter,

and suggest a better tale. He can afford to tell how he got them, and I to listen. There is an old wife, too, at home, to share them, and hear how they were obtained like an old squirrel shuffling to his hole with a nut. Far less pleasing to me the loaded wain, more suggestive of avarice and of spiritual penury. This old man's cheeriness was worth a thousand of the church's sacraments and memento moris. It was better than a prayerful mood. It proves
;

to I

me

old age as tolerable, as happy, as infancy.

was glad of an occasion to suspect that this afternoon he had not been at work, but living somewhat after my own fashion (though he did not explain the axe), and been out to see what nature had for him, and was now hastening home to a burrow he knew of, where he could warm his old feet. If he had been a young man he would probably have thrown away his apples, and put on Ins shoes for shame when he saw me coming, but old age is manlier. It has

136
learned to
live,

AUTUMN.

makes fewer apologies, like inThis seems a very manly man. I have fancy. known him within a few years building stone wall by himself, barefooted. What a wild and rich domain that EasterNot a cultivated, hardly a culbrook country tivable field in it, and yet it delights all natural persons, and feeds more still. Such great rocky and moist tracts, which daunt the farmer, are reckoned as unimproved land, and therefore
!

worth but
kleberries,

little

;

but think of the miles of huc-

and

of barberries,

so fair both in flower

men and
robins.
there,

beasts,

and of wild apples, and fruit, resorted to by Clark, Brown, Melvin, and the

There are barberry bushes or clumps
behind which I could actually pick two

bushels of berries without being seen by you on
the other side.
at last

They

are not a quarter picked

by

all creatures together.
still

I walk for

two or three miles, and
berries, great
scarlet fruit,

the clumps of barof

sheaves

with their wreaths

show themselves before me and on

every side.

To Second Division Brook Oct. 21, 1852. and Ministerial Swamp. I find caddis -cases with worms in Second Division Brook; and what mean those little piles of yellow sand on dark-colored stones at the bottom of the swiftrunning water, kept together and in place by

AUTUMN.
some kind of gluten, and looking as
in diameter?
if

137
sprin-

kled on the stones, one eighteenth of an inch

These caddis-worms build a little and sometimes attach a few dead leaves to disguise it, and then fasten it slightly to some swaying grass-stem or blade at the bottom in swift water, and these are their
case around themselves,

quarters

till

next spring.

This reminds

me

that

winter does not put his rude fingers in the bot-

tom of the brooks. When you look into them, you see various dead leaves floating or resting on the bottom, and you do not suspect that some are the disguises which the caddis-worms have
borrowed.
Oct. 21, 1857.

I see

many myrtle
flying

birds

now

about the house, this forenoon, on the advent of
cooler weather.

They keep

up against

the house and the window, and fluttering there

would come in, or alight on the woodpile or the pump. They would commonly be mistaken for sparrows, but show more white when they fly, beside the yellow on the rump and sides of breast, seen near to, and two white bars on the wings chubby birds. p. M. Up Assabet. Cool and windy. Those who have put it off thus long make haste now to collect what apples were left out, and dig their potatoes before the ground shall freeze
as if they
;

hard.

Now

again as in the spring we begin to

;

138

AUTUMN.
I cannot go

look for sheltered and sunny places where

may
little

sit.

by a

large dead

we swamp

white-oak log this cool evening, but with no
exertion get
it

aboard, and some blackened

swamp
all

white-oak stumps whose earthy parts are

gone.

As

I

am

paddling home swiftly be-

fore the northwest wind, absorbed in

my wooding,
little

I see, this cool and grayish evening, that peculiar

yellow light in the east, from the sun a
before setting.
It has just

great cold slate-colored

come out beneath a cloud that occupies most

of the western sky, as smaller ones the eastern,

and now its rays, slanting over the hill in whose shadow I float, fall on the eastern trees and hills
with a thin yellow light like a clear yellow wine

but somehow
side
is

it

reminds

me

that

now the

hearth-

getting to be a

than out-of-doors.
has
set,

more comfortable place Before I get home the sun
light in the west suc-

and a cold white

ceeded.
Is not the poet

bound

to write his

own

biog-

raphy? Is there any other work for him but a good journal ? We do not wish to know how his imaginary hero, but how he the actual hero, lived from day to day. That big swamp white-oak limb or tree which I found prostrate in the swamp was longer than my boat, and tipped it considerably. One whole
side, the upper,

was covered with green hypnum,

AUTUMN.

139

and the other was partly white with fungi. That green coat adhered when I split it. Immortal wood! that had begun to live again. Others burn unfortunate trees that lose their lives prematurely. These old stumps stand like anchorites or y ogees, putting off their earthly garments, more and more sublimed from year to year, ready to be translated, and then they
are ripe for

my

fire.

I administer the last sac-

rament and purification. I find old pitch-pine sticks which have lain in the mud at the bottom of the river, nobody knows how long, and weigh them up, almost as heavy as lead, float them home, saw and split them. Their pitch, still fat

and yellow, has saved them for me, and they burn like candles. I become a connoisseur in wood at last, take only the best.

Oct
ground.

22, 1853.

Yesterday toward night, gave
sail as far as

Sophia and mother a

the Battlefisher-

One-eyed John Goodwin, the

man, was loading into a handcart and conveying home the piles of driftwood which of late he had collected with his boat. It was a beautiful evening, and a clear amber sunset lit up all the eastern shores, and that man's employment, so simple and direct (though he is regarded by most as a vicious character), whose whole motive was so easy to fathom, thus to obtain his winter's wood, charmed me unspeakably. So much

140

AUTUMN.

do we love actions that are simple. They are We, too, would fain be so employed, in a way so unlike the artificial and complicated pursuits of most men. Consider how the broker collects his winter's wood, what sport he makes of it, what is his boat and handcart. Postponing instant life, he makes haste to Boston in the cars, and there deals in stocks, not quite relishall poetic.

ing his employment, and so earns the money

with which he buys his
I meet
ness, I

fuel.

When by

chance

him about

this indirect complicated busi-

am

not struck with the beauty of his
It

employment.

does not harmonize with the

amber

sunset.

How much

consults his genius,

— some genius,
my

more the former at any rate.
fuel so, have got

Now

I should love to get

some of it so. But, though I am glad to have it, I do not love to get it in any other way less simple and direct. If I buy one necessary of I deprive life, I cheat myself to some extent.
myself of the pleasure, the inexpressible joy

which is the unfailing reward of satisfying any want of my nature simply and tridy. No trade
is

simple, but artificial
it

and complex.
life.
it,

It goes

against the grain,

postpones

If the first

generation does not die of
does.

the third or fourth
I will never

In face of
it

all

statistics,

believe that

is

the descendants of tradesmen

who keep

the state alive, but of simple

yeomen

AUTUMN.
or laborers.

141
say of the

This indeed

statistics

city reinforced
it is

by the country.
it

This simplicity

and the vigor

imparts, that enables the
is

vagabond, though he does get drunk and

sent to the house of correction so often, to hold

up

head among men. " If I go to Boston sell tape from morning till night," says the merchant (which we will admit is not a beautiful action), " some time or other I shall
his

every day and

be able to buy the best of fuel without
Yes, but not the pleasure of picking
the river-side, which, I
it

stint."

may
it

say, is of even

up by more

value than the

warmth

yields.

It is to give

no account of my employment to say that I cut wood to keep me from freezing, or cultivate beans to keep me from starving. Oh, no, the
greatest value of these labors
is

received before

teamed home, or the beans are harvested. Goodwin stands on the solid earth. For such as he, no political economies, with their profit and loss, supply and demand, need ever be written, for they will need to use no policy. As for the complex ways of living, I love them not, however much I practice them. In as many places as possible, I will get my feet down to the earth. There is no secret in GoodHe is a win's trade more than in the sun's. most constant fisherman. He must well know
the
is

wood

the taste of pickerel

by

this time.

When

I can

seen over the light-brown pasture. Oct. while. by a kind said he was catch- ing minnows for bait in the winter. the day after I had him fishing of magic I sailed by him. ever neces- sary to appoint a committee on fish ponds and pickerel. red blackberry vines) of such fields as the blue of water. as he afterwards told me. Crossing my old beanfield. if rains. he caught one If it is that weighed three pounds.142 AUTUMN. let him be one P. I saw him the other day fishing in the middle of the stream. of them. He on the shore. M. blue pond between the green pines in the and am reminded that we are almost reduced to (i. and the next morning. and the dull reddish-brown of oak leaves. I am surprised on looking out to see him slowly wending his way to the river in his oilcloth coat.. Look from the high hill just before sundown. he held up a pickerel that weighed two and a half pounds. to for remember some have seen him fishing almost daily it time. the green of pines. To and round Flint's Pond. I see the field. blue water between the This sight of the perfectly is now it green pecu- pines. When I was twenty rods off. liarly Novemberish. e. 22. 1857. . though may be like this in early spring. the russet pale brown grass tinged with this. which he had forgotten to show me before. with his basket and seen pole.

143 The mountains are a mere cold But what a perfect crescent of mounin our northwest horizon. I own no pasture for them there. miles between them. one behind the other. at which time of tints autumnal began tints. each held thread until a stronger puff of wind dried free. or when fluctuating white silky by a sets fine by the sun. the more general. tains we have Do we ever give thanks for it? larches and and hemlocks grow in communities in the wilderness. over the pond. 23. as a farmer to his hill-lot or rocky pasture from I drive no cattle to the Ipswich hills. I look up northwest to my mountains. and ten or twelve ranges. The lanceolate pods having opened. yet. if the farthest are the highest. them It is pleasant to see the plant its seeds. Even Oct. his door. so it seems do mountains love Though there may be two or more society. and form a little mass or tuft. to be the frosts began. I am content to dwell here and see the sun go down behind my mountain as pines fence. thus dispersing October has been the month The first of the month. My eyes it is alone that wander to those blue pastures which no drought affects.AUTUMN. the seeds spring out on the least jar. now rapidly The milk weed (Syriaca) discounting. 1852. slate color. . they are all seen as one group at this distance.

we cannot comfind that we are recognized. What men which lie good fellowship. in I cannot abet misapprehending myself. A stone cast against the trees shakes them down . 23. but then did the forest begin to be painted. A stranger takes me for something else than what I am. By the end of the month. 1853. but the does not deserve name of virtue. Oct. for the most part. commonly but the virtue of pigs in a litter close together to keep each other warm. Now is the time for chestnuts. but the peeping of the hylodes for some time.144 AUTUMN. My friend is me for what I am. till We we do not speak. Suspicion creates the stranger. and we leave him to converse with that one. call social virtues. that Many phenomena remind me some extent a second spring. municate. 23. tints There were scattered bright not till long before. It is suicide for us to become abettors any man is in misapprehending ourselves. It brings men together in crowds and it mobs in bar-rooms and elsewhere. The son stranger supposes in our stead a third per- whom we do not know. 1855. or have be seared and turned brown by one who takes the frosts. not only the new springing and blossoming of flowers. and the faint warbling of their spring notes. by many birds. now is to Oct. the leaves will either fallen.

with a duller sense than true. you must practice more humanThe thought that I was robbing if myself by injuring the tree did not occur to me. as the children of light. to inflict worse than boorish. is not innocent. old men in crime . but with a certain tress humble gratitude. yet I heaved a big stone against the trunk. that the passing Every part of nature teaches away of one life is the making . If you would learn the secrets of nature. at last. sidering that if I thus shorten its so long. in showers 145 upon one's head and shoulders.! AUTUMN. But It I cannot excuse myself for using the stone. It is not a time of diswhen a little haste and violence even might It is be pardoned. am not disturbed by conlife. inal. Behold a Shall man cutting is down a tree to come at the fruit What the moral of such an act ? we begin. ity than others. I sympathize with the tree. it is not just so to maltreat the I tree that feeds us. it is crim- an unnecessary injury on the tree that feeds or shades us. but I shall to not enjoy its fruit am prompted a more innocent course by motives purely of humanity. my a own. 24. would that we might grow innocent. Oct. not too good to commit murder. but I was affected as it is I had cast a rock at sentient being. These gifts should be accepted not merely with gentleness. but yet a distant relative. 1837. I trust I shall never do it again. like a robber.

P. faintly great many must go over to-day. brushing the leaves aside without looking up. To Smith's chestnut grove. 1858. The wood we now mature. A and two flocks go over. at 2. M. So this constant abrasion and decay of our lives makes the soil of our future growth. new leaf. and forgetting better things awhile.146 AUTUMN. turn over a Oct. room The oak dies down to the ground. my mould will not sus- tain oak. My eye is educated to It is discover anything on the ground. M. Oct. but a fine driving mizzle. but pines and birches. determines the character of our second growth. I get a couple of quarts of chestnuts. This occupation affords a and opportunity to start again afterwards. perchance. or. for another. forest. I find my account in this long-continued mopicking chestnuts all notonous labor of the afternoon. 24. a strong and fruitful mould. when it becomes mould. weeds and brambles. brings the geese. absorbed in that. leaving within its rind a rich virgin mould which will impart a vigorous life to an infant The pine leaves a sandy and sterile soil. 24.30 p. I see honking. certain broad pause. This. the harder woods. . If I grow pines and birches. though not much rain falls to-day. 1857. A northeast storm. as usual. proba- bly wholesomer to look at the ground much. than at the heavens.

p. eye. We get into the lee of the hill near The water Abner Buttrick's (?) where is smooth water. One of my gests to me adventure and seeking one's fortune. weather warns them of the approach of winter. for some time has been clear of weeds mostly. is the fairest-colored. 1852. and looks cool for fishes. So do the leaves so the sky before the end of the day. day. 25. Color stands for all and success. The autumnal tints grow gradually darker and duller. The noblest feature. such a sound as would bring tears into an old sailor's eyes. and this The brilliant Blue is reserved to be the color of the sky. and the various tints and shades of these. And now a hillside near the river exhibits the darkest crispy reds and . It sugHill in boat. on ripening. but yellow and red are the colors of the earth-flower. and just before its fall. the Oct. Noits setting. Down river to Ball's Another perfect Indian-summer oars makes a creaking sound like a block in a harbor. the jewel of the body. m. Some small husky white asters still survive. fruit . autumnal colors are red and yellow. ripeness vember the later twilight. but not less rich to my eye. wind speeds them* on their way.AUTUMN. and also 147 This alight in this neighborhood. and here it is very warm and sunny under the pitch pines. Every acquires a bright tint. and the year near October is the red sunset sky.

next the meadow. but consists of a certain number of moons. He has taken hold of the dark side of nature. and his moons are measured not by days. a still yellow oak. His year is not measured by the sun. ashy. but by nights. perhaps black oaks. stands a front rank of smoke-like maples. and near the rest. Mint is still green and wonderfully recreating to smell. agreeably blended. all these contrasting with the The clear. 25. large and small. with yellowish.148 AUTUMN. At the foot. Oct. and here and there amid the rest or in the foreground on the meadow. dull. of various shades of dull red. the white man of the bright side. all browns of every hue. in the bleat of a sheep (Bee) ferred instead to . It is hard to I had put such things behind me. liquid. tells I am amused to see that Yarro us the Latin e represents the vowel sound if he had resome word pronounced by the . bare of leaves. sempiternal green of pines. Higher up are red oaks. The constitution of the Indian mind appears to be the very opposite of the white man's. intermixed. remember lilies now. is He acquainted with a different side of nature. intermixed with yellow birches. salmon-colored white oaks. not summers. and walnuts the hill-top or rising above now brown. He measures his life by winters. 1857. sheen on the water blinds my eyes.

When I pull out the down. as smooth and tender toward its charge as it is rough and prickly externally toward the foes It is a hedge of imthat might do it injury. hollow which look like circles crowded into more or less of a diamond. which at least their saves down somewhat from moisture. and rough outside alone we no object more unsightly to a careless glance than an empty thistle . yet if you examine it see. The perfectly dry and bristly involucre which hedges them round. like the pricks in a thimble slightly a convex surface. the seeds set like car. thin. and narrow leaflets. beautifully glossy like silk. whose weather-worn. Romans. like a mossy roof. is very neat and attractive within. The thistles which I now have their heads recurved. downy parachutes of the seed. or hexagonal form. the seed for the most part. I know of closely. but 149 we do not doubt that sheep bleat to-day as they did 1860. tridges in a circular cartridge box. of a light brown fit color. is. this old. see wiser. a most receptacle for the delicate. pentagonal. so repulsive externally. left in the receptacle (?) in regular order there. Oct.head. 25.AUTUMN. we should not be the then. it may remind you of the silk -lined . in cylinders. bricated. The little seeds are kept dry under unsuspected silky or satiny ceiling.

Again I was in my own small pleasure boat. cradle in which a prince was rocked. and which the cool wind had numbed. and suddenly I saw my dog. and I raised my sail before my anchor. over the shallows about the sources of rivers toward the deeper channel of a stream which emptied into the gulf beyond. and it was my employment to hold their heads apart. turns out to be a precious casket. to the Bay of Fundy. Then I was walking in a meadow where the dry season permitted me to walk further than usual. as it were. Alcott and we fell to quoting and referring to grand and pleasing couplets and single lines which we had read in time past. but the horses bit each other. I saw the buttons which had come off the coats of drowned men. when I knew not that I had one. In my dream I sailed over the sea in a small vessel such as the Northmen used. which had been wet. That which seemed a mere brown and worn-out relic of the summer. Then I met Mr. Next I 26.150 AUTUMN. sinking into the earth by the roadside. and I quoted one which in my waking hours I have no know- . 1851. and thence overland I sailed still. standing in the sea up to his chin to warm his legs. and occasioned endless trouble and anxiety. learning to sail on the sea. morning to inhad been riding. Oct I awoke this finite regret. which I dragged far into the sea.

as I woke. I can partly account for this. My body was the organ and channel of melody. Last evening I was reading Laing's account of. therefore. and deriving even an inexpressible satisfaction as it were from my ability to feel regret. I remember feeling a fertile regret. where perchance the wind may sometimes draw forth a strain of music from a straw. My flesh sounded and vibrated still to the strain. " — The short parenthesis of life was sweet. a bugle. I heard the last strain or flourish." The remembrance of youth is a sigh. : and were " were not these. though they I only gret. methought I was a musical instrument from which I heard a strain die out. 151 but in my dream it was familiar enough. as a flute is of the music that is breathed through it. a clarionet. played on my body as the instrument. the Northmen. ' Then again the instant I awoke. know that those I quoted expressed relike the following.' etc. ledge of. which made that evening richer than those which had preceded it. viz. and though I did not write in my journal. but a scuttle fidl of dirt. to find myself not the thoroughfare of glorious and world-stirring inspirations. to an infinite — regret. such a thoroughfare only as the street and the kennel. I awoke.AUTUMN. and my nerves were the chords of the lyre. Such I . or a flute.

is cool Walden and Cliffs. ther off the water. I had been and might be again. impart a purple tinge to the mountains in the northwest. to-day and windier. It is a darker blue than that of When I look down on the pond itself. it is far less blue. Coming by Haden's only in cold weather that I see Oct. it is a dark green.152 AUTUMN. 26. the farit is. where we may get some this season hillsides. I well remember the time when I first heard the dreaming of the . when agitated so that the surfaces of the waves reflect the sky at the right angle. 1852. As I stand in the boat. as that At of its reflected as well as direct heat. I see that. I think it is its rays. The blue-stemmed and white golden-rod apparently survive till winter. m. and knew my regret arose from the consciousness like a musical instrument how little my body was now. 26. 1853. from the peak. where we cuddle and warm ourselves in the sim. is Oct. we seek warm. the water is Looking Hence ap- parently the celestial blueness of those distant river reaches. push up and blosthe sky som anew. as by a fire. which yet find some vapor to lodge on in the clear cold air. the bluer straight down. p. The water It rippled considerably. this year this. sunny lees and under the pitch pines by Walden shore. the sun setting.

without left. clear. any gentle man or tender and innocent core It is surprising how any reminiscence of a different season of the year affects us. and not borne the affect me as all resistance. toads. I turned my companion's attention to it. and I appreciate that other season . 153 I was laying out house lots on Little We had had some raw. and wet weather. a shallow pool. but this day was remarkably warm and pleasant. air. it affects me as poetry. When I meet with any such in my journal. though they are not conscious of hearing it. cient to itself. cold. Everything beautiful impresses us as suffiMany men who have had much intercourse with the world. most men the toad. How watchful we must be to keep the crystal well that we are made. before. do not notice it at all. Loud and prevailing as it is. I was going home to dinner past River in Haverhill. It affects their thoughts. trial well. when it occurred to me that I heard the dreaming of It rung through and filled all the though I had not heard it once. and I had thrown off my overcoat.AUTUMN. but he did not appear to perceive it as a new sound in the air. It is to them perchance a sort of simmering or seething of all nature. all burr and rind. green with springing grass. Often we are so jarred by chagrins in dealing with the world that we cannot reflect.

frost weed. at and that particular phenomenon more than the time. after feeling dissatisfied with my life. and it will carry you back to more than that summer day alone could show. and full of beauty. even overflowing with a quiet. am more as if scrupuexpectlife more reserved and continent. I find bright pink shoots to have put forth. Only the rarest flower. suddenly I find myself full of genial mirthfulness. lous. business. ing somewhat. To Conantum. indeed just out of bloom. You only need to make a an average summer day's experience and summer mood. some- what peculiar to this plant ? and may it not be . Oct. and my waters gather to a I am freighted with thought. faithful record of When. amine some plish brown. I I must get as a nut of meat. I aspire to something better. So I dam up my stream. as well as its second blossoming. the leaves now a is pur- and its bark at the ground quite and entire. 1855. Pulling it up. attend to my diet. 26. I must have done with to and devote myself my muse. The world so seen is all one spring. I think to myself. head. It is still quite alive. Is tight not this.154 AUTUMN. and starting even at the surface of the sod. and read it in the winter. thus comes down to us. M. up earlier must and take a morning walk. the purest melody of the season. half an inch long. I exP.

having taken alarm at something. bird-like note. sharp. and its tail curled close over its back. making a saucer-like cavity. and scoops out the pulp mainly with its lower incisors. running swiftly up the tree with it.AUTUMN. that 155 when at last the cold is severe. wigwam building. It It allows me to approach within eight feet. from time to time turning the apple round and round with its paws. proceed to eat it. snatch an apple from amid many on the ground. like a wheel in a plane at right angles with its body. more fishing. and the breath of the dying plant is frozen about it? I see a red squirrel dash out from the wall. holds the apple between its two fore paws. high and thin at the edge. where it bites off the skin and lets it drop. It holds it it up and twirls it with ease. as it eats. and glides off in short snatches. and collecting . and. then drops the remainder of the apple in the hollow of a bough. sitting on a smooth dead limb with its back to the wind. can find more suitable materials to build my house with. taste for the wild sports of hunt- I have ing. and enjoy the pleasure of collecting my fuel in the forest. I sometimes think I must go off to some wil- derness. It keeps its jaws moving very briskly. the sap is frozen and bursts the bark. uttering a faint. where I can have a better opportunity to play life. Suddenly pauses.

1857. which are of kindred form. two long undulating wings conveying a feathered body through the misty atmosphere and thus inseparably associated with another planet of the same species. river is meadows at and my with it. p. find it. Round by Puffer's via Clamshell. that the accumulating grists may be ground. 26. The waves beneath. A driving east or northeast getting partly over the spirits rise storm. carpentry. working in a factory or wood market. lives. Larger migratory birds make their appearance. wood wherever you going to a than for butchering. life. great fishhawks (possibly blue herons) slowly beating northeast against the storm. I can see through the stormy mist only a mile.156 AUTUMN. Methinks this rise of the waters must affect every thought and It qualifies deed in the town. Oct. some gradual filling of the springs and raising of the streams. A storm is a new and in some respects more active life in nature. as if you might expect the very motes in the air to be paired. my sentence and I trust there will appear in this journal some flow. They at least sympathize with the movements of I see two the watery element and the winds. m. are Damon and . I can just glimpse their undulating Pythias they must be. farming. The last. — by what a curious in the tie circling ever near each other and same direction.

can imagine My moods are thus periodical. beating against the storm with I start Where me ? also They according to the valley of the river. I believe the its while I Concord would not rise banks again. still is 157 a. or still to come.vrjpi$[xov. but it sounds my life. so that he at home in her ! Many hiemalis. I see not a dead eel or course) simply floating snake. and flow is like a line or accent in its poem. : not two days in the year alike the perfect coris respondence of nature with man. were I not here. them of bolder. or a gull. The seasons and all their changes are in me. These regular phenomena of the (they were. northeast or southwest. more fly social. and makes first.AUTUMN. so that the hedgerow be all alive with them. multitudinous. at Clamshell up snipes also meadow. at seasons get at last to be and plainly phenomena or phases of my life. nothing added. my mate. in This weather sets the migratory birds motion. I I Almost and over- would have nothing subtracted. flitting sparrows are flitting past amid the birches and sallows. They are chiefly Fringilla How often they may be will seen thus along in a straggling manner from bush to bush. each uttering a faint chip from time you so that you know not if the greater part are gone by. to time. bewildering . After a learn what my moods and seasons are.

You wonder if they know whither they are bound. too. circles and till soars away. upon us. exactly. with inwardness. I know not whither rest or why. were bound hitherward with a message But it comes no nearer. bewildering me by their very multi- tude. is brown . are thoughts I One and is have . . yellow winter. they flit by quickly on their migrations. for last night it was rainy and not cold. gray. and how their leader is appointed. The con- numbs my its sit fingers this morning. rests but a moment in the tree before you gone again. 1851. A man is strained to down and to think. quite unexpectedly. green autumn. sug- gesting great things and thrilling the beholder. The cold birds fly about as if seeking shelter. found it snowing and the ground covered with snow. Spring . is Winter. . but they will be all gone directly without leaving me a feather. 27. One will not on its twig for me to scrutinize it. they come and go. The whole copse will be alive with my rambling thoughts. as if it for me. summer. This morning I awoke and Oct. white November. disappointing me. Those sparrows. uttering only a faint chip. The strong northwest wind blows the damp snow along almost horizontally. thought is My loftiest somewhat like an eagle that suddenly comes into the field of view.158 AUTUMN. it is lost be- hind a cliff or a cloud. .

we meet. For a long time I could not scare it far away. but because progress in its own sys- tem has put a greater distance between. is 159 heart meets with obstacles which the are like granite blocks. the more rapid pales in the heavens. now neither the morning star nor the evening star. We meet but to find each other further asunder.the minute. He will guess bravely at the significance of my words. 1853. and the of tener the divergence. hillsides. which one alone cannot She who was as the morning light to me. under the railroad bridge. How have you passed the night ? Good night My friend will be bold to conjecture. not observer's eye. perstar of the first its So a chance. probing the mud with its long bill. The move. crimson-starred female flowers of the hazel are peeping forth on the vives in all her pores. The night is oracular. 27. magnitude from any fault in the nor from any fault in itself. within two feet of me. What have been the intimations of the night? I ask. universal I love to be reminded of that and eternal spring when . The Ardea minor still with us.! ! AUTUMN. Saw a wood- cock or snipe (?) feeding. when nature re- Some less obvious and commonly unobserved signs of the progress of the seasons interest me . What a disproportionate length of bill Oct.

It was exciting to feel myself tossed by the dark waves. nent as if the first object I Oct. standing up. . go up the river as far as Hillard's second grove in order to share the general commotion and excite- ment of the elements. The reign of water now begins. hop hornbeam on the hillsides. ting out. like the loose dangling catkins of the hop- hornbeam. . and how it gambols and revels waves How they run are its leaves. though at first it was hard to keep off a lee shore. and It was hard getand emptying mine. as if were before the fall of man. the waves beating over them. 1857. and that time in which they flourglorious. and tipping my boat to make it keel on its side. Wind northeast. . Up river. lest it be floated off. Now look out for your rails and other fencing I stuff and loose lumber. P. I of most. m. sailed swiftly. foam its blossoms. 27. and hear them surge about me. aspect.160 AUTUMN. hauling up. It was a rod and a half from the water's edge. wind and waves and rain. A half dozen boats at the landing were full. I see all nature for the time under this These features are particularly promisaw on approaching this planet in the spring was the catkins of the As I sailed by. can recall distinctly to ished is my it mind the image these things. The I third day of steady rain. or of the black or yellow birch. I saw the yellowish waving sprays.

are washed out of the bark of meadow trees. did not look for winter the springs were The ducks and other fowl. This storm reminds men to put things on a winter footing. so called. is adopted at a sacrifice of vital left truth and poetry. I hear that Sammy Hoar saw geese go over . not much more for the farmer to do in the fields. of . we know nothing about. Shakespeare has us his and imaginings. The writer is reported. but the truth of his with its becoming circumstances. The fall. We want the basis of fact.AUTUMN. deriving new excitement from each other schools of porpoises and blackfish are only more animated waves. ! the hol- Shakespeare's house how low it is ! No man can conceive of Shakespeare in that house. strictly speaking. 161 and leap in great droves. to-day. I mean that the very scheme and form of his poetry. and cover the surface of the The winter's wood is bargained for and flood. fancies life. and have acquired the gait and gambols of the sea itself. is approachaccounts. full. The real facts of a poet's life would be of more value to us than any work of his art. There is being hauled. The snow-fleas. The few remaining leaves come fluttering down. reminded of the lateness. is said. as to-day. liver not at all. ing an end in this probably annual northeast storm. Thus the summer winds up it its The till Indians. go by.

would be as its superior to Shakespeare's. He is also very round-shouldered and stooping. . The Littleton giant brought us a load of coal within the week. and put through like the boy Safford. He does His knees knock They touch when he is standing most together. think of him. life. and not mind people's eyes or remarks. for he is quite modest and retiring. It is remarkable that the giants have never correspondingly great hearts. in the order of being. is not afraid His voice is deep and full. that a strange horse of him. The tallest man looks like a boy beside him. with base or thallus. Pity he could not have been undertaken by a committee in season. as a lichen. 't is said. taught to hold up his head. to a fungus. He has a seat to his wagon made on purpose for him. though actually well-formed. is superior. and so reduce his height at least three inches. but mild. really a worthy man. He appears deformed and weakly. an actual to complete our its Shakespeare as much life. A poet's with this broad actual basis. He habitually stops You wonder what his horses before all doors. He wears a low hat for the same purpose. not nearly stand up straight. upright.162 AUTUMN. as a statue wants pedestal. been well developed bodily and mentally. probably from the habit of crouching to conceal his height.

etc. and I have an opportunity to examine my purchase. 1858. my so called. and have been ever since paying for and have not quite paid for yet. giving them in our despair a terminal twist toward our mark. of words. purplish.AUTUMN. falsely been writing from time to time. etc. So I had them all sent to me here. yellowish. filling the man's wagon. 27. such as reddish. For a year or two past. 706 copies out of an edition of 1000. and at last suggesting that he had use for the room they occupied in his cellar. which I bought of Munroe four years ago. how often we find ourselves using ineffectually words which indicate faintly our good intentions. and they have arrived to-day by express. be and hence we are obliged to use such ineffectual expressions as reddish- Oct. Oct. as . 28. They are something more substantial than fame. They need to be ground together. for they are not to like colors. We cannot make a hue compounded brown. has publisher. 1853. for instance. The wares are sent to me at last. In describing the richly spotted leaves. in 163 attempt to describe Who will words the difference in tint between two neighboring leaves on the same tree [in autumn] or of two thousand ? for by so many the eye is addressed in a glance. to ask what disposition should be made of the copies of " A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers " still on hand.

. to cross out " River " the result of my Nevertheless in spite of this result. Thoreau. This was authorship. with as Indeed I believe for that the result more inspiring and better me than if a thousand had bought privacy less and leaves my me wares. 75 were given away. labors. these are brain. the rest I have now a library of nearly 900 volsold. Oct. my opera omnia. back knows. It affects my freer. which has borne them np two stairs my flights of to a place similar to that to which they trace their origin. Is it not well that the author should behold the fruits of his labor ? My works are piled up on one side of my chamber my half as high as my head." man and and deliver them to the expressI can see now what I write for. D. had. The un: bound were tied up by the printer four years ago in stout paper wrappers. I take up my pen as to-night to record what thought or experience I may have much satisfaction is ever. Of the remaining 290 and odd. over 700 of which I wrote myself. Concord River. sitting beside the inert mass of my works. 1855. write " Mass. 50 cops. umes. By boat to Leaning Hem- . 28.164 AUTUMN. the works of There was just one piece of good luck in the venture. so — Munroe had only at once. and inscribed H.

stealing up quietly behind the hemlock. . at the It sits with its head down. feet high. this light. golden iris. utes . You see two whitish triangular lines above the eye. scarcely projects at all. which stand up conspicuously black under each eye. It sits on the lee side of the tree this raw and windy day. meeting at the bill. and the question is whether the eyes are open or not.<which rests upon its breast. and caught it in my hand. I see a screech . locks. eying twenty feet turns its me off. except the horns.AUTUMN. and to my surprise. about three o'clock. I landed two rods above. saw the owl still sittingthere so I sprang round quickly with my arm outstretched. perhaps one eye partly When open. though from the windward. I looked carefully roimd it. Its short bill. this 165 As I paddle under the hemlock bank shady afternoon. this distance At After watching it ten minfrom the boat. and. You would say this was a bird without a neck. and a narrow curved and in you see only a black spot where the eye is. about it hears me move. with a sharp reddish-brown line of triangle between. but in a state of rest the whole upper part of the bird from the wings is rounded off smoothly.owl sitting on the edge of a hollow hemlock stump about three base of a large hemlock. It was or are slanted back. with its great. with its eyes partly open. gleaming. it head toward me.

and as I snap its rolled it up in my handkerchief and put it in only glared at me my took pocket. being very broad in proportion to its length. its it clung so tightly to my hand as to sink claws into my It fingers and bring blood. markably large feet and talons. hisses. While I write this evening. by a guttural whimpering. mute astonishment with But erelong it began to eyes as big as saucers. with a short its tail. it it bit my finger slightly. making quite bill. and with wide-open eyes stares this way moving its head slowly and undulatfrom ingly side to side with a curious motion. .166 so surprised that it AUTUMN. and very cat-like ReIt in the face with horns and great eyes. and made a small cage in which to keep it for a night. When I took it kerchief. I was surprised to find that I could imitate its note. it When bill alarmed or provoked most. and tying the hand- it on the bottom of the boat. squat figure. perfectly still. legs thickly clothed to the talons with whitish down. from a dusky corner of its box with its great solemn eyes. left I carried it up. So home. I see there is ground It looks out on me for much superstition in it. stretches neck. A remarkably and that. I soon out of my pocket. as I remember it. a noise. its snaps out its and puffs up its feathers to its nearly twice usual size. offered no resistance at in first.

he did not go of his own accord. yet with one or both eyes slightly open all the while. He must be quite comfortable in winter. I never once caught him with his eyes shut. There is plainly no jesting in this light.AUTUMN. Ordinarily he stood rather than sat on his perch. and perhaps General color of the owl a rather pale slightly reddish brown. The slowness and gravity. (He had . He has a slight body covered with a mass of soft and light-lying feathers. 29. bending it from side to side. He sat not really moping. stretch out its neck. strain at case. the feathers Perches with two claws centred with black. peer at you with laughable circumspection from side to side. as . his head muffled in a great hood. cat-like. raising and lowering its head. Assabet. at the same time snapping its bill smartly perhaps and faintly hissing and puffing itself up more and more. to shake Carried my owl to the hill again for had him out of the box. above. 167 would lower its head. and. not to say solemnity of this motion are striking. Up . if to catch or absorb into its eyes every ray of you with complacent yet earnest scrutiny. both in hissing and swelling. Oct. and moving it from side to side in a slow and regular manner. Dropped a pellet of fur and bones (?) in his cage. and two below the perch. but trying to sleep in a corner of his box all day. turtle-like.

the pupils of his eyes suddenly contracted and the iris ex- upon it. gathering all the light he could. As I moved around him. at first up and looking toward me. His horns stood quite an inch high. He was now on the qui vive. I was obliged to toss His attitude exelse.) panded. as he He behaved as if besat crosswise on a bough. but not inclining to fly. wildered and dazzled. In this strong light. Thither I followed and tried to start him again. with his horns pricked There he stood on the grass. yet would not start.168 AUTUMN. as not before. and then he only rose to a higher perch. and even straining his great eyes to make me out. I had let him out on the plain just east of the hill. and then he flapped away low and heavily to a hickory on a hillside twenty rods off. His eyes were broad brazen rings around bullets of black. where at last he seemed to seek the shelter of a thicker . He erected his head. I had to lift him again with a stick to make him fly. he turned his head always toward me till he looked directly behind himself. and prising how lightly and noiselessly he was surwould hop bewildered. showing some neck narrower than the round head above. little pressed astonishment more than anything him up a that he might feel his wings. it learned to alight on his perch. till they were two great brazen orbs with a central spot merely.

then the gray rocks and the pale reddish young oaks of the lower cliffs. the sky generally covered with continuous. Oct 28. cluster of 169 sere leaves. much alarmed At the bottom of as sur- the hol- low [stump?] on the edge of which he I first sat when saw him yesterday. 1857. For sympathy with barbarians. my neighbors. probably his own bed. going out there.AUTUMN. which grows on the bank close It had been recently by. I have got a load of great hard-wood stumps. and all at once a low-slanted glade behind from one of heaven's west windows on the bare gray maples. then. I might about as well live in China. cheerless-looking slate-colored clouds. with their They are to me and committee-works gregariousness. He never appeared so prised and astonished. eighteen inches beneath him. lighting them up with an incredibly intense and pure of sunlight me fell white light. and at last the brilliant white breasts of two ducks tossing on the agitated . was a very soft bed of the fine green moss. As I sat at the wall corner. partly crouching there. then the very pale brown meadow grass. put there. I saw through the hollows of the clouds here and there the blue appearing. high on Conantum. hypnum. except in the west. it lit up some white birch stems south of the pond.

No perfectly fair weather It ever offered such an arena for noble deeds. had not dewas but a transient ray. In each case. It there was no sunshine afterward. far down stream. purified by the long storm. As if nature did not dare at once to let in the full blaze of the sun to this combustible atmosphere. a glory in which only the just deserved to live. The maples were Potter's. but I dreamed I walked like the withered a liberated spirit in the maze grass was as soft and glorious meadow as paraAnd then it was remarkable that the dise. It was as the air. dark clouds and the sombre earth. while the effect was greatly enhanced by the contrast with the dull. and surface far off on the pond. Late in the year. might have been performed. . but the intensity of the light was surprising and impressive. but not realized. It was a serene Elysian light. in which the deeds I have dreamed of. reflected these few rays from side to side with a complete illumination. we have visions of the life we might have lived. those two extin- ducks within It . was such a light as we behold but dwell not in. like a perfectly polished mirror. at the eleventh hour. which I tected before. if a halo.170 AUTUMN. every recess was filled and lit up by the pure white light. light-giver should have revealed to life me was for all the heaving white breasts of this glade of light.

only tilting little. Then higher. understood? There is in the brown and gray earth and rocks. not at all disturbed. too late to be of any service to the works of man for the day. but on second thought that small sprout land seems worthy of a longer scrutiny. little. like its wing a and orbit. that has just skimmed past off. He I do not often see the marsh-hawk a regular figure this fellow makes tail and broad wings Does he perceive me. with his head steady as a planet in bent down. now twenty rods with a a very demi-semi-quaver of his wings. tilting his three or four times. and the withered leaves and bare twigs at this season a purity more corre- clouds at the close of a storm spondent to the light I look itself than summer offers. screaming. His . that he rises higher and circles to one side? He goes round now one full circle with his broad ! What without a flaps flap. with his clean-cut wings. 171 Tell me pre- cisely the value and significance of these tran- sient gleams which come sometimes at the end of the day before the final dispersion of the . and though the whole night after may be overIs not this a language to be heard and cast.AUTUMN. body a flyer. up and see a male marsh-hawk. neat thus. and he gives one circle backward over it. is over his my head. guished and relit as it traveled. rises Now he comes on a billow.

something like the whinnying of a not rather a split squeal. or mate or companion of its whereabouts? Now he crosses the at present broad river steadily. Oct. tremulous breathing forth of his winged horse. but. I stand under the tree on I heard Emerson's one lot. as edible. They strew the ground and the bottom of the river thickly. as it comes down and drops The part that was covered by into the water. 1858. I remember and. at that But why height? is it so regularly repeated Is it not to scare his prey. feed which I If they . They would have afforded me only a momentary gratification. red-oak acorns now. being acorns. What majesty there is in this small bird's flight 28. desiring to have one or two rabthat he see may bits at least to swing about him. They fall into the water as I approached.! 172 scream is AUTUMN. if it is energy. How are handsome the great still falling. and probably forgotten them. and thought a muskrat had plunged. and while I stand here. as it were. Though inby me longer than the fruits eat. I hear one strike the boughs with force. How munificent is nature to create this profusion of wild it fruit. had been plums or chestnuts I should have eaten them on the spot. the cup is whitish woolly. It is a hoarse. they stand were merely to gratify our eyes. to inform its by its motion where it is.

I go mine. but common in the western states. What pale They can afford not to be useful to me. it is Emerson says much the most remarkable nut we have. with our heads full of the past John and . worth while had been searching for Indian relics. and size the black walnuts Smith's are at least one half fallen. liking them better than horse chestnuts. genous in Massachusetts but rare. not only because they are of a much handsomer form but because they are indigenous. of a Sunday evening. very nutmeg fragrance. A curious I incident happened it a few weeks ago which I think to record. I know not of their flavor That is postponed to some unimagined These which we admire. when. If so. 28. 173 They are untasted fruits. and. 1859. are nuts of the gods. still. Walnuts commonly at fall. not to know me or be known by me. on them as yet. Oct. When time is no more we shall crack them. and been successful enough to find two arrow-heads and a pestle. have a brown. rich They are of the form is and of a small lemon. 29. They go their way. forever in store for me. 1837. what singular. I cannot help winter evening. Oct. ? Is it indiit is. and it plump fellows they are ! turns out that sometimes I go after them. but do not eat. They are turning dark Gray says it is rare in the eastern.AUTUMN.

their feasting ground. often have they stood on this very spot. the grubbing stone that was to be." We instantly proceeded to to. or communed with before the spirits of their fathers gone ! them to the land of the shades Here." to complete the period. when the sun was sinking behind yonder woods. at this very hour. 1857. using tion. As we neared the brow of the hill forming the bank of the river. we strolled to the mouth of Bridge Brook. remains. Oct. and yonder on Clamshell Hill. and pondered the day's success and the morrow's prospects. sit down on the^spot I had pointed and I. to lay bare an ordinary stone which had selected. proved a most perfect arrow-head. " was their lodge. inspired by my theme. This was no doubt a favorite haunt here on this brow was an eligible lookout-post.174 and its AUTUMN. and gilding with his last rays the waters of the Musketaquid. 29. most violent gesticulations by way of " There on Nawshawtuck. " stood Tahatowan. as sharp as if just from the hands of the Indian fabrica! my whim laid tor. when lo the first I hands on." said of illustraI. the rendezvous the tribe. " is Tahatowan's arrow- head. How . and there. There are some things of . I broke forth into an Swamp extravagant eulogy of the savage times." I exclaimed. to carry out the joke.

This morning. duties of the day. 175 which I cannot at once tell. when there is a gradual early transition from dreams to thoughts. I doubt. for instance. but whether anything could have reminded me of it in the middle of yesterday. in the early morning hours. waking Such morning thoughts as I speak of occupy a debatable ground between dreams and waking thoughts in . and often allowed climb. for the twentieth time. at least. from illusions to actualities. enced. until we have for some time changed our position from prostrate to and faced or commenced some of the we cannot tell what we have dreamed from what we have actually experierect. where no which once or twice I had ascended. I my thoughts alone to now contemplate it as a familiar thought which I have surely had for many years from time to time. I thought of that mountain in the easterly part of the town.AUTUMN. whether I have dreamed them or they are real. be through a dark and unfrequented wood at . I can now eke out the vision I had of it this morning with my old and yesMy way up used to terday-forgotten dreams. they are a sort of permanent dream my mind. as if they were just perchance establishing or else losing a real This is especially the case basis in my world. At least. whether I ever remembered it before in broad daylight. high hill actually is.

from a mountain. secreted in the cloud. AUTUMN. bare and pathless but wander. That rocky. under what circumstances I cended. where wild beasts haunted. The mountain height is already thoroughly purified. it was so first as- long ago. was far more thrillingly awful and sublime than the fire. seeming to pass an imaginary line which separates a hill. dreams I am shown this height from time to time.176 its base. yielding to the law of gravity. misty summit. can never become familiar. awful. and yet I am constrained perfect to believe that I never actually ascended it. half clad with stunted trees. over the were solidified air and cloud. It is as if you trod with awe the face of a god turned up. but In helplessly. if it thrilled. till I lost myupper air and clouds. into a superterranean grandeur and sublimity. only that I shuddered. as I went along. What self quite in the distinguishes that is summit above the earthy It line. mere earth heaped up. and have an indistinct remembrance of having been out one night alone. (I cannot now tell exactly. grand.) Then I steadily ascended along a rock ridge. crater of a volcano spouting This is a matter we can partly understand. . as set foot You are lost the mothere. unwillingly. and I seem to have asked my fellow once to climb there with me. You know no path. ment you rock. that it is unhandseled.

I let my thoughts ascend toward the mount. 177 in Now lies first I recall that it rises my mind the burying hill. it. Why is it that in the lives of men we hear more of the dark wood than of the sunny pasture ? Though the pleasure of ascending the moimtain is largely mixed with awe. I reach and discover the mountain only through the dark wood. That is. nay. though I never so came out. from the belt of wood. and indeed was another way up. but I see to my surprise. My old way I this them as underlying down was different. but that hill and its graves are so concealed and obliterated by the awful mountain that I never thought of it. I descended. We see mankind generally. Ever there are two ways up. You might go where tnrough that gate to enter the dark wood. breathing the thicker air. into a familiar pasture. Often as I go along the low side of this pasture. as ascended. how it is ever adjacent to my native fields.AUTUMN. the other through the sunny pasture. my if thoughts are purified and sublimed by as I had been translated. one through the dark wood. gradstunted ually entering the wood (nature sub- dued) and the thinner air. im- minent over them. and along down by a wall. and accessible through a sunny pasture. when I look off between the mists from its summit. Perchance it was the grave. who toil to ac- .

or collecting driftwood from the river for fuel. this is at once his and there is offered the never-failing getting a living. tres and operas. as to spend an hour or temperately indulged two in a day. and in every sense profitable. to artificial amusements. for suggestion and education and strength. Every one who deserves to be regarded as higher than the brute may be supposed to have an earnest purpose. is the object of his work and his supreme pleasure. picking berries or other fruits which will be food for the winter. I think men are commonly mistaken with regard to amusements. Farming and building and manufacturing and sailing are the greatest and wholesomest amusements that were ever invented. are as nothing compared with these pursuits. only I think they indulge to excess . which intoxicate for a season. often debasing. having recourse for relaxation after excessive toil. it.178 AUTUMN. — never-failing. I amusement of mean. And so it is with all the true arts of life. rarely elevating. or perhaps inherit or acquire it by other accident. so wholesome. for God invented them. or cultivating Theatne few beans or potatoes which I want. and I suppose that the farmers and mechanics know it. when in. and for diversion and relaxation. for instance. or as a mere relief from idle ennui. I know of no such amusement. quire wealth. to accomplish which existence.

etc. that these were the true path to perception and enjoyment. generally. and so and true to be more strongly planted. By these various pursuits your experience becomes singularly complete and rounded. The mass are tempted by those other amusements. My being seems to have put forth new roots. 179 what was meant for a joy becomes the sweat of the brow. it. it is not a whit more grave than huckleberrying. or even collecting simples. get your its Fish in its streams. of farming.AUTUMN. horseracing. and rowdyism generally after all tempt but few. It tempts men just as strongly to-day as in the day of Cincinnatus. Their novelty and significance are remarkable. etc. that is. No amusement has worn better than farming. Healthily and properly pursued. If as a poet or naturalist you wish to explore a given neighborhood. I find when I have been building a fence or surveying a farm. Such is the path by which we climb to the height of our being. etc. . go and live in living in forests. hunt in its gather fuel from water. Gambling.. its woods. it. This is the way to crack the nut of happiness. and pluck the wild fruits. cultivate the ground. Compare the poetry which such simple pursuits have inspired with the unreadable volumes which have been written about art. This will be the surest and speediest way to those perceptions you covet. loafing.

then it would be time to invent other amusements. The love of nature and fullest perception of the revelation which she is to man. unless it be the Church of England. to my surprise. she runs low toward it. even the large crop of wheat becomes If our living were as a small crop of chaff. is not compatible with belief in the peculiar revelation of the Bible which Ruskin entertains. which being disturbed by my approach. there it. you toil to raise spring " the ! He there. it takes airs on itself as superior. " Drink deep. . intemperate. once honestly got.180 and is if AUTUMN. It is sour grapes ! He does not speak to the condition of foxes that have more spring in the legs. And what does he substitute for her ? I do not know. After reading Ruskin on the love of nature. questioning whether that relation to nature was of so much value after all. 1858. expresses common infidelity of his age and race. with an unusual glare or superficial light in her eye. The cat comes stealthily creeping towards some prey amid the withered flowers in the garden. Oct. I think. or taste not the Pierian that I may gather if all the fruits. 29. something wrong about I have aspired to practice in succession all the honest arts of life But if you are an unnecessary amount. He has not implicitly surrendered himself to nature.

to say. It knows better. deters me from receiving what . I hear them also amid the alders by the with a few notes. They are early or late. I am tempted sees. is the finest season of the year. 1858. of my pitiful conduct. five inches long. Our Indian summer. remotest ancestor. Here has been such a day as I think Italy never A fair occur but beautiful. Oct. I see that Prichard's mountain ash (European) has lately put forth new leaves when all the old have fallen.AUTUMN. as if ours were an English spring or autumn. Scarcely the song of a cricket is heard to disturb the stillness. not a cloud in the sky. but have English habits here. Oct. perfectly still and dry and clear. The air quite warm and enough. a celestial afternoon. They are four or But the American has not started. This has been the most per- fect afternoon of the year. afternoon. 1850. and presently I see the tree sparrow 181 ignoring her oldest acquaintance. cannot ourselves that we mar our pleasure by reproaching we do not make all our days The thought of what I am. 31. 30. English plants river singing sweetly. and no doubt in course of time a change will be produced in their constitutions similar to that which is observed in the English man here. as wild as her first hopping there. They are not yet acclimated.

m. The coarse withered grass. and calm Indian-summer in front of Fair and the river is so high over the meadows. By boat with Sophia to my grapes afternoon. I think all my days would Oct is 31. see. for I see it to advantage now and without incumbrance. The buttonballs.. I have not yet im- my humdrum it thoughts. and the willows and button-bushes with their myriad balls. down a beautiful. Haven. is This shore thus seen from the boat like the ornamented frame of a mirror. are more distinct in the reflection. 1853. if I remember. laid p. etc. realized but my own fair. is reflected with wonderful distinctness. the pads and other low weeds so deeply buried. is passed. the knowledge an alloy that spoils our satisfacI am wont to think that I could spend tions. If I could wholly cease to be ashamed be of myself. and whatever else stands on the brink. and the water so smooth and glassy withal that I am reminded of a calm April day during the freshets.182 AUTUMN. It warm. my prosaic hab- into to mar the landscape. because they have there for back- . my days contentedly in any retired country After the era of youth of ourselves is house that I ported its. What it is this beauty in the landscape but a certain in in fertility me? I look in vain to see life. joy I might from the glorious days that visit me.

see the fine lines stretching from one weed.AUTUMN. as if with new lustiness. but the actual ones are seen against the russet meadow. They seem to appreciate the day. I even see off reflected in the meadow flood. the When we ripple the surface. when the yellow and scarlet tints are gone from the forest ? It is very pleasant to float along over the smooth mea- dow. The river is three feet and more above the summer level. . where every weed and each stem of coarse grass that rises above the surface has another answering to it. sometimes seven or eight feet distant horizontally. thus the most irregular form appears regular. They lie up houses a mile there now. I see many pickerel dart away as I push my boat over the meadows. the un- dulating light is reflected from the waves upon bank and bushes and withered grass. and even more distinct in the it. I slowly discover that this I first is a gossamer day. or grass-stem or rush. water beneath. 183 ground the reflected sky. The cocks crow in barnyards. and on the cranberries we pick in the wreck. fleas There are already myriads of snowon the water next the shore. Is not this already November. to another. as if they were peppered. making a rhyme to scattered dry so that A few and clean very light straw-colored grasses are a cheap and simple beauty. reflected.

but curved downward in the middle. of course. I remember that in Kirby and Spence it is not allowed that the spider can walk on the water to carry his web across from rush to rush. quite leafless. but they stand up high and dry on the tips of They their toes. are of various sizes and colors. mainly parallel to one another. a misty roof. spun out of air. and are blown along quite fast. They are so abundant that they seem to have been suddenly produced in the atmosphere by some chemistry. they are so completely covered with these fine cobwebs or lines. When I look further. True. as if the fleets of a thousand Lilliputian .184 AUTUMN. against the sun. they do not appear to walk well. some very small. We pass some black willows now. like the rigging of a vessel. These gossamer lines are not visible unless between you and the sun. I find that they are every- where and on everything. I know not for what purpose. and when they are between us and the sun. sometimes forming conspicuous fine white gossamer webs on the heads of grasses. that they make one solid roof. the ropes which stretch from mast to mast. though mostly a greenish brown or else black. five inches and only four or above the water. They are not drawn taut. but here I see myriads of spiders on the water making some kind of progress. and at least with a line attached to them.

According to Kirby and Spence. and found it the same there. as if that fine vapor of the morning were spun into these webs. and walked up and down the causeway. bare poles . would observe nothing of all this. Methinks it is only on these very that the finest days." thus to run tion. as if the year were weaving her shroud out of light. with his back to the sun. They streamed southward with the slight zephyr. There were spiders on the rail [of the causeway] that pro. farther. the gossamer reaching across the causeway. late in the autumn.AUTUMN. not a thread can be seen on it. Harris all at once to every the least eleva- and let off this wonderful stream ? . or conand coming among them did not whiten our clothes more. 185 nations were collected one behind another under but when we have floated a few feet and thrown the willow out of the sun's I landed range. And yet one. der they did not get into the mouth and nostrils. duced them. " In Germany these flights of gossamer appear so constantly in autumn that they are there metaphorically called Der Fliegende Sommer. walking the other way. The It was a wonair appeared crowded with them.' the flying or depart4 ing summer. phenomenon is seen. or that tinually going we did not feel them on our faces. though not necessarily supported on the other side. What can possess these spiders. similar to those on the water.

What means this persistent vitality? Why to were these spared when the brakes and osmundas were stricken down ? They stay as if keep up the spirits of the cold-blooded frogs which have not yet gone into the mud. and about each greenness. clammy swamps under the bare maples and grapevines and witch hazels. or. unwound It looks themselves. noticed them. coil. I suggested. In the Lee farm swamp. of their vigor. perchance. by the I see two kinds of ferns still green and much in fruit. They are also common in the swamps now. trembling. summer you might not have Now each they are conspicuous amid the withered leaves. trickling spring that is half choked with fallen leaves. at selves and wound up. AUTUMN. now that there is no further use for their July. moist. 1857. thought that thus. banished by the Oct. Sophia last. mere it. they emptied them- me he does not know what it means. cast off their mortal like a frolic spending and wasting of them- selves. old Sam Barrett mill-site. and almost flattened of the house down now. that the . They are quite fresh in those cold and wet places. fragile They linger thus in all moist. being killed or frost. apparently the Aspidium spinulosum (?) and cristatum (?). You frond are inclined to approach in and raise succession. The atmosphere In the is less congenial to them. 31.186 tells .

summer may eration. the concentrated greenness of the swamp. To my eyes they are tall and noble as palm groves. of the departing year. Even in them Death is I feel an argument for immortality. by their presence ? They fall here and there like the plumes of departing summer. go to the swamp. The same destroyer does not destroy all. and always some forest nobleness seems to have its haunt under their umbrage. human creatures must take a little reTheir spirits do spite in this fall of the year. How dear they must be to the chickadee and the rabbit of the ! the cool. Their gravestones are not bespoken yet. so far from being universal. them What virtue is enables afflicted to resist the frost? If you are with melancholy at this season. and see the brave spears of skunk- cabbage buds already advanced toward a new year. slowly -retreating rear-guard theirs that swamp army. a hale old age.AUTUMN. 187 die with decent and graceful modback and droop Is not the water of the spring improved. despairing of . Green- ness at the end of the year. after the fall of the leaf. All that was immortal in the swamp herbage seems here crowded into smaller compass. How valuable they are. Do they seem to die. with the lycopodiums for cheerfulness. shall Who down be sexton to them? Is it the winter of their discontent ? to have lain skunk-cabbagedom ? Mortal.

Its withered leaves fall and are transfixed by a rising bud. to digest some experience " clearly. to see these green cabbage buds watery. which barren. and acquires a mythologic or Say it and have done without expressing yourself. of is taken out of the region common it. The circle of life is complete. truly institutions. It is good for me to be here slumping in the mud. sense. AUTUMN. There is a little questioning of and thinking to go like cowards to where the weary shall be at rest. But not so with the skunk cabbage. of lifting the dry leaves in this muddy place. to say " yes edge. A and absolutely stated. a trap covlifting the upwards and ered with withered leaves. not absolutely. . Statements are made but partially. 1851. are ignored. and "no" with authority. It is a rare qualification to be able to state a fact simply and adequately. Winter and death destiny. They see over the brow They see another summer ahead. JVov. winter's hill.188 flag a little. is with Express it See not with the eye of science. to make a square A man must see before he can say. Are it these false prophets ? Is it a lie or a vain boast underneath the skunk-cabbage bud pushing dead leaves with it? They rest with spears advanced. universal significance. Things are said with reference to certain conventions or fact. 1.

heat. blush. so at by chance. I warm toward all The crickets now sound faintly and my from very deep in the bright still. But world and digest it. nature. with deeper references. M. Without excitement. Fall dandelions look The grass has got a new greenness are in spots. What was the young man must become temperament in the mature man. or passion he will survey the world which excited the youth and threw him off his balance. I would have them expressed as more deeply seen. be necessary that he be in a sense translated in order to understand them. At this season there stranger sparrows or finches about. 189 taste the if nor of youthful poetry. When are seen superficially. Then he must be drenched and saturated the truth will exhale from him naturally. perchance. It would seem as things got said but rarely and see. To do with that. like the odor of the muskrat from the enthusiasm in coat of the trapper. 2. it. sod. a At first man is not capable of reporting truth.• AUTUMN. so that the hearer or reader cannot recognize them or apprehend their significance but it will from the platform of common life. clear. I feel life.30 p. which is impotent. warm November day. As facts lie you length will you say. they are seen as they in relation to certain institutions. is a bright. I love blessed. The skunk cabbage . It This on my way to Conantum.

and perhaps pinkIts branches do ish white than the common. I know that I was bursting a myriad Why What should this day be so distinis guished ? the peculiar condition of the atmosphere to call forth this activity ? The river is peculiarly sky-blue to-day. Saw a canoe birch by road beyond the Abel . I perceive that the air is full of them.190 is AUTUMN. If there were no sunshine. not dark as usual. the birds would be incommoded. and has frequently a snarly head . It is of more unspotted. transparent. The common birch is finely branched. It is all in the air. remarkable in the day. as I walk toward the sun. streaming from off the willows and spanning the road. the canoe birch is a . for fine gossamer cobwebs. I should never find out that they existed. There will be some loose curls of bark about it. fine more like a snowstorm which else. the wind. It is a already pushing up again. not droop and curl down like those of the other. drifts athwart your path than anything should not barriers. all stretch- ing across the road. Here causeway. Minot house distinguished it thirty rods off by a the chalky whiteness of its limbs. if and feel not one. gives the effect It is This shimmer moving along the gossamer lines as they are moved by of a drifting storm of light. and yet I cannot see them in any other It looks as direction.

I to a landscape equal to this. you may know it for a canoe birch. if in remarkable how native the earth. but their winging way to their dove-cotes over street and vil- . edge. to see between two near pine boughs whose lichens are distinct. It is self to will eat his heart. If at a distance you see the birch near its top forking into two or more white limbs. man proves him- of his life in all its and the completeness appurtenances. not only hens and geese and ducks and turkeys. the one. 191 more open and free-growing tree. Day before yesterday to the As I approached their saw the woods beneath. 1. the In November a man any month. Fair Haven Pond. which owing to the mist was as far as I could see. a distant forest other. I saw these between the converging branches of two white pines a rod or two from me on the edge of the rocks. and lake. I have heard of a man in Maine who It copied the whole Bible on to birch bark.AUTUMN. was much easier than to write that sentence which the birch tree stands for. but fowl. picture. His allihas domesticated not his doves ances how wide ! He only beasts. and the hills across the river. 1852. and I thought there was no frame Cliffs in the misty rain. frame. after all. and seemed much farther in consequence. Nov.

have attached themselves to his fortunes. 1853. or stroke loves it with a plane. tickle it who does who with an axe. and will go to as high a heaven. his beautiful scouts in the upper air. The pine is no more lumber than man is. He in is lord of the fowl and the brute. and some Nov. and to be made into boards and houses is no more its true and highest use than the truest use of a into manure. to . the bluebird. Most are content to behold shape of many broad boards brought to market.192 AUTUMN. man is carcass is no more a pine than a dead hua man. to say nothing of his trained falcons. there air. is A pine cut down. stands nearit. or it with a saw. the hawk. the swallow. Few come to the woods its it to see how its the pine lives and grows and spires. the martin. it is the poet who makes not fondle the truest use of it the pine. Is it the lumberman who its the friend and lover of the pine. 1. countries. est to and understands was changed nature best ? Is it the tanner or turpentine distiller will fable who posterity into a pine at last ? No. in as It is the poet as his own shadow the I and lets it stand. and deem that its true success. The dove. lifting perfect in the evergreen arms to the light. man is to be cut down and made a dead pine. to see success. no. It is as immortal am. lage enhance the picturesqueness of his sky.

I saw a blue heron arise from the shore. Up As I pushed up the river past Hildreth's. wings low over the water. AUTUMN. m. the stubble. JVov. 1855. and disappear round a bend in front the greatest of the bitterns (Ardece). its tussock. and the wool grass on muskrat cabin or two conspicumargin amid the unsightly tops of pontederia. Can lie who has only dis- covered the value of whale-bone and whale-oil be said to have discovered the trne uses of the whale ? Can he who slays the elephant for his ivory be said to have seen the elephant ? these are petty and accidental uses. if Just as a stronger race were to kill us in order to the usefulness of man. smooth lake. a tempered blue and dark water commingled. a-wooding. both pine-trees. and then prate of Every creature is better alive than dead. seen against the woods. just disappearing round a bend in front with a great slate-colored expanse of wing.. p. This is the aspect under which the Musketaquid might be represented at this season a long. No. make but- tons and flageolets of our bones. 1. a its ous on . tower above 193 me still. suited shadows of the stream. with heavy undulating . more beautiful than death. reflecting the bare willows and to the as of the sky : button beeches. as life is men and moose and Assabet. and a bittern disappearing on undulating wing around a bend.

I leaned over a rail on the Walden road. Let them alone. we are reminded of the shortness of life. when such thoughts visited me. 1. We are prompted to make haste and finish our work before the twilight comes. Its bark is alternate white and smooth reddish-brown. I foresaw how it would look and roll along and it. and they never point down to earth. What a lively spray it has. parti-col- ored look. Nov. of quite fresh ! part to the whole hillside a speckled. waiting for the evening mail to be distrib- uted. or only divined rama It appeared like a part of a panowhich I sat spectator. just coming into view. 1. The gold is in the late blossoms. Just such a piece . it 1857. and become more pensive at least in this twilight of the year. the small twigs looking as if gossamer had lodged on and draped them. as if its twigs knew where the true gold was and could point to it. some and bright. and the early evening drives us home to complete our chores. As the afternoons grow shorter. I see much witch hazel. They im- Nov. and yet I could hardly tell whether I had ever known it. a part with which I was perfectly familiar.194 AUTUMN. at was prepared to be pleased. 1858. I seemed to remember the November evening as a familiar thing come round again. both Truly it looks as if it would in form and color make divining rods.

of phenomena. and just as duties required of me. did it little were any active independent of We are The hangman whom I have seen cannot hang me. We were sure to keep just so far rolled for apart in our orbits of attraction still. You cannot see anything until you are clear of it. infinitely sweet 195 appear to me. Nature gets thumbed like an old spelling book. The long railroad causeway through the meadows west of me. It was as if I was promised the greatest novelty the world has ever seen or shall see. The earth which I have seen cannot bury me. Yet I sat I to extract from it? the bench with perfect contentment. of art merely. Only the rich and such as are troubled with ennui are implicated in the maze we see.AUTUMN. the villagers crowding to the post-office. all that and good. the dark bank of clouds in the horizon. Such doubleness and distance does sight prove. and then hastening not seen home to supper by candle-light. the still twilight. affording each other only steady. but indispensable starlight. I was no nearer to or farther off from my friends. had I all this before ? What new sweet was Truly they mean that we should learn our lesson well. unwilling to exchange the familiar vision that was to be un- any treasure or heaven that could be imagined. though the utmost possible novelty would be the difference . in obedience to the laws and repulsion.

that I my bride " ? This morrow that is ever knocking with irresistible force at our door. first snow. Give all. it We '11 pluck the nut of the world and crack Theatres and to the all in the winter evenings.196 between AUTUMN. That we my fuel for the ap- may behold the pan- orama with this slight improvement or change. and associate with the winHere I am at home. I want nothing new. another row on the river. am I alto- am should go away and " leave I a widower. me the old familiar walk. post-office self. gether a bachelor. If I can have but a tithe of the old secured to me. We '11 go nutting once more. this is what we sustain life for from year to And yet there is no more tempting novyear. or Pray. me and myself a year ago. and with this ever new with this infinite expectation and faith which does not know when it is beaten. my is One actual Frederick that you know worth a million only read of. I will stay at home and receive company. will take another I walk cliff. and was proaching winter. another skate on the meadow. I recognize and bleached crust friend. Europe or to another world is to be named with it. No going to elty than this new November. In the bare of the earth. there is no such guest as that. other sight-seeing are puppet shows in comparison. I will spurn all wealth . This alone encouraged me. be out in the ter birds.

Take the shortest way round and stay at home. JVov. JVov. perfect Indian summer at 1 P. How many things can you go away from ? They see the comet from the northwest coast just as plainly as we do. and the Vanessa Antiopa. Here is your bride-elect. but it was just as sweet as unanimity could be. as close to you as she can be got." The soul does . prob- day. 1840. besides. 1. 72° + ably warmer again. What more do you want ? Foolish people think that what they imagine is somewhere else. is all that you love. I never had a quarrel with a friend. A 2. A man dwells in his native valley like a corolla in its calyx. all that you are. acorn in its cup. wonderfully warm. of course. and as friendly as ever. That stuff is not made in any factory but their own. It is well said that the " attiis tude of inspection prone. Here is all the best and the worst you can imagine. like an of the Think tempting to go away from here. at The butterflies are out I see the common yellow one.. 1860. I do not think we budge an inch forward or backward in relation to our friends. Why. Here. all that you expect. and the same stars through its tail. 2. 197 consummate folly of atHere are all the friends I ever had or shall have. also yellow-winged grasshop- pers with blackish eyes. M.AUTUMN.

persons " the supply of thought seems never to rise much above the level of its exit. had first taken root in the stump. They are very beautiful. They cover the ground so perfectly and cleanly as to tempt you to fallen except . crystal. It takes the jets." Con- but In those who speak rarely. Nov. it or the looks in the face of the Francis Howell says that in garrulous sky. 2. still. The beech leaves have all some about the lower part of the and they make o. sixteen inches in diameter at feet its bottom. 2. Nov. crisp and elastic. growing out of the middle of a white-pine stump which still showed the marks of the axe . clear leather color. 1851. Tall buttercups. pressure of one hundred atmospheres to make one jet of eloquence. 1853. or the rock. unspotted. fine and perfect leaves. sequently their thoughts issue in no incessantly dribble. At aviculare. of a handsome.198 AUTUMN. the reservoir of thought is many feet higher than its issue. fine thick bed on the ground. 2. Polygonum month of chickadees The and new swollen buds. bnt behold. long intervals I see or hear a robin still. Like the lily. but to the purpose. like a book boimd in calf. Saw a canoe birch beyond Nawshawtuck. Nov. not inspect. 1852. trees. or at two it from the ground where clover. red houstonias. not eaten by insects.

of a sack. 1854. disappeared. with the embonpoint.AUTUMN. 1857. Sailing past the bank above the railroad. and admire the beauty of the smooth boles from that position. to come upon a patch of polypody (as . 2. etc. but then there appeared one upside down It is in its place ! Nov. the upper shadow grew larger and less perceptible. sail. As I moved to the west side. paddle. covered with lichens of various colors. when brown and withered leaves strew the ground and almost every plant is fallen or withered. directly above it and upon* the the second ? on the bank. niyself. cheerful very pleasant the and nowadays. By boat to Clamshell. wrinkles of infancy. I see a fainter shadow of I see larks hovering over the the boat. close to the shore on the east side. green. 2. p. and hear a faint note or two. M. so that lies in folds bark can hardly contain their spirits. What makes was I at length discovered that the reflected sun which cast a higher shadow like the true one. and at last when I was so near the west it shore that I could not see the reflected sun. meadow. recline 199 on it. just before a clear sunset.. first. Nov. etc. p. M. and a pleasant note from tree sparrows (?). They im- press you as full of health their and vigor. but or wrinkles about their ankles like fat. To Bateman's Pond.

defying frost. composed. where in the midst of dry and rustling leaves. to remind us of the spring which shall not fail.200 AUTUMN. my body has The brakes. is positively interesting now. These are the green pas- tures where I browse now. have lost their leaves. too. huckleberries and blueberries. swamp in abundance on hillside between Calla and Bateman's Pond) on some rocky hillside in the woods. of small green plumes point- ing various ways of the polypody. Why is not this form copied by our sculptors instead of the foreign acanthus leaves and bays ? How fit ! for a tuft about the base of a column red at some seasons. It is the cheerful It community survives at least as the type of vegetation. have long since withered and fallen. the os- mundas. My thoughts are with the polypody a long time after passed. The mere greenness. The forest floor is covered with a thick coat of moist that brown leaves. The form of the . it stands so freshly green and full of life. which was not remarkable in the summer.. frog-like phi- losophy when I behold them. The etc. philosophers The sight like of this unwithering green leaf excites me Are not wood-frogs the who frequent these groves? Me- thinks I imbibe a cool. the lady's-slippers. the sarsaparilla. but what is perennial and ? spring-like verdure that clothes the rocks. the Solomon's-seals.

no geology nor botany to assure us of of the polypody thrills The bare strangely. as usual perplexes me. and us somewhat as the sight of them might do. it is as strange an oriental character. polypody landish. mythological form. is 201 it is strangely interesting. as thereabouts. "W. stand on their edges. It needs that. though as I see site against the oppo- woods. the tree is black against the clear it whitish sky. it is a warm greenish yellow. are thus perennially foreign as the growth of other latitudes. even outin our Some forms. affects with them.AUTUMN. reminding me of a curly head.'s In the shore reflected in the bright sky crater. It is a fabulous. though common midst. Crossed over that high. where the rocks. outline It only me Simple as it is. running by compass east-northeast and westsouthwest. rocky hill. is frequently kinked up in a curi- ous manner. reflection. It is quite independent of my race and of the Indian. E. for instance. Call the hill Curly-pate. We all feel the ferns to be further from us essentially and sympathetically than the phsenogamous plants. such as prevailed when the earth and air and water were inhabited by those extinct fossil It is contemporary creatures that we find. and of all mankind. and the grain. Returning I see the red oak on R. flat-backed. the roses and weeds. But .

plying the paddle with . the slightest notion of them. 1839. I was even startled by the sight of that reflected red oak. when I did not see the most glorious reflections. seen from below. etc. he would not know when he had a nibble. walk along a along its stream without seeing the reflections. from surfaces generally. Their minds are not enough abstracted from the surface. however distinct. river bank. and not catch You must be in an abstract mood to see reflections. embark on some placid stream. or paddle I think that most men. see visions. as farmers. As we ascend the stream. that is. and float with Nov. opaque earth itself reflects images to us. let him 3. the spirit. though exactly in the line of my vision. The water tells me how it looks to it. we are imaginative. the current. I am aware often that I have been occupied with shallow and commonplace thoughts.. fishers. against the bright sky and is hence the reflection like ink. I know from my own experience that he may cast his line right over the most elysian landscape and sky. hunters.202 the river sees it AUTUMN. If one would reflect. It is only a reflecting mind that sees reflections. looking for something superficial. as if it were a black waterWhen we are enough abstracted. If the fisherman were look- ing at the reflection. He cannot resist the muse.

the voyagers have to dance and act plays for employ- ment.AUTUMN. far-reaching and sublime. . tree. assuming new and varying positions. as wind and water shift the scene. and rock. 1853. thoughts course through the brain. favor the liquid lapse of thought. 3. though at the risk of endless iteration. man of many ideas and associations must A pine in the woods. Our woods and fields the perfection of parks and groves. but ever calm and gently undulating. So of is al- the three envelopes of the cocoanut. though I love to see a man someare times from ally as whom the usnea will hang as natur- from a spruce. At the extreme north. Nov. kine. and gardens and grottoes and arbors. one ways so soft that it may be pierced with a thorn. knoll. I make it my business to extract from Nature whatever nutriment she can furnish me. Nov. I milk the sky and the earth. There is not enough of the garden in the wilderness. never withheld. 3. of conflict. as a feudal castle may be the headquarters of hospitality. though the portal is but a span in the circuit of the wall. and paths and parterres. . and the traveler is grateful for the thick shell which held the liquor so faithfully. 1840. might 203 and main. snatched and impetuous We dream power and grandeur but turn the prow down stream. The truth is only contained.

the now reddish (of oak leaves) — horizon winter-colored — of with few white houses. a dozen feet high and nearly as that hills is. They are the common which each village possesses. dry. in all comparison with which paltry imitations. leafy hori- zon. vistas and ral consequence of and landscapes. As I return from the Boulder Field. . while between their adjacent sides. 1857. completely shutting out a mile of the horizon on each side. between two of the boulders which are a dozen rods from me. He changes by his presence the nature of the very trees. the true paradise. with a faint tinge of blue from the distance. But what a picture-frame These two great slumbering masses of rock. much its apart. The pioneer and which feed on it. The poet's is not a logger's path.204 AUTUMN. but a woodman's. reposing like a pair of mastodons on the surface of ! the pasture. They are the natuwhat art and refinement we people as a have. 3. and banished decaying wood and the spongy mosses and built hearths. which are nearly perpendicular. logger have preceded him. I see. reddish. and human- ized nature for him. as a landscape within the frame of a picture. four or five miles distant southward. I look to the now purified. JVbv. elaborately and will- fully wealth-constructed parks and gardens are creature effects No other such changes in nature as man.

and it will not bankrupt stolen me by and none can doubt but they are really the works of an old master. having a path between them. will you see between any two slips of gilded wood in that pasture you call Europe and browse in sometimes ? It is to own them. God and Nature ! cost nothing but eyes. taking its flight from grove to grove. stands for . Even very low ones. for ground and foreground. To see a remote landscape ! 205 between two near rocks I want no other gilding to my picture There they lie as perchance they tumWhat bled and split from off an iceberg. frame. It is never more in its element and at home than when flitting amid these bril! . and equally bright. 1858. 3. just appearing above the surface. are divided and parallel. with its bright color. two great boulders for the sides of the frame. of a different color from them all. here named pasture. singular that several of these rocks should be thus split into twins. Nov. The jay is the bird of October. They were not any conqueror as spoils of war. And for artist Such pictures and subject.AUTUMN. too. and the sky itself for the top. better frame would you have ? The globe itself. pray. What more. It. some ripeness in the bird harvest and its scream it is as if it blew on the edge of an October leaf. I have seen it repeatedly flitting amid the bright leaves.

and remember only my . . they actually are not doing as I do distinction . my thoughts return to them. while fleeing the country. How long we follow an illusion I call ! On meeting I that one whom my friend. It is wide awake to what It flies to is going on. some bright I and bruits its splendors abroad. AUTUMN. possible to have make me doubt I feel what a fool I am. I find that I there. Thus I am taught that my friend is not an actual person. No doubt it delights itself in bright and so has begged for a brilliant sod. so dejected as to have if it is Nothing makes me for they met my friends. When I have withdrawn and am alone. but even the stems are generally killed. I forget the actual person. not believing. regularly balking one another. colors. not thinking. coat. Perhaps it is unaccountable to me why I care for them. interrupted by me. It is not gathering seeds from the too busy to look around. on tree the qui vive.206 liant color. My only must be that I am the greatest bore they ever had. I cannot conceive of persons more strange to me than any friends. But when I get far away. At base of Anursnack find one or two fringed gentians yet open. had imagined something that was not am sure to depart sadder than I came. Not in a single thought agreed. That is the way I can visit them.

It may be enough that we have met some time. is am not so ready to perceive the illusion that in Nature. 207 I Then I have a friend again. I certainly come nearer. I notice that Nov. After a violent easterly storm in the night. 1861. I am not so con3. I feel like a welcome guest. I do not feel as if I must withdraw out of nature. I am wont to be surprised at my selection. but no one has discovered the laws of this attraction. I think. and now can never forget paid each other it. forever. Some time or other we this wonderful compliment. We are attracted toward a particular person. and now are fated to be acquaintances In the case of nature. divinely on one another. poral that satisfies or concerns us in either case. the same must be true of nature and of man our ideal is the only real. day I have more or as less Every communion with her. At least. strictly speaking. to an actual and joyful intercourse with her. humanely. When I come nearest to that one actually. Yet. I associate the idea of friendship. . ideal. It is not the finite and tem. with the person the most foreign to me. looked largely. illusion is This perpetuated like superstition in a country long after civilization has been reached. to say the least. methinks. which clears at noon.AUTUMN. scious of this unsatisfied yearning.

" There are these three. half an inch apart and perfectly parallel. insufficient By your few words. and on all sides are these ridges. and yet could Thus each wind easily pass unnoticed by most. 1 would reinstate my thought in its primary dignity and authority. Be- hind each little pebble.208 AUTUMN. an inch or more. If. show how would be many words. which it has protected from being washed away. These lines. as the surface of the railroad causeway composed of gravel is if stratified. as it were of stratification. I have recourse again to my first simple and concise statement. Nov. but in depth we Dr. faith. Ware. 1840. so that I can tell within a small fraction of a degree from what quarter the rain came. . after conversation. Jr. . zontally have is self-registering. while the heavy drops driven almost hori- washed out a furrow on each side. extends northwest a ridge of sand. patience " then proceeding in true . said to-day in his speech at the meeting-house. as a protecting boulder one eighth or one tenth of an inch in diameter. All this is perfectly distinct to an observant eye. sympathy. 4. may well be prolix. are perfectly parallel and slate rocks some straight as a ruler diagonally across the flat sur- face of the causeway for its whole length.. In breadth we may be patterns of conciseness. like on their edges. singularly marked.

as a brook can well be and the either rocks are bared throughout the side. To Saw Mill Brook by turnpike. mixing themselves with the air in foam. 1851. brethren. " 209 and the greatest of these is. and became a listener along with his audience. It was quite a discovery when I first came upon this brawling mountain stream in Concord woods. if I but knew that some minds. Per" chance it should be called a force. and concluded I don't know." loss. where they cross the highways. which flow so muddily in the lowland portion of their course. rocks out of all proportion to tiny stream. so unlike the after character of the stream. Ah." It suggests what various moods may attach to the same character. issued from pure trout streams higher ! . ob- structed its by rocks. it would conduct him to such a headlong and impetuous youth. " Which is it ? them all. and God help you. 4. ministerial style. Who would have thought that in tracing it up from where it empties into the larger Mill Brook in the open peat meadows. but a little way back in the woods that these dark and muddy pools where only the pout and the leech are to be found. tumbled thus impetuously and musically.AUTUMN. pray take with." Nov. returning by Walden. as if wood on a torrent had anciently swept through here. for some but for a moment he was at a fifty or sixty rods of its course as much .

maples. their scream are at The jays with home in the scenery. stand over and to time cheer the stream. I see where trees have spread themselves over the rocks in a scanty covering of soil. Ah. that trout there loved to glance through his dimples. elms. lifted and carried with them all the soil. then blown over. up! that the man's thoughts ever flowed as sparkling mountain water. and I hear a tree creak sharply like a bird. where the witchThis stream is hazel hangs over his stream! here sometimes quite lost amid thte rocks. as they fell. shore. So from time by these natural levers rocks are removed from the middle of the stream to the The slender chestnuts. with their now thin but unmixed and fresh green foliage. which appear as if they had been arched over it. but which it in fact has undermined and found its way beneath. as they were undermined. together with considerable rocks. and remind me of winter. a phcebe. and white ash trees. the snows which are to come and drape them and contrast with their green. and a few small hemlocks. are now all bare of leaves. The hypericums stand red or lake over the brook.210 AUTUMN. and they have merely fallen archwise. which last are uncommonly numerous here. It is truly a raw and gusty day. the . and. been undermined by the brook. and the chickadees that are to flit and lisp amid them.

flat by the cold. whose use most men have not discovered. overpowering the which yar- tells of a corresponding cavity. the lisp of chickadees foot on the very edge of the stream. 1852. I know of some memorable ones worth walking many miles to see. beautiful tree. ants appear to be gone into winter quar- Here are two bushels of fine gravel. and here and there one has lightly stepped across. fill the bed of the stream and choke I hear the runnel gurgling under ground. not exciting the cupidity of the carpenter. These little cheerful hemlocks. but it is times red stains as of Indian blood on them. 4. up in a cone. each standing with its reaching sometimes part way over its channel. the hemlock. The fallen leaves are so thick they almost it.AUTUMN. on a The ters. Nov. piled grass. I glimpse the frizzled tail of a its red squirrel with a chestnut in white pine. A whitish lichen on the witch-hazel rings it here. under which little grows. rill As if the busy had ever tossed these rocks about! these storied rocks with their fine lichens and someThere are a few bright ferns lying sides of the brook. These evergreens are plainly as much for shelter for the birds as for anything else. withering to all else. cold. Autumnal dandelion and . seems to come from them now. with its 211 green can- opy. mouth.

and animal in me. 1857. Brook. AUTUMN.. this Health requires life. How winter. two old maids to whose house I enjoyed carrying a purchaser to talk about buying their farm in the winter. though with an unnecessary apology for their wildness. Nov. she will out-doors. and hence I use a part of the world as a symbol to express Nov. and man does left only a white-topped and bleeding stump. 4. To Pine Hill via Spanish Cross- I leave the railroad at Walden and follow the path to Spanish Brook. and covers it decently with a first coat of gray. Must be out of doors enough to get ex- perience of wholesome reality. because they offered us wild apples. as a ballast to thought and sentiment. my It thought. less still in the summer and My thought is a part of the meaning of the world. Let a man have thought what he still of Nature in the house. 4. 1855. 212 row. precious a fine day early in the spring less so in the fall. swift Nature is to repair the damage that When he has cut down a tree. How ! . takes a savage or wild I remember taste to appreciate a wild apple. she comes at once to the rescue with her chemistry. vegetable. be novel I keep out of doors for the sake of the mineral. relaxation. ing. this aimless this life in the will present.

and 213 in course of time she adds a thick coat of it green-cup and bright coxcomb lichens. each stroke. and we forget the death of the ! ! larger in the life of the less. however fine.AUTUMN. a thin elysian veil cast over it. and thereafter his work is not to be touched without injury. through which It is breathed on it by the it may be viewed. artist. I find that I can write my name with a pointed stick very distinctly. If it is a poem. It is hunter perchance. I see in the path some rank thimble-berry shoots covered very thickly with their peculiar hoary bloom. It is the evidence of a ripe and completed work on which the unexhausted artist has breathed out of his superfluous genius. it What is this bloom and what purpose does serve ? Is there anything analIt is the coup de ogous in animated nature? grace. it must be in- vested with a similar bloom by the imagination . going down to the purple. and becomes an object of new interest to the lover of nature Suppose it were always to remain instead It becomes a shelf on raw stump a which this humble vegetation spreads and displays itself. the last touch and perfection of any work. places It is only down to the purple skin. It is a new kind of enameled card. rubbed off in a few by some passing a very singular and on it delicate outer coat surely for a plant to wear.

like a fruit preserved in sugar. the mountains have their bloom. the Now that the sun actually mountains are dark blue from top to usual. reflections and dusky prolonged across its extend wholly (I sit length.) The sun horizon. is once or twice its diameter above the and the mountains north of it stand out grand and distinct. Its surface is slightly rippled. setting. But when I look critically. It is the it. betraying a window there. and is (So not the bloom on fruits equivalent to that blue veil of air which distance gives to many objects ?) I see one glistening reflection on the dusky and leafy northwestern earth.214 of the reader. high. a decided purple. below. As sun to the portals of the day. It is the subsidence of superfluits ous ripeness. is As I sit with my thick oak sprout whose leaves life. while their tops are dark blue. end- wise toward me. an oblong figure. own handle by which the imagisetting nation grasps I climb Pine Hill just as the sun this cool evening. though no house It twinkles incessantly as can be seen. seven or eight miles off. AUTUMN. owing probably to the undulais tion of the air. from a waving surface. and . a small cloud attends the reflects his bottom. I distinguish a whitish mist (such is the color of the denser air) about their lower parts. still back to a glow with Walden lies. or half a mile.

They are meant to be a perpetual reminder to us. Suspect- ing who it was. 1858. near the end of the day. On the 1st. 4. he took himself to those pursuits which he loved better still. but it seemed to me a condescension for him to ask any man's . As usual. and his boat lay a little farther along. to see Goodwin get his. and now. brightness to us 215 is now that he gone.AUTUMN. short his his breast. It is. I saw a man far off by the edge of the river. He said the owner of the land had given him leave to get them out. and beheld Goodwin. frock. pointing out the way. I helped him tip over a stump or two. It would be no amusement to me to see a gentleman buy his winter wood. for this is one of the phenomena of the season. in his short blue and square-bodied. so does Goodwin revisit the stumpy shores with his axe. He had been at work laying wall still farther off. splitting billets off a stump. But those grand and glorious mountains. getting his winter's wood. Nov. As surely as the ants which he disturbs go into winter quarters in the stump when the weather becomes cool. as broad as for his height he can afford to be. the one-eyed Ajax. when I stood on Poplar Hill. how impossible to remember daily that they are there. I took out my glass. powder flask peeped out from a pocket on and his gun was slanted over a stump near by. and to live accordingly.

nothing to stage machinery and the fact that they were spoken under these or those circumstances. where he had got out white-oak stumps in previous years. use them. almost without dissent. to say. now grassed over. At this day they owe nothing to their dramatic form. with their division of labor. There was one Attic life man who those days. those split who can them. to those The stumps to who will might as well ask leave of the farmer to shoot the musquash and the meadow hen. iEschylus. agreed on a different mode of living. I say. saying he will go and see what Mr.216 leave to grub AUTUMN. I might as well ask leave to look at the Near by were large hollows in the landscape. and buy corded wood for fuel as they do. All display of art for the gratification of a factitious . 5. lived his own healthy in His words that have come down to us give evidence that their speaker was a seer in his day and generation. or be floated down stream to the sea. the his fuel He But strange town does not like to have him get in this way. He has drawn up an name on it for and now he gets into his boat and pushes off. They would have him stick to laying wall. ground. They have. Musquash JVov. and cut his security. They would rather the stumps should rot in the ground. old bridge sleeper. 1839. up these stumps. is about.

But not so I see not but genius must ever take an equal Common-sense is not so familiar with start. for the most part. as if the rain. . were a plant drawing in sustenance by a thousand roots and fibres. . We of the are not apt to It is curious to reflect remember that we grow. Tho reader will be disappointed. planet in the sky. like every genius. how- who looks for traits of a rare wisdom or eloquence. shined on by the she. . surrendered to nature as they. he was a solitary liver and worker in his day. any truth. any vantage ground. watered by sun. like and ripen by the wind. but genius will represent that truth Let the seer bring his in a strange light to it. . These young buds of mankind in the street are like buttercups in the meadows. too. He will discover that. is silently 217 passed by to come at the least particle of absolute and genuine thought they contain. with the poet's humanity. and he will make you believe it a new as if time gave us . how the maiden waits patiently and confidingly as the tender houstonia for the slowly revolving years to meadow it work their will with her. broad eye down to the most stale and trivial fact. We are accustomed to say that the commonsense of this age belonged to the seer of the last. and will have to solace himself. ever.AUTUMN. taste. and what it was in him to say. to perfect to be fanned her.

for the most part. Perhaps they are constructed just before the rise of the water in the fall to swim Nov. that they may not have so far as the flood would require in 1855. elasticity. moreover. and will itself as fast. by in- wind. But why do they need them more at this season than in summer ? it might be asked. is What exactly are they for ? This I air not the breeding season of the muskrat. Nov. houses of refuge. and dispersed in so many ways by sects. I hate the present modes of order to eat their clams. I notice that they have not been washed away or jured. for their sporules are so infinitely numerous and subtle as to resemble " thin smoke. Truth is as vivacious. 5. so light that they may be raised into an atmosphere. artificially they are so constructed . etc. and winter. as the fungi. 5. artificial think they are merely an bank or chamber near the water. the attraction of the sun. . 5. but now that it is gone down in a great measure. as a much in- heap of manure would have been. which you can by no means annihilate with your heel. that it is difficult to conceive a place from which they may be excluded. they are protected as well as concealed by the button-bushes. or weeds about them. adhesion. willows. 1853. ." Nov.218 AUTUMN. spread 1840. Most of the muskrat cabins were lately covered by the flood.

"You could twenty bushels even. that no man surely can ever be inspired to live it. perchance. At which he demurring. raising what you eat. The fellow-man to whom you are yoked is a steer that is ever bolting right the other way. At best some think it their duty to live it. living 219 and getting a living. primitive fashion. and only " old fogies " ever praise it. Farming and shopkeeping and working at a trade or profession. when those to whom you are allied outwardly. The which society proposes to me to live is so artificial and complex. "I ? use thirty-five. building what you inhabit." " But is said he. and nobody else. burning what you cut and dig. want and will have a thousand other things which neither you nor they can raise.AUTUMN. setting it high." etc. making what you wear. But what is the use in trying to live simply. "But you might raise your own potatoes." How large your family " . bolstered up on many weak supports. are all odious to me. We had often done it at our house and had some to sell. I raise said. I believe in the infinite joy and satisfaction of helping myself and others to the extent of my ability. I was sug- gesting once to a man who was wincing under some of the consequences of our loose and expensive way of living. will pay for. and sure to topple down at last. I should relish getting my life living in a simple.

as usual. 1857. haunts my thought for I a long time. at every angle. 5. have their planes parallel with the axis of the tree. and then prate about the Garden of Eden and the fall of man. as if looking round the birch. That white birch fungus always presents its waste them. that it would absorb my entire earnings for a year to buy them something which would not be beneath their notice. face to the ground. I know many children to whom I would fain make a present on some one of their birthdays. stand fronting it. for here are some on an upright dead birch whose faces or planes are at right angles with the axis of the tree. attached to the top of the tree which lies prostrate on the ground. but they are so far gone in the luxury of presents. three infant children. as with these polypodies. his potatoes. know that the thing that really concerns me is not there. . but in my relation to that. I need not enumerate those who were hired to help eat the potatoes and So he had to hire a man to raise Thus men invite the devil in." A wife and This was the real family. looking down.220 " AUTUMN. is infinitely suggestive. it and I do not care to front and scrutinize it. Sometimes I would rather get a transient glimpse or side view of a thing than Nov. The object I caught a glimpse of as I went by. parallel with it. but others. have such perfect museums of costly ones.

or which is described in the botanies. whether it is seen in the light or in It is the subject of the vision. to the Do you imagine its fruit to stick back of the leaf all winter? At this season polypody is in the air. 221 That is a mere reflecting surface. I think the man of science makes the mistake. wafted through the air to me. when in the right mood. Its influence is sporadic. that interests me. on me.AUTUMN. can be explained away never saw them. The Cornus florida on the . the handsomest and glossiest green. etc. but the one I pass by in my walks a little distance off. Nov. to suppose that you should give your chief attention to the phenomenon which excites you. and not as it is related to you. The important fact is its effect The man of science thinks I have no business to see anything else but just what he defines the rainbow to be. It is not the polypody in my pitcher or herbarium. but I care not whether my vision the dark. 5. 1858.. and the mass of mankind along with him. the truth alone that concerns me. for The philosopher whom rainbows. as something independent of you. to bathe your eyes The terminal-shield fern is in greenness. is a waking thought or a dream remembered. or which I may possibly persuade to grow on a bank in my yard. It is worth the while to walk in swamps now.

mean a pretty thick foreground. or true of human beings. is still full-leafed. like sprouts producing a soft and perishable timber. a view of the . Nov. but better if they expand slowly at first. open. and got a novel view of the river and Fair Haven Bay through the almost leafless woods. I am struck by the fact that the more slowly trees grow at first. and to so are solidified and perfected. which yet the I sketcher is commonly careful to brush aside. Such trees continue and expand with nearly equal rapidity an extreme old age. 5. though its it and is now completelywas partly green on the twentyIt is apparently in if eighth [of October]. as if contending with difficulties. Climbed the wooded hill by Holden's spruce swamp. How much handsomer a river or lake such as ours seen thus through a foreground of scattered or trees. else partially leafless though at a considerable distance especially if the water is this side of it. height of the more exposed perhaps it would have been on the first of November. without a wooded shore or isles. and I think the same is color there now. It is the most perfect and beautiful of all frames. This makes it the latest tree to change. We do not wish to see strides in their children precocious. making great early years. Nov. 1853. 6. the sounder they are at the core.222 Island scarlet. AUTUMN. 1860.

.! AUTUMN. And teach me not in vain to roam. is We are not commonly aware that there a rising as well as a risen genera- a fact. tion. 1857. Nov. who would disturb many a fair theory. By what degrees of consanguinity is this succulent and rank-growIt is ing slip of manhood its related to all me ? What is it but another herb. Minott is a very pleasing figure in nature. Which overdart thy eastern home. 7. for me. 6. that intimate mingling of wood and water which excites an expectation that the near and open view rarely realizes. 1839. Oliver Williams. through a thousand little vistas. He improves any scenery. drawing roots the kingdoms of sustenance by a thousand all soils and fibres from Nov. Speak for yourself. If he gets into a pond etc. ranging Nature. 1840. old man. hole. he and his comrades. Nov. I 'm guided in the darkest night By flashes of auroral light. 223 distant water through the near forest. he disturbs it no more than a water spirit 7. Harry Hooper. as we are rushing towards the former. We prefer that some part be concealed which our imagination may navigate. the growing men or women which we do not commonly allow for or remember. John Wyman.

Their blue unithink of soldiers form makes me who have re- ceived orders to keep the field and not go into winter quarters. I did not think such sober play leave me in so sad a plight. am not sad. When When I others laugh. A muskrat's house soil ?] too on the top of a rock . the cold winds. To show you my peculiar love. And by the rites I soared above.224 Thy AUTUMN. Am conscience-stricken without shame. When first I was most innocent. Forerunner of a brighter morn. makes day And after sunrise. An idler am I without leisure. [the thin round the sides for a passage be- neath. I am not glad. perch above They seize thus many . I others cry. 7. Three bluebirds still braving Acton Blues. A busybody without pleasure. And I should be most sorely spent. 1853. To prove to you my love was wide. which makes me think they use them merely as a sheltered water. am a miser without blame. Would I thought by loving all beside. stays the dawn. Pales the sunset. steady light on t' other side abide. Nov. yet a small cavity at top. I did not think so bright a day Would issue in so dark a night.

mizzling afternoon. The wads dark. contemplation is The very clouds and mists My power of observation and much increased. I am compelled to look at near objects. This mist is like a roof and walls. I find it good to be out in of this still. and is favorable to reflection. misty rain. for the most part withered dark-brown. 1855. All things have a soothing effect. the weather keeps other men at home. and I walk with a domestic feeling. I am more sensitive. as a 225 left hummock by the ice. Nov. cones to build on. My walk or voyage is more suggestive and profitable than in bright weather. for I am all compact. rounded and massed at one end and flaking off at the other. as if in a chamber still. My attention does not wander. What now are Europe and Asia ? .AUTUMN. over and around. too. not calloused or indurated by sun and wind. and so of other sounds. brood over me. and having the strong odor of the fresh water sponge and conferva. and were composed chiefly of a little green moss-like weed. the stillness The view is contracted by the The water is perfectly smooth. The world and my life are simplified. 7. The sound of a wagon going over an unseen bridge is louder than ever. The solitude is real. which this muskrat's house was composed were about six inches by four. My thoughts are concentrated. more open to impressions.

if appreciated the absence of insects from suggested. to the Now we are left to the hemlocks and pines with their silvery bare trees and withered grass. The fields are. seeing the bare but bright hillside beyond. and as I glance upwards between them. left to We are a cerI It the chickadee's familiar notes. or peculiar color. but if Minott speaks of it. p. Thermometer 58° Nov. To Bateman's Pond. without reflections. and I go knocking about . in the cool washed as it. my boat opposite the hemlocks. and the jay for trumpeter. 7. Minott adorns whatever part Whichever way he walks of nature he touches. light. especially after the rain. What struck me was air. vacated. he transfigures the earth for me. The very earth is like a house shut up for the winter. dull-colored body of water. I think. M. agreeably to me. This has been another Indian-summer day. as were. for he has been there. clear The No- very rocks and stones in the rocky road (that beyond Farmer's) look white in the vember light. 1857. I see the green water and reflected hills at once. Nov. If a common man speaks of Walden Pond to me. I hear the rustle of leaves from woods which he goes through. a mere space in it which to walk briskly. between the hemlocks and the hill. tain emptiness beyond. 1858. I leave at noon. I see only a shallow.226 AUTUMN. 7.

and allowed surprised to see fly me as to approach within a rod. mer's The very moss (the little pine moss) in Hosmeadow is revealed by its greenness amid the withered grass and stubble. on each side of the head and on top of the head. They had pale brown or tawny touches on the white breast. . in a hemlock. I Looking southwest toward the pond just besaw against the light what I took I was prepared for this sight after the to be a shad-bush in full bloom. to in vain. in the last place with some darker color. I was up from the white stony ground two snow buntings. off. if both. Had light yellowish bills. as they went to reminded me of the northeast snowstorms which erelong they are to be an accompani- ment. but without a leaflet. it 227 But just then I heard a chickadee and was inexpressibly cheered to find that an old acquaintance was yet stirring about the premises. be there all winter. if concealed them..AUTUMN. fore sunset. and was. Going up the lane beyond Farmer's. One squatted flat. if conscious that It the white rocks. as etc. seemed not they were attracted to our faces of the same color with themselves. Their soft rippling notes. I was assured. They sat quite motionless within two rods. All that is evergreen in me revived at once. which alighted again close by.

just like umbels of apple bloom. because this tree frequently puts forth leaves in October. warm autumn. in .228 very AUTUMN. apparently begun The first mouthfuls of weeds were stems placed between some small button-bush which stood amid the pads and pontederia for a support. The stillness of the woods and fields is remarkable at this season of the or. Hastening to might be a I found it was only the feathery seeds of the Virgin's Bower [Clematis virginiana]. some places. the blue joint. when the shad-bush. the feathery masses. 8. three or four rods off. were fully as light as white apple-blossoms. It carried me round to spring again. almost leafless. 1850. Or it it. Opposite I see some half concealed amid the bleached phalaris grass (a tall coarse grass). was not noticeable. I pass a last night. thought at first I had made a discovery more interesting than the blos- soming of apple trees in the fall. It is singular how one thing thus puts on the semI blance of another. They looked just like dense umbels of white flowers. whose vine. so caught and the western light. and to prevent their being washed away. is seen waving its white blossoms amid the yet bare trees. Nov. so close to the branches. reflected musquash house. young wild apple. at intervals along the twigs. and in this light.

leafless. The trees The sprouts which had shot up so vigorously to repair the damage which the choppers had done. coarse mazes of the diamond dance seen through the trees. however. 8. leaves. to 229 There is not even the creak of a cricket be heard. like its As you away from fruit us. Nov. certainly fruit- woods. year. like a dance of dia- monds. yet the breath of heaven does not suf- fice to. 1851. have stopped short for the winter. for winter. as if a cavern were unroofed. Of myriads of dry shrub-oak Your own breath can have the aspect of waiting them. what a Intensely brilliant as no artificial light I have seen. walk. not one stir rustles. or from the solemn depths of the woods I hear tolling far away the knell of one departed. Thought rushes in to fill the vacuum. even the sportsmen seen at a distance. or perchance the scream of a jay. Dudley Pond in heaven to live this ! in Ah. those sun-sparkles on November air. If I hear only the note of a chickadee. Everything stands listen. AUTUMN. I silent and expectant. the partridge bursts the foot of a shrub oak. and its crystals gave . All objects shine to-day.. own dry immortal bird ! This sound almost still startles The less silent. you wonder what cheer that bird can find in them. most identified with our forests. dry. our most common bird at present.

for the winter of the is warm When I see the earth's its sands thrown up from beneath touches for I surface. 8. ever springing. will gladly lie. but has not overcome the out at recess. uate. brilliants. am such a plant. They have The bright feathers. M. It begins to whiten the plowed ground now. when they come p. with perennial root I stand. the av-qptd^ov yiXaa-fxa.230 AUTUMN. 1853. mer land days. I felt When I saw the bare sand at Cochitmy relation to the soil. to me. methinks. never dying. Our snow. These are Not yet will the my sands not yet run out. no less than the plants. In this sand my bones be ready to Like the Viola pedata. The squirrels that run across the road sport their tails like banners. it me inwardly. M. fates turn the glass. The sparrow a withered Perchance I heard the season yesterday. Birds generally wear the russet dress of nature at this season. children greet it 10 a. russet of the grass ground. their fall. This great see-saw of entertainment to the sun. so native to New Engfrom the sand cast first land. Nov. as springs up from below. leaf. it reminds me of my origin. I shall bloom again here in my Indian-sumHere. — they chirp here and there at last cricket of the . The with a shout. their foliage or tints depart flit from and they past like withered leaves is in rustling flocks.

— and the last striped squirrel. The sail partridges go off with a whirr. displaying their neat forms perfectly.AUTUMN. longer and longer intervals their till 231 the snow quenches song. rain-threatAbout 10 A. rushed into the house to tell their parents. heavy and sonorous a clanking chain drawn through the heavy air. and then a long way. too. A warm. yesterday. cloudy. and great mountain ranges. of ening morning. knew is at once that the geese were in the air. It always an exciting event. quavering sounds of the geese are the voice of the cloudy air. in- stinctively aware of its importance. west. and pointing their tiny bows into the heavens. And These travyou by the upward-turned though these undulating lines are melting into the southwestern sky. a sound that comes from directly between us and the sky. or parallel with the general direction of the coast. The sonorous. till They then do not go the ground is into winter quarters covered with snow. M.. and I . elers are revealed to gaze of men. the sound comes clear and distinct to you as the . and yet so distinct. Nov. I saw through my window some children looking up. an aerial sound. through the woods with that impetus they have got. a long flock geese are going over from northeast to south8. perchance. 1857. The children. level and low.

steering boldly out into the ocean of the remarkable how these large objects. Now. discovered them. I have no doubt that a good farmer. takes exactly the in draining a same kind of pleasure swamp. we may expect some change if in the weather. mud dykes and water Both alike love to play with the natural . as a pain. but encountering me he lost sight of them. when they go over deaden a physical The direction of their flight each spring man moans to and autumn reminds us inlanders how the coast In the afternoon I met Flood. p. so vision is rightly directed. This was the third flock to-day. to assuage their painful fears a town.232 AUTUMN. looking ever. To the swamp in front of the C. they migrate. but air. plain when your may be lost in the sky. then. M. from state state. who of course loves his work. see- ing the water flow out in his newly-cut ditch. who entrends. deavored to draw my attention to a flock of geese in the mizzling air. not flying from hedge to hedge. that a child does in his wheels. as hard to hit you look away for a moas a star with a telescope. while I at length. It is a sort of encouraging or soothing sound. Miles house. if ment. forces. from latitude to It is latitude. So to clank of a chain in a neighboring stithy. though he could not. that way.

but very small. and at the bottom of it many prinos berries are conspicuous. this I see it open I. This I see in pleasant November days. now apparently in their prime. show- ing leaflets. when . There this is 233 of quite a ravine by which the water swamp flows out eastward. These are appointed to be an ornament of this bare season between leaves and snow. not without emotion. The buds. this Would be a pretty device on some hale and cheery old man's shield. How much spring there is in it! Its sap is most It takes the least sun to thaw easily liquefied. expanded is sometimes into small leaves. have decidedly expanded there. It might be clethra called the Indian-summer shrub. are conspicuous now. the swamp pyrus unfolding : its Every plant enjoys some preeminence. have my spring thoughts even in November. ular phenomenon. yellowish buds. and this is its the most forward to respond to the warmer season. too. in the Indian summer. It makes this annual sacrifice and develop it.AUTUMN. swamp pyrus buds. all other plants are reserved. that I This then a reg- It is the only shrub or tree know which so decidedly springs again in the fall. I see also the The swamp pink's large. is While and too. Some of the new not pyrus leaves are nearly full-grown. too. confiding. leaves again in the fall? of its very first leaves to its love for the sun.

and the world in which the lichenist dwells is It is will observe . 8. too. being less distracted I take occasion to explore from some near wood which my walks commonly overshoot. . We give our atten- tion to nearer objects. To Boulder Field. she never banishes it entirely eyes. 234 rills AUTUMN. 1858. we will have an explanation. The mass of men have but the vaguest and most indefinite notion of mosses. and birds begin to tinkle in winter fashion through the more open aisles of the swamps. and soon she will surprise us with a mantle of snow. JVov. and love you better.. remarkable how little any but a lichenist on the bark of trees. my friends. P. . Nature has many scenes to exhibit. is When the air thick and the sky overcast. like blue. I know you better than you think. from our but has created evergreens. . and constantly draws a curtain over this part or that. She is constantly repainting the landscape and all surfaces. The day after never. dressing up some scene for our en- tertainment. I do not know exactly what that sweet word is which the chickadee says when it hops near to me now in those ravines. as a sort of shreds and fringes. Some green she thinks so good for our eyes that. so far. Ah. Lately we had a leafy wilderness now bare twigs begin to prevail. M. we need not walk them.

It is like a silent but sympathizing companion. to see nature and do the honors who does not. Each phase of nature. without the necessity of talking in a strain I foreign to the place. but not demanding our attention. in whose company we retain most of the advantages of solitude. naturearth from the other. ex- toward some goal. It is there. I dived into a . I wandered over bare fields where the cattle. while not invisible.. the walk degenerates into a more vigorous use of your legs (ludicrously purposeless). to be found when we look for it. cept that I know of no use in the walking part in this case. worrying one another with conversation. know of but one or two persons with whom I can afford to walk. with whom we can walk and talk. spoiling each other's day. or be silent.AUTUMN. while you are discussing some weighty argument.. one stone. With most. though they to one at opposite points of the compass. each one having his say. roamed restless and unrust- satisfied with the feed. ally. is yet not too distinct and obstrusive. not. much saw it t 235 further from theirs than one side of this They see bark as if they . distance all the we may seem to be getting on together But of course we keep our way. jumping every wall and trying to kill two birds with sit ditch with vigor in the vain hope of shaking our companion off. lately turned out.

and again I thought." ing a nut. called out rather impudently. about a bare hickory close by. " winter has a concenlook for if you know where to and then the speaker shifted to another tree farther off and reiterated his assertions.236 ling AUTUMN. If at any time the weather too bleak and cold for you. They are all gone surely. " The nearer the bone. nay" nuthatch. " Look . its " JVay. is there. Not even a man Friday remains. head downward. While buds sleep the sun on thoughts wake. Only the superflu- ous has been swept away. and have left me alone. it. for a wholesome and inspiring as warmth afforded." "Hear! hear!" screamed the jay from a neighboring tree. such the summer never There are the winter mornings with the oak wood-tops. Now we behold the is naked truth. keep the sunny side of the trunk. and as he stopped twirl- trated and nutty kernel. making way. young oak wood where not a green leaf was to be seen. the sweeter the meat. What nutriment ? can I extract from these bare twigs tion stares Starvasaid a me in the face. and his mate at a distance confirmed them. the squirrel came running down a slanting bough. but had kept silent and invisible all the while. and now I heard a suppressed chuckle from a red squirrel that heard the last remark. The birds being gone. where I had heard a tittering for some time.

seems far away and rarely visited. and its volumes of sound. though not . make the tent in which I dwell. Brown's retired pond. now shallow and more than half dried up. 1850. be falsehoods to the common sense. by a flourish of his tail. shall be myths or mythologic. facts which the mind perceived. My facts shall all frame to to the my picture." a stray phrase in his own lingo. farmers to farm profitably in any common sense. known to few. . Nov. I would fain set down something beside facts. not facts to assist men to make money. here ! 237 a snug-fitting fur coat and a pair and you may laugh at Then he wound up with a northeast storm. thoughts which the body thought. accompanied just get of fur gloves like mine. 1851.AUTUMN. 9. 9. and where I have been. or what I have thought as now the bell rings for evening meeting. and naught but the skyey depths are seen. I found many fresh violets (Viola pedata) to-day in the woods. vaguest when the cloud at which I gaze is dissipated quite. I cherish vague and misty forms. like smoke which rises from where a cannon is fired. Nov. state facts that they shall I would so be significant. Facts should only be the They should be material mythology which I am writing. James P. facts to tell who I am. with these I deal.

the birds' nests are revealed. What has become of love of facts Nature's common-sense and reflects the skies mud-puddles she and the trees ? Does that procedure recommend itself entirely to the commonsense of men ? Is that the way the New England farmer would have arranged it ? in the very when Now There the leaves are gone. the two other sides with young white oaks and white pines respectively. a permanent piece of idealism. Here is one which I took from a maple on the causeway at Hubbard's bridge. I am low hills. and the sharp eyes of the bird have discovered plenty of horsehairs out of the tail or mane with which to give . the gray stems of the pine wood on the it and the sky were a permanent picture to be seen there. affected by seeing there . the brood being fledged is and flown.238 far off. a perfect adaptation in the material used in constructing a nest. It is fastened to the twigs by white woolen strings (out of a shawl?) which were picked up in the road. hillside. I am a little surprised on beholding this reflection which I did not perceive for some that mirror. reflected this gray day. AUTUMN. It is encircled by an amphitheatre of on two opposite sides covered with high pine woods. as minutes after looking into the pond. as if I had not regarded this as a constant phenomenon. though it is more than half a mile from a house.

Nov. time for walnutting. pontederia stems. I After taking off a came to the chamber. I think full four feet by five or uncommonly more in It is re- diameter. They are high. connata. while a heap of manure or a haycock would be washed away or undermined at once. Ranunculus repens. Potentilla argentea. 9. Early part of November. I mean that of October 31st. least eight There are at such within half a mile. others quite four. apparently. a heaping cart-load.. or thereabouts. a 9. E. about eighteen inches the longest way. It was a regularly formed oval or elliptical chamber. This was three and a half feet above effect the water. boat with W. ten or twelve rays. and the reddish woolly material which invests the ferns in the spring. Nov. M. Aster undulatus. 1853. I opened one. p. Bidens flat in a brook. C. foot.AUTUMN. To Fair Haven Hill by The muskrats have added new story to their houses since the last flood which covered them. yarrow. autumnal dandelion. 1852. little markable how waves have on them. not altogether in mouthfuls. A late three-ribbed golden-rod. with meadow hay for body. etc. tansy. etc. It was composed of coarse grass. it 239 form by their spring. dandelion. for lining. with large serratures in the middle of the narrow leaves. and seven or .

Nov.240 AUTUMN. who had never seen the like. It was a perfect floating gem. and in the water there were some green and white stub ends of pontederia (?) stems. eight or nine inches wide. looking like flagroot. led directly from the water at an angle of 45°. bet. With Blake up Assa- Hemlocks what I at first thought was a brighter leaf moved by the zephyr on the surface of the smooth. a mere coating of it. eight inches deep. dark water. foot quite or more above. The entrance. closelypacked. with smooth walls of the weeds. 9 a. It would hold four or five. shaped like a pebble. 9. in the pool at the Saw which allowed us to approach within seven or It was sailing up close to the and then rose and flew up the curving stream. was greatly surprised. m. and Blake. and makes a tight and warm at the house. and eighteen inches or two feet [below?]. If the height of these houses is any sign of high or low water. and bottomed or bedded with a very little drier grass. . being of these damp materials soon freezes. this winter it will be uncommonly high. There it eight rods. shore. 1855. The walls are of such breadth bottom that the water in the gallery probably never freezes. not knowing that so splendid a bird was found in this part of the world. but it was a splendid male summer duck. a think. I That thick wall.

It had a large. I deal so much with my it. showing now its breast. now its side. . flowing. loading it. This was the most surprising to me. light bronze or greenish brown but. a most ample head-dress. now its rear. sawing and it. a pinkish red bill (with black tip) and similar irides. two crescents of dazzling white on the side of the head and the black neck.AUTUMN. burnished crest. the side. was. green. Unless you are thus near. its breast. the splendor and beauty of its flections . What an ornament to a river. as if the form of wing at this distance. so affected me. and a long white mark under and at wing -point on sides. above all. fuel. It might not appear so. it ing it. . that glowing gem floating in contact with its waters as if the humming-bird should recline its ruby throat and its breast It there like dipping a glowing coal in water. conveying what with findhome. colors will not be discovered. close at hand. splitting get so the heat it will yield many values out of when in the stove that is of a eyes. and have a glass. constantly moving back and forth ible 241 by invisand wheeling on the smooth means. rich. all aglow with splendid purple (?) or ruby (?) relike the throat of the humming-bird. lower temperature and less value in my though when I feel it I am reminded of all my . surface. when it turns into the right light.

the one at the door or opening took it. having nothing to do. do the getting a living and the living for any three or four of my neighbors who really want the fuel and will appreciate the act. or else old bridge plank. to ing warmth. getting this except none of a mere vulgar and perhaps stupefyI feel disposed. and came with a fly. and he sat within fifteen Nov. AUTUMN. Yes. dead white pine top. now that I have supplied myself. overlooking them. I just turned to put in a stick. republican swallows. and chose the last. black and brown snag of an oak stump.242 adventures. and thought he woidd watch the The old bird swallows. to this extent. I affect what would comof monly be living. the immediate ones great. was feeding her young. called a mean and miserable way I thoroughly sympathize with all sav- ages and gypsies in as far as they assert the original right of man to the productions of Na- ture and a place in her. I lose sight of the ultimate uses of the are so called wood and work. and then they all hitched round one notch. so that a new one was . 1857. [Jacob] Farmer tells me Sunday he went to his barn. that one feet. obtain saries of life. Mr. 9. and yet most of mankind. I had my choice in the box of gray chestnut rail. those most successful in obtaining the necesa living. as often as the bird There were five young.

the same one never receiving two flies in succession. Manchester was the spy this time. and the young one that swallowed it did not desert his this and ground. who has a camp at the base of that hill. Little did we think how near had brought the winter was. but in his discourse he turns It is of to no use unless you mean to follow . 243 fly. fly. we dwelt in fancied security yet. and the next in succession received the Nov. up that mode of cultivation persistently. 9. but when the bird came with another of the usual size. but waited to receive the next.AUTUMN. The newspaper tells me that Uncannoonuc was white with snow for a short time on the morning of the 7th. she commenced a loud and long scolding at the little one. We had not thought seriously of winter. manuring highly and carting in muck. at each plowing making a soil. in short. who received the next was the invariable order. It is as if a scout enemy was approaching in march distant. Next week perchance our own hills will be white. Yet many a man likes to tackle weighty themes like immortality. 1858. only a day's plow deeper than the soil is. till it resigned its place. presented at the door. us word that an force. At last the old bird brought a very small fly. Thus steadily but unobserved the winter steals down from the north till from our highest hills we can discern its vanguard.

but . for instance. so deep is your will If strong and deep. you life sow wheat and It appears to raise bread of in it. society. up nothing but yellow sand. are. it is true. not soaring. might have raised enough of them to make a deacon of him. Many a man runs his plow so deep in heavy or strong soil that should plant a crop of beans. as it were. He should be digging. may and be. is as if mitted himself to be rasped by the great gizzard of creation. and the two two opposite halves which Not only individuals. It is a great art in the writer to improve that soil and fertility that crop which his from day to day just which he has. political parties are its grind on each other. Just as earnest soil. Nov. under which what and available surface soil he mayhave is quite buried and lost. as your life is. as me that those things which most engage the daily attention of politics. not be straining as if to reach apples oranges when he yields only ground-nuts. men. 10.244 AUTUMN. the gizzard of society. though never a preacher. how to postpone the fatal hour . it He sticks fast in the furrow. Politics is. full of grit and gravel. 1851. vital functions of human It but should be a thinker sub- unconsciously performed like the vital functions of the natural body. He should teach little fertile frugality rather. to harvest whatever it life yields.

Then we catch sounds which are wafted from anity. hammered away at it busily. but sometimes as eupeptics? intercourse we In our no true and absolute is account of things. which itself. I could hear them breaking them off. 1858. and soon reached the meat. states. 245 expresses have thus a confirmed dyspepsia.AUTUMN. and placing the acorn under one Nov. and nib- . near hj a sound as if foot. The significance of any fact in nature. 10. but there I ever a petty ref- erence to man. over the confines of time. There were several of them gathering acorns on a scarlet oak. of sun and moon and stars. Why should we not meet. you can imagine by what sort of eloquence. pecking at an acorn. we should never have been conscious of. is so much grander when not referred to man and his needs. looking round from time to time to see if any foe was approaching. I looked up and saw a jay. not always refer to peptics. They then flew to a suitable limb. but viewed absolutely. aye. Hearing in an oak wood some one had broken a twig. to society. perchance. a remember- ing of that which. which should not be as dys- permitted to distract a man's waking hours. but also. Our life is not altogether a for- getting. to a great extent. often to Christi- come from the funeral of mankind to attend to a natural phenomenon.

A very fine strain for such a little singer. spots the ground. me. like winter rye and grass which roots itself in the fall against another year. holding up their heads to swallow. A beautiful form has as much life at one season as at another.) to the very firmly with their claws. all together as big as a fourpence. (Their hammering made a sound like the woodNevertheless. like an evening robin.246 bled at it. or a little bird. the only one I have heard for a long time. . AUTUMN. They have a little pallet of cotton or down in their centres. waving. feathery dry grass which I saw yesterday is to be remembered with The dry grasses are not dead for the autumn. That delicate. singing in this — evening of the year. This afternoon I heard a single cricket singing. a remarkable note. clear and shrill. chirruping on a bank. like a squirrel. the earth-song. These little things have bespoken their places for the next season. 11. it while they held pecker's. ready for an early start in the spring. it sometimes dropped ground before they had done with it. 1850. I notice that everywhere in the pastures mi- nute young fragrant life-everlasting with only four or five flat-lying leaves and thread-like roots. as I fancied. Nov. I and poetical had never beIt is fore heard the cricket so like a bird.

finger-cold. survives all memory of a man. M. it that was personal and The tooth of envy it may sometimes gnaw but it is and reduce 2 p. I am glad of the shelter of the thick pine road. so indefatigable is nature to strip the flesh from lit- bones. on the plain. and return tle them to dust again. silvery light is a on the white pines as I go through J. day. Brown's field near Jenny Du- There gan's. at intervals it sounds like a gong resounding is. . One must next wear put his hands in winter quarters. much more a prey 11. old bone is knocked about it. that there is a cer- tain resounding woodiness in the tone. 247 I saw an old bone in the woods covered with which looked like the bone of an old which yet some little animal had recentlygnawed. through halls and entries. 1851. wood on the Marlboro' The and roar of the wind over the pines sounds like the surf on countless beaches. lichens. more rapidly. to f orgetfulness. An . becomes dust It nature has no mercy on like the It was quite too ancient to suggest disagreeable associations. but he must turn aside and try his teeth till it upon it. No rambling beast can go by some dry and ancient bone. A bright. Nov. cold.AUTUMN. P. an endless shore. The sky looks mild and fair enough from this shelter. I saw plainly the marks of its teeth. offensive With time wears off. but cold gloves. settler.

but nature in me. as phoric.' and there. this flashthe ing brilliancy. even to tears ? It is not I. the light penetrates. methinks. The lately dark woods are open and light. show us thus phenomena that belong not to summer or the winter of any climate. less moist and gross. The brilliancy of the autumn is wonderful. till I felt weary and house-worn. The . Yet what is my softness good for. the sun shines in upon the stems of trees which it has not shone on since spring. I was no more affected in spirit than I frequently am. I laughed at myself the other day to think that I cried while reading a pathetic story. reflects the light. and light is universally dispersed.248 AUTUMN. Every withered blade of grass and every dry weed as well as pine needle. We are greatly indebted to these transwhich ition seasons or states of the atmosphere. I have been conscious of a certain softness to which I am otherwise commonly a stranger. I see how some sympathy with mankind and society might spring up. The atmosphere is too. . if the atmosphere were phos- When I have been confined to my for the greater part of several days chamber by some em- ployment or perchance by the ague. Around the edges of ponds the weeds are dead. in which the gates were loosened to some emotions and if I were to become a confirmed invalid.

But our horizon. the most elysian.AUTUMN. which we have not climbed. is To Fair Haven by calm and pleasant. things must be a remote to be described. of phenomenon me. on which we have not camped for a night. where still there must be some success. chapter on the advan- To-day you may write a tages of traveling. and to-morrow you may write another on the advantages of not traveling. the future which is to atone for all. The one . Some muskhave received a slight addition in the I opened day before yesterday rat houses night. 1853. The smooth as polished silver. 9 a. The horizon has one kind of beauty and attraction to him who has never explored the hills and mounit. and if our whole life should prove thus a failure. tears were merely a 249 of the bowels. and another. 11. so unusual with the subject of it understand. will be more glorious still. to him who has. The morning is so that I river must spend the forenoon abroad. tains in It is fatal to the writer to be too much poslittle sessed by his thought . boat. Nov. by such exploration. and I felt that that expression my sym- was something mean. is only moved farther off. That blue mountain in the horizon is certainly the most heavenly. M. and such as I should be ashamed to have pathy. I fear a less ethereal and glorious one.

11. —a streaming. 11. except- ing roots. their vegetable food. It was quite warm from the recent presence of the inhabitants. and one foot above the water. M. this side the Hallowell place. for they cannot . m. place and Hubbard's further wood.250 AUTUMN. etc. where he is cutting. 1855. tuft-like wad. 1854. too. agglutinated and dried con verbal threads. from two to I opened one.. for is of these cabins appears to be coincident with the commencement of their clam now off. Hubbard bathing four feet high. Minott heard geese go over night before last about 8 P. the same evening. they must raise meadow which it. Therien. The floor of the chamber was two feet or more beneath the top. I counted nineteen between has been covered again. Nov. and make a permanent dry stool there. hornwort. now confervse by the slime. Nov. heard them " yelling like anything " over Walden. p. to open and eat is it. The building diet. It consists of various kinds of weeds. utri- cularia. Thither they resort with their clam. Up Assabet. cut I see many small collections of shells already left along the river's brink. But if it is the edge of a being overflowed. though not yet raised so high as before. The bricks of which the muskrat builds his house are little masses or wads of the dead weedy rubbish on the muddy bottom which it probably takes up with its mouth.

Thus their cabin is apparently first intended merely for a stool. pure white. flat. with small white spots (two at end of each feather). bluish gray. bill three and three fourths to angle of mouth. 11. He has begun his stool by laying two or three fresh wads upon the shells. the foundation of his house. one has left half which the water is just about to cover. but a smaller specimen than Wilson describes. set far back and naturally stretched out backward. It is twentyseven inches long to end of feet. Goodwin brings me this morning a this year's loon which he has just killed in the river. the Great Northern Diver. sharp-edged legs. where there is no low meadow bordering the ! stream. Nov. afford to 251 I see where a peck of shells on perhaps the foundation of an old stool or a harder clod swim far with each clam. 1858.AUTUMN. You vent. perforated as if it were the bank There is no cabin for a long way above the hemlocks. except a dusky bar across the Bill. Beneath. by forty-four. Above. when it is large. conspicuous white throat and breast. and afterward. it is slowly traveling toward . and somewhat differently marked. are struck by its broad. made to cut through the water rather than to walk with. its long and powerful bill. throat and all. Dislodged by winter in the north. chiefly pale bluish and dusky.

its bank having long since lost with frost. the trees a warmer climate. riding home from Acton. might be determined by currents of air. Nov. dashing off. at least. that is. now full of light. but lost. The neighboring fields are white Yet this hardy bird is comfortable there. My desire to know what I have lived.252 AUTUMN. diving this morning in the cool river. if the sportsmen will let it and contented alone. so exactly like a flock of birds sporting with one another. like those of these leaves. and surging upward into the air. but who has gone hence make herself more known by distance. 12 [?]. these . that for a moment. and suggested how far the motions of birds. Nov. I could not be sure it they were not birds. which is and shrubs on their leaves. 1841. it will is come to me at last. not is 12. 1837. gyrating. I Music is only a sweet that lately striving to express character. October 24. that I may know how to live henceforth. 1859. Now have heard of some traits in the character of a to fair and earnest maiden whom I had known only superficially. Nov. 11. I saw the withered leaves blown from an oak by the roadside. I yet lack discernment to it distinguish the whole lesson of to-day. how far the bird learns to conform to such currents.

Who hears the rippling of the rivers will not utterly despair of anything. Is heard within some silent When they Or the small twigs break in the eastern skies is seen Before the sun appears. all apology enough for the deficiency and short- coming in the world in the patient waiting of any bud of character to unfold itself. In the horizon of my mind I 've seen such morning hues. AUTUMN. I cannot but be encouraged by the blithe activity of the elements. It is all mysteries in itself. Foretelling of the Which far summer heats away he bears.. m. What is it gilds the trees and clouds. this subtle element obeying the law of the least subtle. it falls in broad flakes upon the surface of the pond. I seem to discern the very form of the wind when. p. As in the twilight of the first dawn wood When the birds awake. Walden. The wind in the wood yonder . strains 253 There is sound like a wild harp music. But yonder fast-abiding light With its unchanging ray. blowing over the hills. Only character can command our reverent love. And paints the heavens so gay. I 've felt within my inmost soul Such cheerful morning news.

as soon as I.254 sounds like an AUTUMN. incessant waterfall. its come all. the strength of your is no strain. sentences. and as in the case James and Roderick Dhu. Those sentences are good and welldischarged which are like so many little resiliences from the spring-floor of our life. sentences in which there . also at your back. you can say. rather than long at a time. many feeble summersets in and so come down upon your head at last. Those are the admirable bounds when the performer has lately touched the spring-board. this rock shall fly firm base. be not long absent from the ground. write Write trying to turn too the air. with the rock fly. " — of King Come From one. Take as many bounds in a day as possible. Let there be as many distinct plants as the soil and the light can maintain. A good bound into the air from the air is a good and wholesome experience. often. But let your feet be planted upon the rock. each a distinct fruit and kernel springing from terra firraa. no fluttering inconstant and quasi aspiration. upon a thousand themes. the water dashing and roaring among the rocks. 12. but what shall we say to a man's leaping off precipices in the attempt to He comes down like lead. not JVov." is Such. Antseus-like. uttered or not. sentences uttered with your back to the wall. 1851.

has earned this power by faithfully creeping on the ground as a reptile in a former state of existence. helpless wings are 255 and ever memorable Icarian fall wherein your expanded merely by your swift descent into the pelagos beneath. Better dive like a muskrat into sit the mud. a house of your cold and cheerless. is one who will not stoop to rise. than that of view. He wants something for which he will not pay the going price. like for instance. The observatories are not built The foundation is equal to the It is high. but deep. laying.AUTUMN. creep before you you must run before you can fly. superstructure. and pull up a few weeds to on during the floods. De Quincey. but disgraceful failure. not is a noble. You must can run. Better one effective bound upward with elastic limbs from the valley. a foundation of your own own building. to be educated by evitable suffering. it more important to a distinct vision that be steady. than a jumping from the mountain-tops with attempt to fly. This not a worthy method of learning. and circles so steadily and apparently without effort. who was actually taking . it be from an elevated point Walking through Ebby Hubbard's wood this afternoon with Minott. however Methinks the hawk that soars so loftily. He will only learn slowly by failure.

betrayed by the dry leaves which and light.. when there is but little light in the heavens. hear no sound of any kind now sometimes some creature lie stirring. and the reflection has the force of a great silent companion. said. I thought to-night that I saw glow-worms in the grass on the side of the lay was almost certain of it. the water. are absolutely no crickets be heard now. my . at night. and tried to hands on them. woodland path. There is double the light that there is elsewhere. then. The There I ground frozen and echoes to my tread. by the wing. till the ground freezes.256 AUTUMN. he on seeing some white pines blown down. a walk for amusement and exercise. that you might know that ground had been cultivated. The openness of the woods is particularly apparent now by moonlight they are nearly as light as the open field. The light of the rising is moon in the east. but They are heard. or fox. partridge 7 P. Where we walked last. To Conantum. A to still cold night. he had once caught a . . . He has hunted in them all. or skunk. It is worth the while always to go to so thick leafless . and see the heavens and the stars reflected. M. for otherwise they would have rooted themselves He has a story for every more strongly. but found it was the moonlight reflected from (apparently) the fine hill. a rabbit.

low. up. It clears A greens. glow-worms. frilled edge of the main cloud were turned up over them. a narrow white cloud resting on every mountain. its crenate lips all coppery-golden. I have . 1852. in the northwest southeast. and where the sun has just disappeared it is split into two eterits tremendous jaws. heightening the green of the pines. and against this I see. long. 12. 12. very bright rainbow. that by the want of pecuniary wealth. still left beyond the mountains. dark-blue cloud horizon. two I see its foot within half a mile in the I see a very distant. three reds. Nov. They were so fine that the reflections went and came The gleams were just long like glow-worms. between which glows the nal city. In fact. frost 257 crystals on the withered grass. 4 p. apparently. and conforming exactly to its outline. the massive dark-blue cloud beyond revealed these distinct white caps resting on the mountains this side. set. From Fair Haven Hill. m. Nov.AUTUMN. To Cliffs. I cannot but regard it as a kindness in those who have the steering of me. 1853. Its serrate fiery teeth. for twenty miles along the horizon. and the effect was preenough for cisely the same. body lies a slumbering mass along the horizon. The sun having my long. as if the white. dark-blue cloud has assumed the form of an alligator.

258 AUTUMN. a merely negative good to be provided with thick garments against cold and wet. hylodes. " Cold day. and made to study and love What would this spot of earth more and more. an unprofitable and weak condition com- pared with being able to extract some exhilara- some warmth even. The man of business does not by his business earn a residence in nature. got by wandering ? Wealth will not buy a man a home in nature. themselves. signify in comparison a thin and diffused love and knowledge of the whole earth instead." Though the days are shorter. 12. It is much the coldest day and the ground is a little frozen and resounds under my tread. I heard I do not I think. so the last in the autumn. but the poor lord of creation makes cold and wet to warm him. All people move the brisker for the cold. The buys woolens and furs. are braced and a little elated by it. and sits naked and shivering still. you get more work yet. 1858. tion. remember any hum of insects for a long time. Nov. in spirit. . It is an insignificant. been nailed down to this my native region so long and steadily. about a month ago. out of cold and wet them with our symrich man pathy. They love to say. though I heard a cricket to-day. and to clothe The it last. sir. and be his garments. as it is it is the first frog heard in the spring.

a ripe old age. we shall appear to the stall-fed thinkers like those unkempt cattle in meadows now. We are now reduced to browsing on buds and twigs. which for a short time whitens the ground in spots.. answering to the maturity of fruits. Are we not always living the life that we imagine we are ? Fear creates danger. The first sprinkling of snow. out of a hired to keep 259 man than before. grazing the withered grass. But it was hard for me to see . and not to that of green leaves. Nov. and final maturity. At one time the clouds were softly and delicately rippled like the ripple marks on sand. 1859. and methinks with this diet and this cold. etc. so that what is ripe is ready to be reaped. more perfect. 12. . I do not know how to distinguish between our waking life and a dream. I think the change to some higher color in a leaf is an evidence that it has arrived at a late. The word ripe is thought by some to be derived from the verb to reap. and courage dispels it. . I think the twenty -fifth of October. The fall of the leaf is preceded by . There was a remarkable sunset. for he must work warm. The sunset sky reached quite from west to east. and it was the most varied in its forms and colors that I remember to have seen.AUTUMN. which merely serve a purpose.

Sin destroys the perception It is a sure evidence of the if of the beautiful.260 its AUTUMN. I glimpse one feature to-day. it 1841. but tend and cherish it. It must be a repose without tion? What leisure but opportunity for more complete and entire ac- time is so Our energies pine for exercise. restored to all your emoluments. Make the most of your reNever smother your sorrow. [?]. if the This I can hear a taunt. 1839. beauty then. To regret deeply is to By so doing you will find yourself live afresh. has sufficient of . 13. Truth is ever returning into next day they are blended. health and innocence of the beholder. another to-morrow. herself. The we spend in the discharge of our duties much leisure. till it come to have a separate and integral interest. 13 repose. We constantly anticipate activity. Nov. 1837. and look out on this friendly moon pacing with the the heavens in queen-like majesty. is Yet surely can only be the repose that is in entire and healthy rust. accustomed yearning. shall be the test of innocence. so that there is no man but it. senses are alive to the beauty of nature. grets. and the Nov. 13. Nov. my mind was So great a wrong all filled with as his fate implied overshadowed beauty in the world. when Captain Brown.

The music of sound. Nov. The landscape leafless. Now is the time to cut timber for yokes and ox-bows. This ancient Scotch poetry at which tain lisping of it 261 its con- temporaries so marveled. the trees being and so little light in the sky for variety such a day as will almost oblige a man to eat his own heart. free but stammers. flows freest. 13. is speedily lost. 1851. the sun being behind clouds A A in the west. is barren of objects. ! . leaving the tough bark on. cold and dark afternoon. yokes for your own neck. I am astonished to see how meagre that diet is which has fed so many men.AUTUMN. these Not a mosquito left. . To Fair Haven Hill. which is all-sufficient at first. To how few these sincere efforts give utter- An hour's conversation with these men would have done more. Truly hard times. and clear deliverance man's speech There is never a but read now when destroyed by the is the illusion of smooth verse is antique spelling. finding yourself yoked to matter and to time. a day in which you must hold on to life by your teeth. and then the fame of the poet must rest on the music of the sense. sounds like the uncer- a child. great philosophical and moral poet would give permanence to the language by making the best sound convey the best sense. When . and the sense seen to stam- mer and stumble thoughts do ance ? all all the plainer.

Friends long since gone there. which. a rateable soul ? day when you cannot pluck a flower. and send their column of vapor to the skies. A .262 AUTUMN. cannot dig a parsnip. or evergreen thoughts. nor pull a turnip. is being prepared for immeasurable snows. you left to in your pockets. cold even in midsummer. Crickets gone into win- not an insect to hum. like white-oak leaves upon your boughs. and walk on frozen ground with your hands Ah. Some warm springs shall still tinkle and fume. What do the thoughts find to live on ? avails What you now the fire you stole from heaven ? Does not each thought become a vulture to gnaw your vitals ? No Indian summer have we had this November. it is true. ter quarters. by their nature. Nothing but the echo of your steps on the frozen ground. We have not even the cold beauty of ice crystals and snowy architecture. but is not this a glorious time for your deep inward fires ? Will not your green hickory and white oak burn clear in this frosty air ? Now is not your manhood taxed by the great Assessor? taxed for having a soul. These shall contrast the more fairly with the snow. for the frozen ground. Still there are brave thoughts within you that shall remain to rustle the winter through. I see but few traces of the perennial spring. or like shrub oaks that remind the traveler of a fire upon the hillsides.

Little does the New Hampshire You would farmer who drives over that road realize through what a sublime gap he is passing. nearer. it. I know of nothing more grand and stupendous than that great mountain gate or pass.AUTUMN. a great cleft or sinus in the blue banks. where the children of Israel might as in a file through. in the horizon it is simplicity and grandeur. while all this country in shade. dark evening cloud. from one quarter of the world to another. fit portal to lead from one country. Seen at this distance. Methinks I have been through runs there. Notwithstanding the poverty of the immediate landscape. the great of an this is 263 uncommonly dark owing not only to which Perhaps clearness of the atmosphere. almost as soon think of a road as winding . but to the absence of A little mistiness occasioned off. We look at a condition which we have not reached. and that a road mountains are Humble as these compared with some. It is pleasant thus to look from afar into winter. The mountains are blue to-day. a great gap in the mountain range just south of the two Peterboro' Hills. at this distance I am con- vinced they answer the purpose of Andes. by warmth would set them further I see snow on the Peterboro' Hills reflecting the sun. I look into valleys white with lit snow and is now up by the There is sun. makes them seem the leaves.

She is singular in being really lates herself surely to the intellectual wherever and more surely than any other woman gives her companion occasion to utter his In spite of her own biases. up there in May. and perseveringly interested to know what thoughtful people think. that is woman among my acquaintance whom it most profitable to meet. In short. is not prevented by any intellectuality in women commonly are. she goes. she best thought. . she is a genius. than townships at their base. at least. This is through and over a dark evening cloud. prospect of the mountains from our low hills what I would rather have than pastures on the my neighbors have. and it. reminding you less often of her sex than any woman whom I know. She resation.264 AUTUMN. aye. It is perhaps her greatest praise peculiarity that she can entertain a large thought with hospitality. Instead of drivmountain-side such as ing my cattle eyes thither. certainly . who will most surely provoke to good conver- among women. as woman seldom is. as Thus she of poetry is capable of a masculine appreciation I never talked with and philosophy. Just spent a couple of hours (8 to 10) with Miss Mary Emerson at Holbrook's the wittiest and most vivacious woman I know. and the grass they feed on never withers. the least frivolous. I simply turn my They pasture there.

1855. m. Miss Emerson expressed to-night a singular want of respect for her own sex. saying that they were frivolous. connection. the geese shifting their places without slacking their progress. pretty well west. before they were out of sight. . she depended more upon the clown for society than upon the lady of the house. successively smaller. To Cardinal roadside. A completely overcast. Nov. in three harrows. I saw in the pond few rods before me. a mink swimming. a . Men are more likely to have opinions almost without exception. and of her rather from her my woman was the and that into whatever family she might go. is In cold weather In mid - fire burns 10. Miss Fuller than from the only other I think of in this fame knowledge of her. I at once heard occasionally drizzling forenoon. The three harrows were gradually formed into one great one. etc.AUTUMN. 265 any other woman who I thought accompanied me so far in is describing a poetic experience. forenoon. Just in proportion to the outward poverty the inward wealth. their clangor. and rushed to and opened the window. that vessel. seventy or eighty geese. with a clearer flame. 13. by the Shore. weaker of their own.45. the sun shining bright. over the house. flying southwest. the whole p.

is not unlike that from gossamer. and frost like snow. since they began to be bare. Nov. glowing internally as the sun ladies' was a rich brown fur. 1858. in the latter part of October. It had probably killed the muskrat in the brook. Nothing so restores and harmonizes antiquity and makes it blithe. but the rest still fresh and quite heavy. So the bleached herbage of the fields is like frost.266 AUTUMN. and like that which will erelong be reflected from the ice that will incrust them. that is. like some sometimes appears. eaten so much. showing dragging fish. including hind legs and tail. It length of his back out. as I have seen it. eel. 1841. somewhat and I it observed. and it dropped its It was a muskrat. I ran forward. and went into the wall. its long. it especially on It landed within three rods. as ice. Nov. cat-like neck. Douglas. not black. At first I thought and when it had got half a dozen feet. a overland. The light reflected from bare twigs at this season. 14 [?]. boas . as the . fell on it. the head and part of the legs torn off and gone. and was dragging the remainder to its maybe an retreat in the wall. 13. repays me for many weary pages of antiquated Scotch. and one prepares for the other. It is wonderful what gradation and harmony there is in nature. was carrying something it by its mouth. To find the sunset described by the old Scotch poet. prey.

mostly young women. warm and noisy. and. are not to be thridded by any earnest mortal. Hosmer and Old Mr. moreover. these ranks of than our present. Joseph luncheon of cracker and . rarely look people in their faces. left. thirty or forty persons. In the evening I went to a bad place to go to. but I JVov. The first was as lively and loquacious as a chickadee. need only be considered from the present standpoint. The heavens stood over the heads of our ancestors as near as to us. men to right and posterity and ancestry. and therefore could get no refreshment out of such a dry fellow as I. 1851. had been accustomed to the society of watering places. I could not hear what she said. Any living word in their books It abolishes the difference of time. 14. I ate Why. ter places for conversation. in a small room. could not see the motion of her lips I could imagine bet- when I looked that way. there was such a clacking . The other was said to be pretty looking. and less than forty talking at once. as the future if it ourselves. Was introduced to two young women. discovery of some natural sympathy. where there should be a certain degree of silence surrounding you. this afternoon even I did better. It is a party.AUTUMN. it 267 Why is that there is something melancholy in antithat it quity? We forget as had any other future were not as near to No.

M. taking a leisurely bite at the cracker and cheese between his words. 14. a singular sharp. and so there is a double failure. but that uncertainty about his ears. tall buttercup Heard to-day in my cham- ber about 11 A. I think. Nov. are a part of the machinery of modern society that young people may be brought together to form marriage conso nections. 1855. These parties. but if there is any uncertainty as to whether he hears you. It is bad enough when your neighbor does not understand you. What is the use in going to see people whom yet you never see. and some of me to him. yarrow. I trust. took off the fine edge of what I had to say. and prevented saying anything satisfactory. was not much. so that you are obliged to become your own auditor. and the necessity I felt to talk loudly. and who never see you ? I met a man yesterday afternoon in the road who behaved as if he were deaf. said. and he could hear me and then he talked out of though it . I heard all he cheese together in the woods. my Nov. 14.268 AUTUMN. you are so much the poorer speaker. such a glorious repose. and I talked with him in the cold in a loud tone for fifteen minutes. Still. to be sure. and some of him was communicated to me. and tansy. crackling . 1852.

perchance. The principal flight of geese was November 8th. What . and which lay in the sun on the win1 noticed a slight motion in the scales dow-sill. It was produced by one of three small pitch-pine cones which I gathered November 7th. were. 269 sound by the window. 14. I find my hands stiffened and involuntarily finding their way to my pockets. 1857. that you went to walk after many months of warmth. begin to die. since we If we had not gone through we might well be alarmed at the With this keener cold weather. several winters. it burst. or the scales separated with a was a sudden and general bursting or expanding of all the scales with a sharp. I suppose the strain only needed to be relieved at one point for the whole to go off. approach of blast my hands suddenly fail to fulfill their office. and motion of the whole cone as by a force pent up within it. are so sensitive. with a louder it. I can hardly tie and untie my an inhabitant of the tropics. when shoestrings. at the apex. crackling sound. as it We must put on armor a story to tell against the new foe. when suddenly. so that the bulk of them It crackling sound on all sides of preceded this cold turn five days. No wonder that the weather is a standing subject of conversation.AUTUMN. Nov. which made me think of an insect's snapping with its wings or striking something. crack- ling.

as sandpaper might.! 270 AUTUMN. Yellow butterflies still. till the eleventh. and so your thoughts make new alliances. only the more serene. 1840. 1858. 14. The last leaves industrious. as he is the more flowers lingered colder. 14. 1860. Probably the witch hazel and many other when it was and flowers (?) may be said* to fall about the middle of November. The old she-wolf is nibbling at your very extremities. If his employment rob . could not untie your shoestrings Nov. Over and above a man's business there must be a level of undisturbed serenity. Now all that moves migrates or has migrated. the citizen has sought the town. 15. so that you lost the use of some of your limbs. the frozen ground rapidly wears away the soles of your shoes. Nov. as within the reef encircling a coral isle there is always an expanse of still water where the depositions are going on which will finally raise it above the surface. Nov. He must preside over all he does. ducks are gone by. The frozen is ground eating away the this soles of your shoes only typical of the vulture that gnaws your heart month. suddenly the air became so cold and hostile to your nature that it benumbed you. Snow and cold drive the doves to your door. Now while the frosty air be- gins to nip your fingers and your nose.

How much of my well-being. fair this morning as the Valhalla of the gods. in whose eye all this fair landscape is reflected. which Is that arrow indeed fatal every day reproducing with prodigal- which rankles on the bough.AUTUMN. him idle. All their and sounds are elixir to my is spirit. The bad sense is the secondary one. Every sound is inspiriting. is Their nakedness sights their defense. They are not even in the severest cold. 1841. what warm content rude. many rods. They possess a choice health. it is of a serene outlook over his but though it be measuring the fixed stars. think you. and fraught with the same mysterious assurance from the creaking of the boughs in January to the soft sigh of the wind in July. A mild summer sun The earth looks as shines over forest and lake. de- pends on the condition of deed she ity ? is my lungs and stomach. is In winter when there is but one green leaf for in them. Nov. Indeed our spirits never go beyond nature. 271 life. He must know no distracting cares. but tender. . 15 [?]. in- such cheap pieces of Nature as they. God not more well. In the woods there is an inexpressible happiness. Their mirth is but just repressed. and whose voice still echoes through the wood ? in the breast of the bird This is my argument in reserve for all cases.

as busy as the housewife below.272 AUTUMN. Therein I am whole and entire. When condemned. some ingenuity has planted itself. It tattles of It is more things than the boiling is of a pot. When the traveler in the forest. When I see the smoke curling up through the woods from some farmhouse invisible. I think straightway. and waves as a feather in some man's cap. love is My am invulnerable. disposing itself in circles and wreaths. seems as if would establish friendly relations between them witha rainy day which pleased to read in out more ado. It is contemporary with a piece of human biography. But I love some things. attaining to of some eminence. Here I is me in the house. death. All that interesting in history or fiction transpiring beneath that cloud. is but one of man's breaths. and we shall see what it will do. Therein I am God-propped. Meet me on that I ground. it is smoke in it a very gentle hint to him of It the presence of man. keeps 15. Under that rod of sky there is some plot a-brewing. and you will find me strong. am . it is more suggestive of the poetry of rural and domestic life than a nearer inspection can be. of happiness The and subject of all life and grief. discovers a column the distance. and condemn myself. goes thereunder. Nov. 1851. Up goes the smoke as quietly as the dew exhales in vapor.

and borrowed that of Linnseus (Linden-tree man) from a lofty linden tree which stood near his native place . He was the only boy in the school. 273 Stoerer's [?] " Life of Linnseus " (Trapp's translation) that his father. " not unfrequent in Sweden. therefore.AUTUMN. John's son or Johnof his kind." he says. being the first learned man of his family. It is refreshing to find a call man whom you to him- cannot feel satisfied to son's son. who was named." and an honorable name it was. relating it to those when men did indeed acquire a name as memorable and distinct as their char- acters. by a new name applicable first he being the We as may say there have been but so many men John Smiths there has been but one true John Smith. to take fresh appellations objects. and better a nickname than none at all. when we . if it does not argue. and of all the What shall we say of the comparative intel- lectual vigor of ancients and moderns. an primitive times unabated vigor in the race. There was one enterprising boy came to school to me whose name was " Buster. and he of course is dead. there are surnames. " a custom. but self alone. to my knowledge. a name." from natural it What more fit than that the advent of a new man into a family should acquire for and transmit to posterity a new patronymic! Such a custom suggests. Get yourself. changed his family name.

fill six volumes in folio among the last are two works on natural history." Nov. coarse. because I did not know where to find good lecturers enough We commonly to make a course for the winter. After having some business dealings with men. read of Theophrastus. A hard. I am occasionally chagrined. hard. it is and feel as if I had done some wrong. that he composed more than two hundred treatises in the third century before Christ and the seventeenth before printing. but was obliged to decline. insensible to a rock. does not thus harden and make man whom we liken much harder than a rock. But the longest intercourse with Nature. From hard. about twenty of which remain. is indeed whose hearts are comparatively soft. I . was the other night elected a curator of our Lyceum. think we cannot have a good journal in New rocks. the father of botany. and one on the generation of plants. insensible men with whom I have no sympathy. 15. and that these printed at Venice . "By his own avowal" [Pliny the elder's] "Natural History is a compilation from about twenty-five hundred different authors. 1853. I see that such intercourse long continued would make one thoroughly prosaic.274 AUTUMN. I go to commune with the coarse. and coarse. though in her rudest moods. and hard to forget the ugly circumstance.

I saw that the cool swamp. watching to see what spoils had been left with them. Miles swamp. Going by broken see my it had but to off at the hole. 1857. M. and all had evidently been placed there this fall. This afternoon has wanted no condition to make it a gossamer day. Plainly the spiders cannot be abroad on the water. These are deserted mounds. we have not good lecturers enough to make a Lyceum. and the top fallen. and spin these lines for their support? Yet they work on the causeway. The was at time of flood. sleep. seeing in the cavity some leaves. They have commenced their winter The water is frozen solid in the leaves This is of the pitcher plant. This water was most exposed in owl-nest oak. Some were pretty green. I took out the leaves slowly. May treats be that they are driven out of their remuskrats and snowfleas. it like Nov. My walk the more lonely when I perceive that there are no ants upon the hillocks in field or wood. the thickest ice 1 have seen. I climbed up what kind of nest it was. unless one I witnessed this fall it is smooth.AUTUMN. p. To Holden swamp and is C. but a calm atmosphere. 275 England. . 15. too. it seems to me. because we have not enough writers of But we do not suspect likewise that ability.

my right. 1859. A very pleasant Indian sumTo Ledum swamp. and there I saw a little its with bottom in one corner. wool-like pappus of some plant. p. fectly smooth between the uniformly tawny meadows. and I held my large black eyes upon me. as usual. nearly erect at the cleft. in November light. panting with fear. it face thus within seven or eight inches of as long as I cared to hold on there. distinctly outlined. or a distincter creak also see and hear a grasshopper's . and I see several muskrat cabins off the Hubbard shore. falling down through a thin hemlock spray some sixteen or eighteen feet to the ground on the hillside. the river from the railroad bridge. Nov. mus leucopus. I When had taken all out with my left hand. M. it merely withdrew downward into a snug little nest of hypnum and apparently the dirty-white. when it suddenly rushed up the side of the cleft out over my shoulder and right arm. and leaped off. as those of the squirrels are. I suppose. I stirred it up again. holding on to the top of the stump with I looked round into the sitting. 15. where I lost sight of it. Wishing to see its tail. When I put in my hand. either a fine s-ing. These nests. I look up It is per- mer day. are made when the trees are losing their leaves. I hear in several places a . as big as a batting ball. and it showed no sign of retreating. faint cricket note.276 AUTUMN.

and saints. indeed such are now first lit- discovered to be parts of a divinely established urgy applicable to these rare cases for which the ritual of no church has provided. This is the formula established on high. As I look along over the grass toward the sun at Hosmer's field beyond Lupine Hill. crackling flight. I notice the shimmering effect of the gossamer. and stubble. martyrs. which seems to cover sioned it almost like a web. only tufts of may bring its andropogon between me and the sun. the case of heroes.AUTUMN. though a careless observer would not notice it. This is noticed at least forty rods off. as I look up the cyanean reach from Clamshell. tree. their burial service. A fine gossamer is streaming from every fence. that when I now look over is my extracts of the noblest poetry. It is a fact proving how universal and widely related any transcendent greatness is. to which — every great genius has contributed syllable. like the apex of a pyramid to all beneath it. occais by its motion. though the air that I so still. its line or Of course the ritual of no church . the best to this oftenest applicable in part or wholly man's [Captain John Brown's] position. I turn down Witherel Glade. Almost any noble verse may be read either as his elegy or eulogy. fairly reflected in the water 277 The clouds were never more than now. or be made the text of an oration about him .

278 which. I have stooped to drink at a clear spring no bigger than a bushel basket. and who probably would never visit a larger water. it much rill interest. as sissippi. or in spring perchance a sucker will have found its way far up the stream. it. When I cross one on a fence. or a pigmy trout dart from under the bank. sole monarchs of this their ocean. The sense of grand poetry read by the light of this event is brought out distinctly. in a meadow. I am accustomed to regard the smallest brook with as the time being. from which a rill was scarcely seen to dribble away. I hear deep amid the birches some row among is . Nov. is AUTUMN. for if it were the Orinoco or Misempties into and when a tributary like the confluence of famous rivers I have read of. There is none so small but you may see a pickerel regarding you with a wary eye. and seen lurking at its bottom two little pickerel not so big as my finger. 16. wedded to the state can contain a ser- vice applicable to the case of a state criminal unjustly condemned. I love to pause in mid-passage and look down into the water. a martyr. 1850. You are sometimes astonished to see a pickerel far up some now shrunken rill where it is a mere puddle by the roadside. and study its bottom. like an invisible writing held to the fire. its little mystery.

and rely on the earth. a rejuvenescence. and some other flowers blossom again. delions. whether there will be any winter this year. musi- cally earnest. and mulleins and innumerable other plants begin again to spring. "What has happened? who's dead?" The twitter retreats before you. it is cheerfully. 279 the birds or the squirrels. it it is so sincere. I love the landscape. and are only checked by the There is a slight uncertainty increasing cold. The sweet-scented its life-everlasting has not lost scent yet. The partridge-berry leaves checker the ground hillsides in the woods. Some tragedy surely is being enacted. because cheats me. little How many dramas are enacted in the depths of the woods at which man is not present There seems to be in the fall a sort of attempt were Violets. The jay is on the alert.! AUTUMN. dan- at spring. as if the winter not expected by a part of nature. but murder will out. and you are never let into the secret. but so much the more a sun shines inwardly. but smells like the balm of the fields. mimicking every woodland note. I love nature. where evidently some mystery is being developed to them. ? on moist Are not they properly called checker-berries . It never never I lie jests. Some of our richest days are those in which no sun shines outwardly.

I would write in affection for only of the things I love. Nov. and I enjoy perhaps an unusual share of happiness. now but any direct it thought. I feel fertile merely. but is aware of the warm sun and spring influence only. an aspect of the world. 16. I feel ripe for something. the least scintillations of . date. enough. what I I have no more distinctness or pointedness in my yearnings than an expanding bud which does indeed point to flower and fruit. hates like most some respects out of revelation. yet for the most part the spirit of the universe is unaccountably kind to me. yet do nothing. love to think of. surely original thinking the divinest thing. So far as thinkin is ing is concerned.280 AUTUMN. can't discover what that thing is. But I question sometimes if there is not some settlement to come. any original virtue. Notwithstanding a sense of unworthiness which possesses me not without reason. We shoidd reverently watch for the least motions. It is remarkable that the the world toler- highest intellectual mood which ates is the perception of the truth of the ancient revelations. 1851. I have lain fallow long It is seedtime with me. to summer and autumn. notwithstanding that I regard myself as a good deal of a scamp. journal should be the record of it My my my love.

the good man or good woman has no ears to hear you. the reason is convinced long before the life is. and 281 men should run to and fro on the occasion more than at an earthquake. When will they come nearer to God than in these very children ? A man lately preached here against the abuse of the sabbath. thought in this sluggish world. which may take efBut with the mass of men. but then it won't do. and utter freely that thought which alone it was given me to utter. you . We check and repress the divinity that stirs within us to fall down and worship I go to so called. without seeMr. coincide with what they said. the divinity that see is dead without us. and recom- mended to walk in the fields and dance on that day. fect after a while. but there was a man who lived a long." " Well. Good advice enough. or does not appear to. They may false. and if your thought does not. One woman Nobody can hear him through. and another whose name was Christ. think they love They God ! It is only his old clothes. preach. see the church and the sabbath " to be but nothing else to be true. which they make scarecrows for the children. hear in the neighborhood says. long time ago and his name was Moses. or good many a good man woman. it 's true enough. is there any truth in what he says?" asks another.AUTUMN. ing that he is a good man. "Oh yes.

our fathers sisters and mothers.' he says.282 AUTUMN. The necessity that men be decently buried. ger that they be buried alive). I think the institution of the church would not stand longer. but still 16. Come." says Linnaeus. lie 's ' Now. mother. there 's our George. it know. "Hermann. " came afterwards to Paris. No. will long. prevent our laying violent hands on off." The reli- this woman has not character and gion enough to exert a controlling influence over her children by her example. Sail up river to Lee's bridge. Colder weather and very windy. and Tournefort in honor of him ordered the fountains to play in the royal garden. fields. the minister and would be gone. and knows of no such police as the church and the minister." Nov. put on your things. 9 a. Very little ice along the . 1852. If salaries were stopped forever. I 'm going out into the fact is. ' along to meeting. who was unprovided for. got the whole of . it and when I say. That sounds like a fine mode of expressing gratitude referred to by Linnaeus. Hermann was a botanist who gave up his place to Tournefort. out of this world bodily at his vocation and men walked last.' It won't do. m. If it were not for death and funerals. George. and go won't do. no snow. brothers and if and children (notwithstanding the dannot it.

may now be 16.AUTUMN. clear and cold. The water is singularly grayish. and rails. boards. Well-meadow brook. The swamp pink and blueberry buds attract. reflecting a silvery light. m. too They are quite conspicuous half a mile distant. A etc. like its ribs. though they were unusually high as well as numerous. interesting objects. with some budding leaves. Nov. ye puling infants? A trumpet . Nov. The waves run high with white caps. and our river should not be represented without one or two of these cones. We sailed up cerastium viscosum. looking down a river-reach at this sea- son. night. I see where they few have begun to raise them another story. the bottom of the brook showing great nuphar roots. 1858. Preaching? lecturing? Who do you are ye that ask for these things ? What want to hear. 283 edge of the river which does not melt before Muskrat houses completed. collected by wreckers. and the river is not Cliff the nearly so high as last year. and communiAt Lee's cate a pleasant motion to the boat. ered by the flood. The water is frozen in the pitcher-plant leaf. 16. The pines on shore look very cold. p.. 1854. Sailed to Hubbard's Almost every muskrat's house is covbridge. cranberries begin to wash up. I see one duck. and are of much importance to be omitted in the river landscape.

D.'s all the of the alphabet. They are a sound sento get We want and 30. hath not entered into your hearts to conceive what those words mean.284 AUTUMN. and will do anything to get them. the magazine. afraid to print a whole sentence. as they are men of straw Why. tence. of sound draw a long breath. 1837. The voice that goes up from the monthly concerts is not so brave and cheery as that which rises from the frog-ponds of the land. Nov. It the school. a nurse's lullaby ? deal with themselves. the state. sound that would train you up to manhood ? or The preachers and lecturers men of straw. Look at your editors of popular magazines. without caus- lungs. Freedom of speech! occasionally. The church. still there is If there is nothing new on something new in the heav- . I have dealt with two or three of the most liberal of them. a free-spoken sentence. you church to-day? truth. among men. before printing a sen- tence. freedom of a prison yard. Your church a baby-house made of blocks. letters They consult the D. think they are liberal and free ! It is the it What Not is you tolerate.000 subscribers. cannot ing your rotten institutions to come toppling is down. earth. a free-spoken man. by the vacuum he makes. but a life-long hypocrisy. and so of the It would be a relief to breathe one's self state. 17.

even away from their legal owner. forwarded them to Linnaeus from Marseilles. white and elliptical like a pebble. a of African seeds. tion the Italian naturalist. and never returned. We have always a resource in the They are constantly turning a new page to view. ens. 1853. I notice that many plants about this season of the year or they have died earlier. I found this afternoon in a winter rye. and confirms their essential greenness. Nov. All things tend to flow to him who can make the best use of them. ness. 285 skies. a snapping-tur tie's egg. finding with the property of Donati. and the inquiring may always read a new truth there. 17. though the frosts may soon nip it. field of 17. Nov. collec- whom rare he had robbed abroad. Donati suffered shipwreck. which. their summer leaves have faded and they put forth fresh radical leaves which . indicates When fallen. mistaking it for which I broke it.AUTUMN. A thief. Nov. The wind sets the types in their blue ground. exhibit some fresh radical green. The little turtle was perfectly formed. put forth fresh and conspicuous radical leaves against another spring so some human beings in the November of their days. 1850. even to the dorsal ridge. which was distinctly visible. 17. 1851. after down at top.

and satis- He has learned that rare has been not a art of living. and curved in shell. the very elements of which most persons do not know. 17. Seeing me going to . somewhat like a kingfisher. Paddled up river to Clamand sailed back. intent on a fish. wings were very long. afterward on the tip top of a maple by waterside. looking very large. now and then sustaining itself in one place. not to mention the large primrose. — — thus.286 AUTUMN. plant. failure. outline of front edge. *1855. His life but a success. slender. for a long time. ground. 1854. It alighted near the top of an oak within rifle-shot of me. Nov. cloudy afternoon). 17. will be found to have fresh shoots already pointing upward. etc. white perhaps. he lives so thoroughly factorily to himself. I think it must have been a fishhawk which I saw hovering over the meadow and my boat (a raw. a hundred feet or more above the water. and ready to burst forth in the sprmg. It is interesting to me to talk with Rice. been spotted with the small radical leaves of the fragrant life-everlasting. with a hovering or fluttering motion of Its the wings. John's-wort. against a new The dry fields have. Nov. still. I think there was some on rump. sustain the life in their root spring. although it Almost every may show no greenness above if you dig about it.

when they hunting. He buys a piece of meadow at a profitable rate. yet practices a fair and neat economy. Whatever sense in- pleasure there is in it he enjoys. and he very sure to have a good crop stored in his cellar in the fall. is thus the meadow and potatoes get planted perchance. costs It and he gets more out of than others. I should not use do a piece of work.. and gets redeemed. him slowly. I have tools. for he less. and hires He more out of any enterprise than his neighbors. To life get his living or keep it is not a hasty or disagreeable toil. rule first and I made it a always to make that tool. he and his son." said he. helps himself more.000 thus in life is my Comparatively speaking. . By good and calculation he has become rich. and has vested his property well. enjoying the sweet of it. and hearing 287 me com- plain of the want of tools. He works less to live. AUTUMN. you had them. " When I came to tools. goes a-fishing or beerifle - shooting quite as often. but surely. works it in pleasant weather. " You would use them more. I used to find commonly that I wanted a certain tool. sharpen some plane irons. his a success gets not such a failure as most men's." spent as much as $3. dwells not in untidy luxury. he said I ought to have a chest of worth the while. to if But I said it was not them enough pay for them. or are inclined.

but may supply them with their winter wood. Labaume says that he wrote his journal of the campaign in Russia each night in the midst of incredible danger and suffering. with " a and a little gunpowder mixed with some melted snow. AUTUMN. and diving in the middle where I lose them. and when they return they bring home in their hay-rigging a load of stumps which had impeded their labors. 1858. All the woodchucks they shoot or trap in the bean-field are brought Thus their life is a long sport. Up Assabet. them about the river now." the quill cut and mended with " the knife with which I had carved my scanty morsel of horse flesh. The muskrats are more active since the cold weather. in the hollow of my hand. know not what hard times are. They dive off the round-backed black mossy stones. m.288 and some to sell. He always has the best of In the same spirit in which he and his son tackle up their Dobbin (he never keeps a fast horse) and go a-spearing or fishing through the ice. and they home also. swimming across back and forth. Nov. they also tackle up and go to their Sudbury farm to hoe or harvest a little. which when small and slightly exposed look much like I see more of . potatoes there." Such a statement promises well for the raven's quill writer's qualifications to treat such a theme. 17. p.

in the sun. there was a perfect halo of light resting to right or left. as if for warmth. Ascending a little knoll covered with sweet fern. Not only different objects are presented to our attention at different seasons of the year. these are but of the bare. I moved myriad of surfaces are now . Yet in an ordinary light. But as I saw them. prising dark or dusky-looking with scarcely a noticeable downiness.AUTUMN. but we one is are in a frame of body and of mind cold to appre- ciate different objects at different seasons. with water between. 289 In swimming. on the opposite shore to me. if described. It was quite like the sunlight reflected from grass and weeds covered with hoar frost. themselves. One. show commonly sitting three parts. fold are interested at this season by the maniways in which the light is reflected to us. avail themselves of the edge of the ice They now found along the sides of the river. to feed on. little We the sun appearing but fern. its light above the sweet was reflected from a dense mass downy twigs of this plant in a surmanner which would not be believed. thinff I see it when it is and another when warm. A on the knoll. The very sunlight on the pale-brown bleached fields is an interesting object these cold days. it I naturally look toward as to a wood fire. looks quite reddish-brown.

How fair and memorable this prospect. railroad to Andromeda Ponds this afternoon. etc. setting sun. Nature is moderate. Winter is not all white and sere. Some trees are evergreen to cheer us. met per- Nov. and on the forest floor our eyes do not fall on sere brown leaves alone. wintergreen. but some evergreen shrubs are placed there to relieve the eye. and look over the red andromeda .290 prepared to AUTUMN. reflect the light. Any affecting human event may blind our eyes to natural objects. I have been so absorbed of late in Captain Brown's fate as to be surprised wherever I detected the old routine surviving still. is reflected lights " The from windows more " brightly than at any other season. and it suggested to me that this grebe might be shall diving here when Concord be no more. I go down the as fair as any we have had. checkerberry.. November would be a theme for me. when you stand opposite the sun. and loves degrees. Mountain laurel. It appeared strange to should be still me that the little dipper diving in the river as of yore. This is one of the hundred silvery lights of November. 1859. too. keep up the semblance of summer still. lambkill. 17. sons going about their affairs indifferent. Another Indian-summer day. these November afternoons.

18. irregular.AUTUMN. When its a shadow is flits across the landscape of the soul. but are there not others who would Nov. impression rise to much higher levels.blueberry. the pattering rain. discordant drumming is intolerable. 1841. like a bed of moss in a hollow in the woods. Nov. going round it. a glowing. if it be harmony. The howling storm. it presents a gray aspect. Nature makes no noise. dian 291 swamp. There is an essential and unexplored harmony in them. with gray high . 18. but an direction. a Battle of Prague even. are no disturbance. 1837. Why is it that thought flows with so deep and sparkling a current when the sound of distant music When I would muse I comstrikes the ear ? plain not of a rattling tune on the piano. where the substance ? Has it always origin in sin ? and is that sin in me ? Some men make their due upon their generation because a petty occasion is enough to call forth all their energies.colored grasses interspersed and when. and straw . you look over it in the opposite . warm brown-red in the Insummer sun. whom the world has never provoked to there are their make the effort ? I believe men now living who have never opened in a public is mouths assembly. the rustling leaf. in whom nevertheless there such a well of eloquence that the appetite of any age could never exhaust .

and submits to be neglected. I see a man fluttered and his ballast gone. The orator. because such not the willful vote of the assembly. AUTUMN. Surveying these days the Ministerial Now at sundown I hear the It hooting of an owl. for till who pine will pine and they are dead. do yet miss the thunder and lightand visible sympathy of the elements which would garnish their own utterance. He lives on still unconcerned. sounds like the hooting of an idiot or a maniac broke loose.292 it. they can never be mistaken as when one man is quite silenced by the is thrilling eloquence of another. but age may well pine that it cannot put to use the gift of the gods. 18. there is then everything to hope of him. but their instinctive decision. who can admire as well as the rest the flowing speech of the ning. he is If. in undone . without appeal. lot. that the right is decided by their fiat. any strait. this is the case. though he do nois still thing else worthy of him. and when . will The greatest occasion be the slowest to come. Nov. as to his fate. Sometimes a body of men do unconsciously assert that their will is fate. but if he reposes still. then I lose all hope of him. if he a man in reserve. an occasion worthy of them. 1851. This is faintly answered in a dif- . hoo h6o hoo-hoorer-hoo. not needing to be used.

f erent strain. He is not liable to exag- gerate insignificant features. Not so the naturalist enough of his unconscious to observe. were the echo. himself. apparently 293 almost as if it is from a greater distance.) You must know much about them. if A man can hardly is is be said to be there. in sions they are fitted to many respects. to the impresmake than the naturalist who goes to see them. The men who help me. suggesting a vast undeveloped nature which men have not recognized. Wordsworth's attention. hung from the spruce. so far as the I heard it last succession concerned.AUTUMN. . He is more open. is The man who is bent upon his work freis quently in the best attitude to observe what irrelevant to his work. evening. and . life does not pass there. and think it call it the hooting owl. like the moss which has and as the partridge and the rabbit are acquainted with the thickets. observations on relaxed be conversant with things for a long time to {Mem. forgets He really forgets and at night he dreams of the swamp. or to go there if he knows that he there. he knows where he going. It is mirably suited to the swamp and to the twilight woods. a sound ad- is the cat-owl. becomes intimately acquainted with them in his way. that is. The chopper who works in the woods all day for many weeks or months at a time. its phenomena and events.

his Nov. — a tide. if it does not buy an appetite for food ? It is fouler and uglier to have too much than not to have enough. 18. 1853. scaled littorales. Can gold be said to buy food. Nov. 18. littorales. So is it with the thoughts of poets. honking all the while. 1854. Some are fresh from the deep beauty. 1857. Nov. 18 [?]. radiant . and eaten by worms. on account of exposure and abrasion. Nov. honest. pelagii. they frequent. 1852. the woodman has a great deal of incommunicable knowledge. 18. Much cold slate-colored cloud. Saw sixty geese go over the Great Fields in one waving line broken from time to time by their crowding on each other and vainly endeavoring to form into a harrow. many abraded. — pelagii sea. Yarrow and tansy still. independent labor. 1855. Nov. Men foolishly prefer gold to that of which it is the symbol. bare twigs seen gleaming toward the . with unimagined but others are comparatively worn. having been tossed by off. 18.294 AUTUMN. at length have acquired the color of the places If the man of science can put all knowledge into propositions. simple. but those which are cast on shore and are never so delicate and beautiful as the former. Conchologists call those shells "which are fished up from the depths of the ocean " and are never seen on the shore.

akin to the frost which has killed falling it. There are many ways of feeling one's pulse. pure green of pines 295 where old leaves have fallen. tax- The result is a He is always in good He often overflows with his joy. If only the gate sticks. when you perceive no occasion for it. bleaching almost hoary fine grass or hay in the fields. and redeem them. singular cheerfulness. and men have gone law about them long before I was born. as and sunny we rejoice in sheltered is left places. these are old and worn-out to fields that I ramble over. very- pale brown. spirits. Flannery the hardest-working man I know. and it flakes of clear yellow sunlight on here and there.AUTUMN. In one light. How much mere industry proves There is a sparkle often in his passing remark. reddish or yellowish- brown oak leaves rustling on the hillsides. is Before sunrise and long after sunset he ing his unweariable muscles. some of it bubbles up and overflows in his passing comment on that accident. a long time. and bleached till it is almost silvery. — such frost. Now. and his voice is ! really like that of a bird. is Some corn out still. The fine grass killed by the is November. light like gossamer. has clothed the fields for in the spring. . but I trust that I ramble over them in a new fashion.

if he knows what is flint. way to the deepest joys he is Though he converses only with relatives. my back and a general and as usual it amounted time to a cessation of I lost for the my support or relation to nature. M. in such a state I find myself in perfect connection with nature. it steel to his moles and fungi. Its rays I look south from the the westering sun just out of sight behind the hill. make the in impression of beauty and music on me. is the susceptible of. and disgraces his is no matter. is a in- sensation or For stance. 18. I had yesterday a kink cold. 1858. and the perception and remembrance even. is of any natural phenomena attended with a gentle. from . the constant experience sentiment. To Conantum. Many a man who should rather describe his dinner imposes on us with a history of the p. You cannot perceive beauty but with a serene mind.296 In a healthy pleasurable AUTUMN. in the grass. Each man's necessary path. pleasurable excitePrevailing sights and sounds ment. The cheaper your amusements. the safer and surer. They who think much of theatres. and the like. Nov. sickness all is in But deranged. Grand Khan. state. though as obscure and apparently uneventful as that of a beetle operas. are beside themselves. life. is thy with nature Sympaan evidence of perfect health. Cliff.

dear November. 1839. 19. little seeds of the Prinos What ! pretty fruit for them. The ground is strewn with them there. in these bright berries They run up the twigs the night. which had a hole under a stump. Nov. I see where a mouse. the Indians at Desor. told . to find. those bare twigs across the 297 pond are bread and So many oak leaves have fallen that the white birch stems are more distinct amid the young oaks. you must be sacred to the nine. look like light infantry advanced for a swamp fight. 19 [?]. surely. Nov. When I to thee this being have resigned. 1857. and eat these kernels at the entrance to their burrows. They never sing. Ah. take out the small seeds. has eaten out clean the inside of the verticillata berries. 20. those bare birches prepared to stand the winter through on the hillsides. I see to the bone. shall I take my way. With usurer's craft. thoughtless. What's this dull town to me? The maples skirting the meadows in dense phalanxes. on some future day. 1850. see cheese to me. Light-hearted. who has been among Lake Superior this summer. and gather this shining fruit. The willow catkins already peep out one fourth of an inch.AUTUMN. more than myself Nov. Well knowing. Early crowfoot is reddened at Lee's.

I think there is truth in this. and beginning to feel . Hard and steady and engrossing labor with is the hands. that chiefly comes down to posterity. 20. and yet when I get home at evening somewhat weary at last. Nov. 1851. me name but they had but one word for flowers.298 AUTUMN. Here I have been for six days surveying in the woods. for that alone can reach them. and the finest melody farther than the coarsest. But we are accustomed properly to call that only a scientific discovery which knows the relative value of the thing discovered. It is often said that melody can be heard farther than noise. did not distinguish the species of the It is often the unscientific last. and that accordingly those strains of the piano attic stir me which reach me here in my so much more than the sounds which if I should hear I were below in the parlor. especially out of doors. and serves him directly. They man who discovers if it the new species. much purer and sit diviner mel- They who farthest off from the noisy and bustling world are not at pains to distinguish what is sweet and musical. to the literary invaluable man. It would be strange were not so. as of the maple. be- cause they are so ody. and uncovers a fact to mankind. the other day that they had a particular for each species of tree.

Hosmer tells me that one spring he saw a red squirrel gnaw the bark of a maple. Nov. It made a slight sensation among the and for aught I know. I find myself more susceptible music and poetry. I was obliged to manufacture $1. J. I gave it to be understood that I might want an indefinite to peddle wind. raised the price I then visited various packets. and having occasion to go to New quantity. 20. and showed me them.000 worth of . dealer took me down cellar. than usual to the finest influences. asked if I wanted wet or dry. of the berry for a time. as I passed through Boston I went to Quincy market The and inquired the price of cranberries. and then suck the juice. as 299 that I have nerves. I once came near speculating to it Being put to raise the York. some pencils which I had made. Mr. and one skipper was very anxious for my freight. dealers. as my finer senses had acquired an appetite by their fast.AUTUMN. and this he repeated many times. New York and was told what would be the freight on deck and in the hold. in cranberries. 1853. When I got to New York. I again visited the markets as a purchaser. or if the least sight orA sound. The very air can intoxicate me. and " the best of eastern cranberries" were offered me by the barrel at a cheaper rate than I could buy them in Boston.

starlight nights. as the country above dew. serene the manna of fair weather. a product especially of air. What distinct my interest is in dew (I it am so thinking of summer) the fact that is formed most abundantly after bright. He says also that bad conductors of heat have al- . That it nightly rain. by keeping the air in motion. called gathers and falls in so low a stratum that our heads tower above like mountains in an ordi- nary shower. " air. and slowly dispose of. like kine to their yards to be milked. p. and finally sacri- them. vii. air forced Those warm volumes of high up the hillsides in summer nights are driven thither to drop their dew. 505. in order to pay an assumed debt of enhances rain.300 pencils." vol. but gradually forms higher up in the calls it. down of the it. 1100. fice AUTUMN. prevents its heat from passing off. says that the mist at evening does not rise.. before morning on the tops of the A writer in " Harper's Magazine. the clouds. from the clear." He the moisture of the air become visible. and dew formed hills. the upper side of rain. they radiate the heat of the earth back to and that a strong wind. that the moisture they hold so may be condensed. says there is most dew in clear nights because clouds prevent the cooling air. fair It only consists with comparative weather above our heads.

above which raise our heads. also thinks it not prudent to venture rise. 21. especially after midnight when the dew is most abundantly forming. M. 1853. out until the sun begins to air . the nightly rain.AUTUMN. m. as we above the dew on the stars? It only wets their feet. and apparently terminating at East Rock. are drier . 7 a. See the reddish necticut.. or candle-light. Boston to New York by express train. we and unobstructedly behold the The mountains are giants which tower above the rain. 301 ways most dew on them. 1854. per- haps including the hilly region this Springfield. New Haven. JVov. and that wool or swan's down are " good for experimenting on the quantity of dew falling. dew but a humble. 9 a. To Boston. Started for Philadelphia from . which . better in cloudy nights. 20." weighed before and after thinks it not safe to walk in clear nights. hills soil (red sandstone ?) all through Con- of rocky on each side the railState road. grass. Pleasantest part of the whole route between Beyond Hartford a range crossing the Springfield and Hartford along the river. Is not the gentler rain. Nov. side of Reached Canal Street at 5 P. The second one very precipitous. m. and warms the but I think this prudence begets a tender- ness that will catch more cold at noonday than the opposite hardiness at midnight.

m. New York. 22. bought by a Yankee for $22. and a lantern or two showed us a ragged boy and the dark buildings of some New Jersey town. Left at 7..30 a. 21. 1854. by Newark. Academy of Natural Sciences. opposite the Girard (formerly United States) bank. thirteen from Boston. Not to be named all in . for New . at 10 p. Bordentown. . M. 1854. Arrived Time. at the United States Hotel.000. M. 77 Dock Street. Was admitted into the buildIts ing of the world. Put up at Jones's Exchange Hotel. and presented to the Academy. the dark saw only the glossy paneling of the cars reflected out into the dark like the magnificent lit facade of a row of edifices reaching all the way to Philadelphia. river Lodged Nov. as found somewhere down the below Philadelphia. Other collections also are added to this. separate.302 AUTUMN. to the son of Massena (Prince of Essling and were sold at auction. fifteen from Concord. and Camden Ferry. with French's in Nov. The Academy has received great donations. Furness described a lotus identical with an Egyptian one. four hours from New York. except when we stopped. Lodgings. over all the crowned heads of Europe. collection of birds said to be the largest in the They belonged ?). foot of Liberty Street at 6 p. thirty-seven cents and a half per night meals..

or neighbor. would be to use the language .AUTUMN. He took me to the New Opera House. that which is most generally interesting is what comes home to the Nov. and illustrations of If a man who it has had deep experi- ences should endeavor to describe them in a book of travels. cited by a familiar homely phenomenon as by the pyramids. simpler. and we were led by a page to various parts of the house at different times. or poet. to use the common We re- quire that the reporter be very firmly planted before the facts which he observes. or friend. and he loses the fewest moments. but of him who has lived the deepest. Familiar and surrounding objects are the best symbols his life. A man is worth There his life is most to himself and to others. 20. most cherished private experience of the greatIt is not the book of him who has est number. whether as an observer. 303 Saw Greeley. - In books. York. 1857. traveled farthest on the surface of the globe. It is on the whole better. by everybody. not a mere passer-by. as language. and been If an equal emotion is exthe most at home. who is most contented and at home. the most intense. where I heard Grisi and her troupe. He appeared to know and be known Was admitted free to the opera. hence the facts cannot be too homely. there is no advantage in seeing it is the pyramids.

I should travel to the prairies. I have not heard of any planet running against weed stands for trees of California another yet. We need only travel enough to give our intelIn spite of Malthus and the lects an airing. lens.304 AUTUMN. pletely much wider than it still. with an egg in exposed. rest. it The man who often thinking that would be is. Many more of life to me than the big would if I should go there. fields that Here I have been If these forty years learning the language of these* I may the better express myself. better to be somewhere else than where he excommunicates himself. native best roots in his and is is the hardest to transplant. high. of a wandering tribe instead of a universal lan- guage. about six inches wide and somewhat more than two thick The nest is a regular but shallow . and my past life serve me but ill to describe them. there will be plenty of room in this world. if every man will mind his own business. p. is One nest. The poet has made the soil. and barely one high. The very All are cavity smallest hole about two and a half inches wide horizontally. M. To Ministerial Swamp. I should less much would a understand them. Some bankis swallows' nests are exposed by the caving of the bank at Clamshell. The at the comend is shaped like a thick hoe-cake or vertically.

so much like the former that most do not know it is another. Returning. and shaking their heads at each other but what in. both plowman and driver have their coats on. Ranunculus bul- The hardy tree sparrow has taken the place of the chipping and song sparrow. I see. spirits His faint lisping chip till will keep up our another spring.AUTUMN. feeling themselves unusually im- by gravity downward. In the large Wheeler bosus in full bloom. methinks. Thus my little Idyl is disturbed. field. I hear the driver speak in a peculiarly sharp and petulant manner to the plowman. they took the hint even as boys do. flourished round gratuitously. But in diameter when I get nearer. I observed this afternoon how some bullocks had a little sportiveness forced upon them. about five inches and three quarters of an inch thick. They were running down a pelled steep declivity to water. two gentlemen plowing a field as if to try an agricultural experiment. as they are turning the furrow.quarters into the air. and I know at once that they belong to those two races which are so slow to amalgamate. As it is very cold and windy. creases the ludicrousness of it to me is the fact that such capers are never accompanied by a . tossing their hind . one. when. 305 made simply of stubble.

its scales with a smart and seems to bristle up. Nov. lying in the sun. 20. with but little delay. but while I look the whole cone opens crackling. 1858. returned with a new mate. They scattering the dry pitch on the surface. It is only dis- coverable on a close inspection. its or which the sun has scorched. movement more awkward. the male. has separated scales very slightly at the apex. AUTUMN. To Ministerial [Martial Miles] says that a marsh Swamp. Again I hear that sharp. and though he shot the female three times. and saw that the female could long tell when the male was coming. Who does not believe that their step their is less elastic. . gathered November 7th. she turned and the young all together. M. a thought the male fed her way off. 1855. It is almost like not at once spread wide open. snapping sound. hawk had a nest in his meadow several years. He She would utter a scream when she perceived him. is As it is soon as the tenrelaxed in every relaxed in one part. from their long domesticity ? Nov. p. and hastening to the window I find that another of the pitch-pine cones. sion part. and rising into the air (before or after the scream ?). 20. He often watched these birds. crackling. all thus fairly loosen and open. the disintegration of glass. though they do and rocks.306 smile.

and see the abundant sheeny light. this year's shoots of shrubs. if it is only moderately cold. and then carried He had seen her do this many It is times. alder twigs. and caught without to her young. This gives a character of . 307 over with her talons uppermost. sparkling lights. which have a slight down. but a white There are several kinds of twigs. Such are not only the sweet-fern. Few things are more exhilarat- ing. bleached or hoary surfaces to reflect the light. but the hazel in a less degree. It is not a red. and there are so many bare. the air is so clear. or haziness. some three rods above. which reflect a dazzling white light exceedingly warming to the spirits and imagination. Wheeler pasture. than to walk over bare pastures. reflected from the and bleached earth. and even the short huckleberry twigs. like a universal halo. It is as if they were covered with a myriad fine spicule. while he passed fail it the prey which he let drop. silvery light. ordinary lights. for the reflecting russet surfaces are less dimmed now. hardly perceptible in light. polished. I go across the great and always without failing.AUTUMN. but which seen toward the sun reflect a sheeny. The earth shines perhaps more than in spring. also lespedeza stems. though held in the hand. glory of The November is in its silvery. a cool but pleasant November afternoon.

Sprague of Cohasset states to the Natural 1858. for the most part. which seemed to mottling a hillside. and was admiring the va- rious rich browns of the shrub-oak plain across me more wholesome and remarkable. lasting. that quite satisfies the eye. lost its ribbons . Quaker colors. more incorruptible and 1. that the light History Society Sept. and is directly conversant with the day god. 1850. wholesome and permanent beauty of withered oak leaves of various hues of brown. as if it were a place where the sun consorted with Each individual hair rabbits and partridges. The rare." Nov. under the tail of the common glow-worm "remained for fifteen minutes after death. — the beauty richness and variety are the same as before.308 AUTUMN. snug warmth and cheerfulness to the swamp. The witch hazel blossom on Conantum now. As day I returned over Conantum summit yester- just before sunset. has. I was surprised to see a broad halo traveling with me. the colors different. and some three rods wide on the shrub oaks. at least one fourth mile off. and always opposite the sun to me. as more permanent than the late brilliant colors. especially seen is when the sun low. 21. on every such shoot above the swamp is bathed in glowing sunlight. the river. sober ornaments.

fish-hawks. as the wind made to ripple the water. Nov. I saw Fair Haven Pond with strip of perfectly still lee of the island. perit. 1851. . serene light which is difficult a time. Better come here never lecture. sailing over I did not see see how it could be improved. but I get no Yet I do not further than this. How ! adapted these forms and colors to my eye ! A meadow and an island ! What I are these things ducks keep so aloof am made is to ? Yet the hawks and the and nature is so reserved love the pond and the meadow. Certain coincithe world it dences like this are accompanied by a certain flash as of hazy lightning flooding to see long at all suddenly with a tremulous. of the avenues to my future. 309 I saw the sun falling on a distant white-pine wood whose gray and moss-covered stems were visible amid the green. its island. men than they hire to Why don't they ask I Edmund Hosmer rather hear or George Minott ? would them decline than most of these hirelings lecture. and see that I did not realize or appreciate it before. what these things can be. It is one was like looking into dreamland. haps. and a and smooth water in the and two hawks. 21.! AUTUMN. in an angle where this forest abutted It on a hill covered with shrub oaks. I begin to see such an object when I cease to understand it.

21 1857. ton of a bird with then. there was a hole where it had thrust its bill down. for a rod or two at least. . or possibly . Up Assabet. referring the dark-brown to the shore behind it it. [?]. . with its head drawn in. May not be that the yellowish-brown markings of its the bird correspond somewhat to skeleton? it At any rate. standing on its great pink feet. and all along the edge of the ice. I did not for a considerable time suspect tling flight. I had apparently noticed only the a turtle. perfectly still. the shell of some large dry oak leaves peculiarly curled and cut and then all at once I saw that it was a woodcock. frequently closer. carrying its . savory morsels for this bird. life must be collected at that depth just in that narThe row space. Some animal . above the grape-hung birches. yellowish-brown portions of the plumage. with to my eye steadily on from a point within a rod. drawn to a singular looking of leaves on the shore about a rod Then I skele- thought it might be the dry and yellowed all its ribs .310 AUTUMN. melted so far by the lapse of the water. p. Just my attention was dry leaf or parcel off. Nov. Examit had flown with a whis- saw that there was a clear shore of mud between the water and the edge of ice crystals about two inches wide. probing every half inch. m. chubby bird darted away zigzag. I it ining the shore after be a living creature.

At the brook [Saw MiU Brook] the partridge berries checker the ground with their leaves. As I returned through Hosmer's field. which I improve in pulling my turnips. and lusty they are yet. 21. interesting. because . and indeed there is a relationship. long tongue-case carefully before witch hazel bushes. They remind you of rosy cheeks in cold weather. now interspersed with red ber- bottom of the brook is it is green while most other plants are sere. like every other kind of harvestry. the sun was just setting beneath a black cloud by which it had been obscured. if you have been the sower. still adding to their stock of nutriment for another year. It rises and falls and waves with the current. before they shall be It is worth while to see how green frozen in. Even pulling turnips when the first cold weather numbs your is fingers. Another finger-cold evening. the usual amusement of such weather. the portion narrow strip still left open and unfrozen between the water's edge and the ice. of the shore. 22. Nov. the it 311 over the This is its walk. 1851. and between the green and also withering leaves it does me good to see their great crimson round or scalloped tops sometimes quite above ground. and as it had been a cold cress at the The doubly beautiful now. they are so bold.AUTUMN. and have not sown too many. Nov. ries. 1860.

which thus far has been denied to the year. After a cold. were clothed in a still golden light. its light. from the contrast between the dark and comfortless afternoon. which fell suddenly on some white pines between me and it. a book which should be a memorial of October. It was. 22. it is most likely such a person makes a demand on us which we disappoint. or Autumnal Tints. 1853. and this bright and cheerful light. resemblance to Nov. almost fire. I beautiful yellow of the remember especially the Populus grandldentata . The eastern hills and woods. characteristic color. also. I was just thinking it would be fine to get a specimen leaf from each changing tree and shrub and plant in autumn. be entitled October Hues. this cheerits ing light almost warms us by fire. Geese went over yesterday and to-day.312 AUTUMN. and windy afternoon. If there is any one with whom we have a quarrel. too. gray day. and copy its color exactly with paint in a book. intermediate in its transition from the green to the russet or brown state. the color of its ripeness. lighting them np like a shimmering fire. when it had got its brightest. It was a sort of Indian summer in the day. in September and October. and also on the oak leaves and chestnut stems. was quite a circumstance. outline it.

and the dog was so wearied and injured by the pig that men were obliged to carry him in their arms. The pig stood it better than the dog. and after. a wild pig from the West.. 313 and the tints of the scarlet maple. 22. About the first of November. threw him over and hurt his shoulder. they turned out in force with a gun and a large mastiff. woodbine.AUTUMN. jumped out of a car at the depot. What a memento such a book would be. but there the pig turned and pursued them so resolutely that they ran for their lives. and they were preparing to shoot him. down to I might get the impression of the latest oaks. and the lake of radical leaves. The next day being Sunday. Such pork might be called venison. At the last accounts. while some railroad employees pursued the pig even to the woods one and a half miles off. though pierced in many places by a pitchfork. fairly frightened the men by his fierce charges. ran between the gun-man's legs. he had been driven or baited into a barn in Lincoln. and one climbed a tree. 1858. and made for the woods. but no one durst enter. but still the pig had the best of it. said to weigh three hundred pounds. The owner had to give up the chase at once not to lose his passage. color them. beginning with the earliest reddening of the leaves. the . their veins and ivy. outlines in summer. etc. Nov.

1860. Though you are finger-cold toward night. last in He was caught at. and you cast a stone on your first ice. You enjoy not only the bracing coolness. bleak. joice in the bare. It is the freshest flower I notice now. veyed to Brighton. The sandy road is itself lit by the November sun beautiful. the sweet fern. through which even the white pines. Shrub oaks . to say nothing of the weather-worn tufts of Andropogon scoparius. all is. Toad-flax] The Linaria is still [Wild freshly blooming. Nov. Every plant's down glistens with a silvery light along the Marlboro' road. with their silvery sheen. the firm outline walk over. but reflected the heat and sunlight there back to you from the earth. and see the unmelted crystals under of the hills. 22. and so con- p. are an It is a day to behold and to affecting sight. hard. To northwest Canadensis part of Sudbury. a cool but clear crystalline air. a snare. lasting all Considerable ice pools. so convenient to air so bracing every bank.314 AUTUMN. A thousand I re- bare twigs gleam like cobwebs in the sun. and the and wholesome. ramble over the stiffening and withered surface of the tawny earth. m. it is glorious November weather. the lespedeza. and barren-looking surface of the tawny pastures. day on the meadows and cold This is a very beautiful November day. and bare blue- berry twigs.

only greater because more fire is required. but more distinct in the cooler atmosphere. 315 and young oaks generally. the richer he Summer gone with is its infinite wealth. are a very pleasing sight. and the high road is in effect converted neath. which we lately admired have now vanished. still he beholds the same inaccessible beauty around him. innocence. others are more remarkable and interesting than The smokes from distant chimneys. cellar affords. or plucks berries on the hills. genial to man. and all his barns and fences are singularly neat and substantial. of all enervating luxuries. What though he has no juice of the grape stored up for him in cellars. revealing the - . and other hardy shrubs are your companions. the air itself is wine of an older vintage.AUTUMN. or reclines on the bank. Maynard's yard and f rontage. as if it were an iron age. yet in simplicity. and strength. and conduct our thoughts quickly to the roof and hearth and family be- homes of men. is is in respect to them. and not a blithe child that drinks or cares for that Though so many phenomena so famous wine. a golden one. not before. and still nature Though he no longer bathes in the stream. It is glorious to consider is how independent man and the poorer he is. and hazel bushes. and far more sanely exhilarating than any It is ever some gouty senior.

chewing the cud. 1850. the firm outline of a distant hill. Unexpectedly I found ice by the side of the brooks this afternoon nearly an inch thick. You cannot even find an apple but it is sweet to taste. It sug- and happiness. to see Sudbury men. He had all but stretched a bar across it. and so attach themselves to him as if he had planted them. the farmer's life expresses only such content as an ox in his yard. What though your hands are numb with cold. The dirty highway was so subdued that it seemed as if it were lost there. way through his grounds. 23. or a blue mountain-top through some new wealth enough for one afternoon. this is We journeyed how the to the foreign land of Sudbury. Nov. Simply to see a distant horizon through a clear gests unspeakable peace air. and were home again at .316 into a private AUTUMN. vista. the Hayneses and the Puffers and the Brighams live we traversed their pastures and their wood-lots. strange to tell. night. However. Yet. To-day it has been finger-cold. as if he were trespassing. the surviving forest trees to grow into ancestral trees about his premises. The . Each traveler must have felt some misgivings. your sense of enjoyment is not benumbed. I noticed that he had a tiger instead of a cock for a vane on his barn. and he He had allured himself looked overworked.

1852. This morning the ground it still is white with snow. reedy pond. I was much more surprised to find a pond in the woods. first 23. to make myself all is dissatisfied the thoroughfare of thrilling that can be lived. live The man who with himself. quite frozen over. entertain sublime conjectures. and snows. what can he not do? Nov. This is a shallow. greater than find ice 317 difference in temperature of various localities is If I was surprised to is supposed. Caddis-worms were everywhere crawling about in their handsome I find it to be the height of wisdom not life to endeavor to oversee myself. containing an acre or more. and five a of prudence and common-sense. The plants appeared to grow more uprightly than on the dry land. being sustained and protected by the water. it was slightly whitened for ten or fifteen minutes. of course there is no ice yet. though once before. Already the landscape impresses me with a . I lay down on the ice and looked through at the bottom.AUTUMN. thoughts. This is the time it has been fairly white this season. but to see over and above myself. where a pine wood excluded the sun. In the larger ponds and the river. on the sides of the brooks. quiver-like sheaths or cases. so It was a cold corner that I walked across it. many weeks ago.

and the sound of the mortar the odor of garrets. Aster undulatus. dandelion. as if it were based on an experience in a previous state of existence. The following seen within a fortnight : a late three .ribbed golden-rod. are disposed to give thanks for the bounties of the year all over the land. genial even in the first something snow. Among the flowers which may be put down as lasting thus far. autumnal dandelion. and perhaps tall buttercup. but I at once discov- . and could not be entertained by my Both the thought and the language were equally novel to me. Men. though this snow will probably soon melt again. these very fresh and common. are yarrow. and summer savory reaches even to poets' This. the last four scarce. as I remember. Ranunculus repens. which surprised me by its strangeness. and Nature seems to relent a little of her November harshness. then. too. is heard in all houses. Potentilla argentea. Bidens I have not connata. waking self. blue-stemmed golden-rod (these two perhaps within a week).318 AUTUMN. I had a thought in a dream last night. cerastium [mouse-ear ehickweed]. There is greater sense of fertility. may be considered the end of the flower season for this year. looked for witch hazel nor Stellaria media [common ehickweed] lately. and Shepherd's purse. tansy. in the order of their hardiness.

JSTov. The cocks are the only birds I hear. But they are a host. The reflection enchants us. more pure and innocent. To Swamp Bridge Brook mouth. The problem is as precise and simple as a mathematical one. seen from the and full of reflections. going down. If I would preserve my relation to nature. The water. just as an echo does. while poets go down stream. no less than the reblossoming of certain flowers. m. and lightens and makes heaven of earth is the fact that you see the reflection of the humblest weed against the sky. and spring- like morning. the year renewing youth. I must not live loosely. They crow as freshly and bravely as ever. The Indian summer. said to be more remarka- ble in this country than elsewhere. is the reminiscence or rather the reits turn of spring. By and it eight o'clock the misty clouds disperse. calm. ered it 319 to be true. but is still spread far over the meadows. 23. 6 a. degenerate into science and prose. and to coincide with my ex- perience in this state. the peep of the hylodes. but you cannot put your head low enough to see the subperfectly smooth window What lifts stance so. .AUTUMN. and sometimes the faint warble of some birds. but more and more continently. turns out a pleasant. I must make my life more moral. 1853.

and heard the line. that concern us . the latter abutting on the former from the front. At head M.320 AUTUMN. faint honk- ing of one or two. within a week. Their fairest and sweetest parts cannot be exported nor imported. 23. or South and sold in our markets. They are in the usual harrow form. Brought here. ket-place. twelve in the shorter at the fourth bird and twenty-four This is in the longer. they chiefly concern those whose walks are through the marIt is not those far-fetched fruits which the speculator imports. one or two kinds of berries in So long as I saw my walks whose names I did not know. whose beauty annually lends a new charm to some wild walk. the proportion of the unknown seemed indefinitely. Most of us are still related our native cover a fields as to the navigator to undiscovered islands in the sea. that is. if not infinitely. Nov. I saw flying southwest high over- a flock of geese. pineapples. Famous fruits imported from the East great. 5 P. do not concern me so much as many an unnoticed wild berry. or which I have found to be The tropical palatable to an outdoor taste. We new fruit there can any autumn diswhich will surprise us by its beauty or sweetness. the sixth flock I have seen or heard of since the morning of the 17th. and bananas. 1860. fruits are for those who dwell within the tropics. as oranges. lemons.

24. journeying all the consigned to your friends at home. can never degenerate into an acquaintance. who think that this eclipses his military glory. 1350. a fruit with which one has in some identified himself by cultivating or col- it one of the most suitable presents to a was some compensation for Commomay have introduced some cannon-balls and bombshells into parts where they were not wanted. Nov. in the hold of a basket. so measure lecting friend. commonly part from them so with a certain bitter-sweet sentiment. fruit is of As some beautiful or palatable perhaps the noblest gift of Nature to is man. the the season. but one idealize. . I must know him on that higher ground. but I love Plucked a buttercup to-day. by meeting than by absence. I have certain friends whom I visit occasionally. and estranged from one another. 321 but rather those which you have fetched long afternoon. early. whom have have been accustomed to friend. chiefly. to dreams about as a and mix up intimately with myself. Some men in one another that may be my I acquaintances merely. or not know him at all. aye. I It dore Porter. is That which we mixed and entangled with that we hate we are more grieved and disappointed.AUTUMN. to have introduced the Valparaiso squash into the United States. first yourself from some far hill or swamp.

Nov. if we repel each other strongly. but not In that fervid and excitable season we only get the impulse which is to carry us onward in our future career. 24. distinctly at. I go to and try his atmosphere. Ideals are exhibited to us then all which our lives after we may aim is but not attain. writing poetry was for youths only. stifled by one another. Our friend His must be an atmosphere coextensive with the universe. We do not confess and explain because we would fain be so intimately related as to understand each other without speech. If our atmospheres do not mingle. we merely receive an impulse in the proper direction. 24. it is of no use to stay. Found on the south side of the [Ministerial] swamp the Lygodium palmatum. whether the way led over a mountain In youth. 1851. Some poets have said that so.322 . which Bigelow calls the only climbing fern in smothered and see my friend our latitude. The mere vision little compared with the steady. corresponding endeavor thitherward. 1857. we are must be broad. we are most elastic. To suppose this is . Nov. AUTUMN. For the most part. It would be vain for us to be looking ever at promised lands toward which we were not meanwhile steadily and earnestly traveling. in which we can expand and breathe. when top or through a dusky valley.

the landlittle scape presented a very pretty wintry sight. are fresh. . bright chestnut fruit of other kinds. glis- We tening with moisture. 24. and the absurd. counterpart in a light. or thrice its downy white it. of excellent mind or not. It is a lichen day. The great green lungwort lichen shows now on the oaks (strange that there should be none on the pines close by). 323 equivalent to having traveled the road. 1858. with a little moist snow falling. two or three together. and every one had its snow as there was. 24. raised a couple of feet from the ground on slender stalks. if these were the alternafor neither of these I love I must say that it is that I should feel the strongest affection. that one with whom I sympathize. it had lodged on every twig. Nov. be she " beautiful " or otherwise. Being very moist. one. 1859. and not simply tell what we have seen. twice own depth." as tives. Nov. brings to light. is shown fair scenes in order that we may be tempted to inhabit them. How pretty amid the downy and cottony fruits of November the head of the white anemone. life and immortality When I looked out this morning. resting on Here is an author who contrasts love for " the beauties of the person " with that for " excellences of the mind.AUTUMN. or obeyed the impulse faithfully throughout a lifetime.

The green moss about the bases of trees was very prettily spotted white with them. this was the first base. The air was so filled with these snow pellets that we could not see a hill half a mile off. They drove along al- most horizontally. from out a gray or slate-colored cloud that came up from the west. This consisted almost entirely of pellets an eighth of an inch or less in diameter. or curving upward like the outline of a breaker before the strong and chilling wind. yellowish. The first spitting of snow. somewhat like a little torch with its flame.white — small heads of and regular time. and also the large beds of cladonia in the pastures.324 AUTUMN. at this and bursting forth above. The hands seek the warmth of the pockets. The plowed fields were for a short time whitened with them. diffusive down compact as a thimble beneath. They come to con- trast with the red cockspur lichens on the stumps which you had not noticed before. but. a flurry or squall. The rabbits in the swamp enjoy it as well as you. Methinks the winter gives them more liberty. 24. Striking against the trunks of the trees on the west side. Nov. . 1860. and fingers are so benumbed that you cannot open your jackknife. I see where a boy wintry scene of the season. they fell and accumulated in a white line at the Though a slight touch. for an hour. like a night.

whether eaten or not. They do not feed the imagination. The bitter-sweet of a white-oak acorn This afternoon. pitiable that the How most many see of a rabbit should be the snare some boy has set for one which you nibble in a bleak November walk over the tawny earth. is often the snow on the ground which makes the whole difference. This afternoon the air was indescrib- ably clear and exhilarating. are a dessert for the imagination. 25. and epicures. We do not think much of They are especially for aldermen table fruits. 1850. late and cold In- as it is. and baited apple. a mile off. — rather the satisfaction of existence. is more to me than a slice of imported pineapple. and though the ther- mometer would have shown it to be cold. 325 it with half an come across a snare set for a rabbit or partridge in a cowpath in a pitch- pine wood. These wild fruits. JVov. .! AUTUMN. intellectual warmth in which the body was warmed by the mind's conthe warmth hardly sensuous. and. a wholesome. near where the rabbits have nibbled the apples which strew the wet ground. but tentment. has set a box trap. I think we have summer days from time and that it to time the winter through. I thought there was a finer and purer warmth than in summer. deed. has been a sort of Indian summer. That would starve on them.

tough. their wood. I could not see whether it was a clam or not. ripe twigs. pointing to the sky. I saw a muskrat come out of a hole in the ice. you see. the air like a pure glass being laid over the picture. Then he would sit on the edge of the ice. sitting perfectly so long on ice covered with water. The woods. divested in great part of their leaves. He would dive when I went nearer. The landscape looked singularly clean and pure and dry. low. of hard. that is all.326 AUTUMN. swept . by swimming about in it. wet clam in its sheU. are being ventilated. then reappear again. He is a different sort of man. all The leaves have made stand up nial that and a myriad new withes around. dry grass. so that it had not frozen. and It is only the peren- able to survive the cold. What safe. ice on the water and winter in the but yet not a particle of snow on the ground. the meadow and pastures if clothed with clean. moderate . I am thinking what he is thinking of me. While I am looking at him. and busy himself about something. and had kept open a place five or six feet square. mumbling a cold. looked as they had been air. not of tender buds and leaves. the trees so tidy and stripped of their leaves . the iron age of the year. He is a man wilder than Ray or Melvin. What a cold-blooded fellow ! thoughts at still a low temperature. It is the season of perfect works.

He The generation of muskrats do not They are not preserved by the legislature of Massachusetts. There was a purple tint in the horizon. and I wonder that the dry leaves do not blaze into yellow flames.AUTUMN. I hear at sun- down what but it I mistake for the squawking of a hen. thoughts he must have stilts. our creator breathes us. far removed from the sense of cold. as if the thin atmosphere were rarefied by heat. the sun was setting like an Indian summer sun. for they are firing at chickens hereabouts. were the medium of invisible flames. 1852. night. proved to be a flock of wild geese going 25. se- Just as the sun shines on us warmly and renely. When I got up high on the side of the cliff. and I could have sat till the sun disappeared. that where the shrub-oak leaves rustle on the hillside. Just after the sun set to- I observed the northern part of the . 1853. It was a mild sunset such as is to be attended to. Nov. I experience such an interior comfort. At Walden. south. It was warm on the face of the rocks. on us and re-creates Nov. 25. as if the whole landscape were one great hearthside. I seem to hear a crackling fire and see the pure flames. to dream there. ! 327 does uot get upon fail.

and thence through woods to Goose Pond and Pine Hill. windy afternoon. and the fur rises up to your touch. and a few slate-colored snowbirds flit with thick. as usual. To Hubbard's Close. bare frozen ground covered with pale brown or straw-colored herbage. a perfectly clear and cloudless sky. until its southern edge was seen at an angle of 45° by me. shuffling twitter. with electricity. cold. I should sooner think of going into . This is November of the hardest kind. Ditches and pools are fast skim- ming over. Half an hour later. p. shrunken. wise deserted pastures. as like the cat's.328 AUTUMN. a strong. their hair if standing out every way. and fine-chipping tree sparrows from bush to bush in the otherother. The cat crackles with electricity when you stroke her. heavens was covered with fleecy clouds which abruptly terminated in a straight line stretching and west directly over my head. showeast ing clear sky behind it in the north. 1857. The cattle in the fields have a cold. walker's resources This month taxes a more than any For my part. but though its line was straight as before. it now appeared regularly curved like a segment of a melon rind. A clear. cold. cutting north wind which makes me seek to cover my ears. Nov. the western end being beautifully rose-tinted. 25. m. this cloud had advanced southward. shaggy look.

or there. quarters in 329 November than in winter. and cannot make up my mind to any seem so unpromising. If you delay to start till three o'clock. I seem to anticipate a fruitless walk. and few birds not a companion abroad in all these fields for me. so many springs are frozen up. it is your own. not a flower. and so little is to be of town. to myself hesitatingly. perchance. herself become. to get fairly out feel November Eat-heart. for I am obliged to go willfully and against my inclination at first. It is but a short time these afternoons before the night cometh in which no man can walk. If you do any fire at this season out of doors. your courage to take a walk when all is thus tightly locked or frozen up. If I find anything to excite a warming thought abroad. all go there. a very thick-shelled nut with a shrunken meat within. you may depend upon it.AUTUMN. of it ? seen in field or wood. the I am inclined to take to warmest place. mere surface- . there will be hardly time left for a long and rich adventure. shall I I think or there ? route. the prospect as the swamps or woods looks so barren. and Nature has the former are still the openest. it is an agreeable disappointment. but there is often a benumbing of the You can hardly screw up faculties generally. left. is that the name Not only the fingers cease to do their office. like the few fruits she still affords.

and at random. The landscape looks darker than at any other season. I shiver about awhile on Pine Hill. these days. but I cannot help suspecting that I should have spent those hours more profitably alone. as if it were the south instead of the northwest if wind that blew. The mite which November contributes becomes equal in value to the bounty of I may meet with something that interests July. There is the sun a quarter it of an hour high. waiting The air appears to me for the sun to set. like arctic scenery. comparatively speaking. I do not know associate. Bnt then I am often unexpectedly compensated. I notice a thimble-berry vine forming an arch four feet high which has firmly rooted the small end. itself at The roar of the wind in the trees over my head sounds as cold as the wind feels. walking and fronting the cold wind. and immediately it is as warm as in July.330 AUTUMN. dusky now after four. may at last yield a fruit That society or encounter which I am not aware of. so that I have to force myself to it often. me. my afternoon. spoil I is am singular when I say I can that I believe there no man with whom who will not. and the thinnest yellow light of November is more warming and exhilarating than any wine they tell of. shining on through a per- .

though so large. with an occasional attempt to into it. there ute. 1858. 25. but I see the tail. Returning I see a fox run across the road in He is on a canter. so far as any resemblance to our race is concerned. as I stand at this height. the dog. Aye. is my And now eye singularly the sun has disap- hardly less light for half a min- I should not know when it was down. It is surprising how much. and is so original. there is a serenity and warmth here. is wasted on form. Perhaps I like him better than his tame cousin. as with a sort of preponderating paste or vehicle. I find the Nov. parlor their parlor. fectly clear sky. peared. he tains himself free main- and wild in our midst. because. for it. from the habit of regarding writing as an accomplishment. but a long-winded is speech made. A very little information or wit is mixed up with a great deal of conventionalism in the style of expressing it. sunny south side of the swamp as warm as is and warmer to my spirit. but to 331 it is dark or dusky. whitish tip of his I feel a certain respect still for him. the twilight. which the . but by looking that way. life is Some not simply expressed. put a their little life While most keep close to cold and blustering fires this Thanksgiving afternoon. and think with compassion of those who are abroad.AUTUMN.

is this and barn quented cellar The farmer. Nov. now on the new barn built. The house was shaken by wind last night. and just as little. and rear those timbers aloft. 1860. or failed to do it so little originality. and then a tomb. and there was a general deficiency of bed-clothes. to get the poem done at last. You would think there was a tariff on thinking and originality. Now for the phenomena of winter. down-hill of life. and my greatcoat. so to call it.332 AUTUMN. the broken edges shining in the sun. by the sound wind roaring on the northwest side of the a dozen or so rods off. This for twoscore years he has This his struggled for. Last night and to-day. in literature. and just as to dig that cavity ! means much cess. with alternate failure and he at length gets a barn cellar completed. very cold and blustering. fate. How many millions have There is done just like him. 25. enhanced of the swamp What ! a whole- some and inspiring warmth Pass Tarbell's. As I go up the meadow-side toward Clamshell I . far away in some unfreat length gets his is vale. With suc- steady struggle. Winter weather has come suddenly this year. This morning some windows were as handsomely decorated with frost I wear mittens or gloves. as ever in winter. There is much ice on the meadows now. parlor does not suggest.

pecking the apples of the meadow -side. How is must all any scientific discovery it . in proportion as you rob him of earthly luxuries I look around for thoughts. and comforts. They flit before me in countless numlow on account of the strong northwest wind that comes over the hill. as from a weather . I see where they have been Some perch and seem weary. myself. He but see it. How often you make a man richer in spirit. made ? Why. liness. thought is in embryo. . when I am me.AUTUMN. — When lecting. within three or four rods of me. 26. and a cold gleam is reflected from the back and wings bers. dense pine woods. immense cohort of cawing crows winter has driven near to an which sudden the habitations of man. But. I see them col- and hovering over and if settling in the . I return after sunset. .stained shingle. head first. it stirs not within Anon it begins to assume shape and comeit. Nov. overflowing. Probably the moist meadows where they feed are frozen up against them. 1837. the discoverer takes into his . flying very of each. alas how often when . as about to roost there. and I deliver and clothe ! it in its gar- ment of language. evidently gathered by this cold and blustering weather. 333 see a very great collection of crows far and wide on the meadows. still While I live on. .

less open on either . dwelling. or swallow a crust. without being detained a moment by any go by in it. that takes us captive. It is there because somebody was independent. unpainted house. or do anything but expectorate them. storied. of course. Minott's is a small. surroundings being objectionable this but very few house without being agreeably imto inquire pressed. it should be transplanted to the meadow below. not the architecture. nor even its weather-stained color. nobody would notice it. Nov. bold enough to carry out the happy thought of placing it high on the hillside. because of snug and picturesque posi- tion on the hillside. a third of the way up the south side of a long hill. It is the locality. do I resort to a spat on the back. more than a schoolhouse which was lately of the same form. but chiefly.334 AUTUMN. and therefore led Not that its form is its who lives so incomparable. this form preserving and color. square. either the form or . one - 26. with its surroundings such a site (only. roof. fairly lodged there where and its perfect harmony and position. which is some fifty feet high. There is exactly all children like to be. 1857. I think. and extends east and A traveler of taste may go straight west. with a hipped and at least one dormer window. For if. through the village. thoughts choke me.

has slipped and From its position and fallen on the steep path. and summer lingers longest there. adhering close the bark. side) between this house 335 and the next westward. meadow and brook. and houses beyond. When in a windy or in any day you have penetrated some thick wood like this. . or would be Without bold enough to place a cottage there. creeps rapidly to and upward by starts. but few. you are pretty sure to hear its cheery note. lot. inspect- At this season. 26. This has no black cockade like the nuthatch. even of the admiring travelers. than any front yard. have thought of this as a house-lot. To The chickadee is the Colburn farm wood- the bird of the wood. to that door-yard than any other. the most unfailing. then suddenly darts to the base of another tree downward where repeats the same course. I see to-day one brown creeper busily ing the pitch pines. 1859. if any. exposure.AUTUMN. that simple sloping bank before it is pleasanter visitor. Nov. and shifting a little from side to It begins at the base. to the The spring comes earlier distant Fair Haven. till side often off it near the top. the ness and prospect. it is almost its sole inhabitant. side fences. though many a and many times the master. or graveled walk. it has shelter and warmth and dryHe overlooks the road. or flower-plots.

and coldness of winter without the variety of ice and snow. which his boy had This rabbit white beneath the whole length. yet the fur . m. Farmis He gave me the head of a gray rabbit snared. say ten feet high. and narrowing successively each tier.! 336 AUTUMN. and . . 27. east of Dodge's Brook. beneath thick and slate-colored. sat down outside. by Farmer said that his grandfather. in this manner: they piled up logs cob-house fashion. er's. well say. 27. Nov. Then they put a dead sheep within. who could remember one hundred and twenty-five years before this. and the same spotted with black. sides. the hairs coarse and homely. ever. told him that they used to catch wolves in Carter's pasture by the North River. 1855. if The stained fur under the feet dirty yellowish. sides. How bright they are now in contrast with the dark earth Nov. A wolf soon found it in the night. I might the brown part. By river to J. Methinks the variety and compensation are in the stars. as what it trod upon. 1853. reddish brown on the above . now while the earth and we have the bare. eight or ten feet square. barren. beginning with a large base. if Now a man will is eat his heart. p. so as to make steps for the wolves to the top. cheerless. as usual defended from the cold pal e-brick color.

but when they had done eating. But the rest. 1857. and placed himself within. Joseph Clark told him that as he was going along the road. he cast a stick over the wall and hit some crows in a field. I saw countless . but this delicate and graceful outside frostingsurpassed them all infinitely. and jumped down within . Standing before Stacy's large glass windows. One crow took his station as sentinel on the top of a tree. Nov. and thirty or forty alighted upon the horse. Also Mr. They always found one of the wolves dead. immediately flew to their sentinel. to shoot crows. His windows are filled with fancy articles and toys for Christmas and New Year's presents. were gloriously ground by the I never saw such beautiful feather and fir like frosting. whom he fully be- lieves. 27. I saw that they frost. and then they ascended step by step. instead of minding him. they could not get out again. this morning. He fired and killed seven or eight. howled till lie 337 called his comrades to him. into this A man in Brighton. whereupon they flew directly at their sentinel on an apple-tree and beat and buffeted him away to the woods as far as he could see.AUTUMN. told him that he built a bower near a dead horse. and pecked him to pieces before his eyes. and supposed he was punished for betraying the others trap.

and on that they went hurrying off in Indian file by hedgerows and watercourses. plumes. Nov. sometimes nearly Other crystals looked like fine size.338 feathers pinnae. their gray hairs streaming. test fire within. 27. The Greeks and Romans was very important. though we do not produce and scarcely use it. by the frost being melted off. and these feathers branched off horizontally. which the sun had not yet penetrated. because they had no olive oil also Our poets (?) still sing of honey (though we have sugar) and oil. how glorious it would You can tell which shopman has the hotbe. of honey. was this Every tree. 1859. sought to hide their . On this side. made much sugar . like elves and fairies of the night. and wonder that Ruskin does not refer to frost work. I was never so struck by the gracefulness of the curves in vegetation. AUTUMN. of the natural If glass could be ground to look like this. in a secluded valley. 1837. Nov. fence. 28. from it all the way. while the shrubs and grasses. The darkness caught napping. and spire of grass that could raise its head above the snow morning covered with a dense hoar trees looked like airy creatures of frost. they were huddled together. with very distinct midribs and fine The half of a trunk seemed to rise in each case up along the sash.

for the most part. 28. and These leaves the edges regularly indented. summer The more minute fibres. and the crystalline particles trooped to their standard in the same admirable order on the other. since the book was published. and upon one meeting another.AUTUMN. It struck me that these ghost leaves. were creatures of the same law. 1853. dress. It could not be in obe- dience to two several laws. and even were perfectly distinct. 339 The branches and taller grasses were covered with a wonder- ful ice-foliage answering leaf for leaf to their centre. diverging. angles. and yet the landscape was covered with snow. all it.. but on a approach.sun (when it was not bent toward the east). diminished heads in the snow. I have paid him directly out of pocket. that the vegetable juices swelled gradually into the perfect leaf on the one hand. Munroe & Co. this phenomenon vanished. and on a new account placed twelve of my books with him on sale. Settled with J. were on the side of the twig or stubble opposite to the . at right and there were others standing out at possible angles upon this. The river viewed from the bank above appeared of a yellowish green color. and the green ones whose form they assume. Nov. two hundred and ninety dollars. and taken nearer .

overcast. A gray. somewhat like the domestic cat. and he did. that wild-cat which he says he heard a month ago in Ebby Hubbard's woods. found at Peter's River and Lake Superior but he proves it to be common near the White Mountains. Harris described to me finding a new species of cicindela [glow-worm] at the White Mountains this fall. 28. a low sort of growling.840 a receipt for it. He was going . 28. and then a sudden quick-repeated caterwaul. the same of which he had found a specimen there some time ago. the pecuniary value of the book. 1858. at first. supposed to be very rare. Spoke to Skinner about Nov. Nov. from other quarters about fifteen dollars. This does not include postage. tree sparrows and chicka- . AUTUMN. still day. 1857. heard them often in the Adirondack region. it. thought made by a coon. which his companion. He says they utter this from time to time when on the track of some prey. and more small birds. down to Walden if in the evening (with a com- panion) to see geese had not settled in this sound. or yow-yow-yow or yang-yang-yang. etc. but SkinHe says he has ner said it was a wild-cat. He told his companion he would hear it when they heard again soon. I have received proof-sheets. where he has purchased furs. This has been his Dr.

But I go out shortly after the first snow has fallen. which he — . and yet he said he had got more than two cords of them at home. other so silent and sudden a change ? I cannot now walk without leaving a track behind me. here is the track of a sportsman and his dog in my secluded path. and rapidly whitening all the landscape. Saw Abel Brooks with a picking half -bushel basket on his arm. and I may never meet him. There have been a very few fine snowflakes falling for many hours. 1859. I am the only villager that ever comes here. and now. 341 dees. That is one peculiarity of winter walking. had got about two quarts of old and blackened pine chips. tity as you would hardly have gone to the end of your yard for. perhaps. even to the horizon. I have walked. and thought myself. a particular wild path along some to swamp side all summer. But my hour is not his. Nov. and probably he preceded me in the summer as well. 28. by 2 p. fine flakes falling steadily. and with these was returning home at such a petty quandusk more than a mile. In half an hour the russet landscape is painted Do we know of any white. a regular snow- storm has commenced. than usual about the house. and lo. He was up chips on his and neighboring lots.AUTUMN. M.. Anybody may follow my trail.

had and sometimes with a wheelthus spent an hour or two. men spend the same hour in the sits same The lawyer talking with his client after twilight. as some are. He evidently takes real satisfaction in collecting his fuel. who hardly knows where it is. I think I should prefer to be with Brooks. barrow. I shall forget them. When I remember myself. him an Think unaccountably pleasing occupation. how variously village. and another to own one as many a person does. so as to have worn a path about it. the trader is weighing sugar and salt. thank fortune.342 AUTUMN. He was literally as smiling as a basket of chips. to pick up two quarts of pine chips scattered through the woods. perhaps gets more heat of all is kinds out of it than any man in town. one thing to own a wood -lot as he does who its bounds almost daily. He had and walked two or three miles in a cool Novem- ber evening. collected thus. It is the chipIt is to ping idea which he pursues. but I shall never grow brave by comparison. 29. Evidently the quantity of chips perambulates in his basket is not essential. Many brave men have there been. and no doubt he loves to see his pile grow at home. He not reduced to It is taking a walk for exercise. . while Abel Brooks is hastening home from the woods with his basket half full of chips. Nov. 1839.

The most truly kind and generous have to be won by a sort of valor. Officers of respectable institutions turn the cold shoulder though they are known as genial and wellThey cannot imagine you to be other than a ro^'ue. 29. 1841. 29. for the seeds of suspicion as well as those of confi- dence lurk in every spadeful of earth. the distant more faint. As you advance. drizzling weather without snow or ice. when you take her by the paw. Life of the mist. 1850. You are prepared to see . to you. The pines standing in the ocean of mist seen from the Cliffs are trees in every stage of transition from the actual to the imaginary. You must let people see that they serve themselves more than you. Nov. Still misty. the trees gradually come out eyes.AUTUMN. You can com- mand only a circle of thirty or forty rods in diameter. looks like a dream. visions. Nov. and take form before your You are reminded of your dreams. Certainly that valor which can open the hearts of men is su- perior to that which can only open the gates of cities. The near are more distant. disposed persons. his 348 Cambridge. One must fight way after a fashion. It is that instinctive principle which makes the cat show her talons. even in the most civil and polite society. till at last they are a mere shadowy cone in the distance.

and fashioned a stone in a and added some pure beauty that pure utility. To J.344 A UTUMN. a step beyond the common arrow-head and pestle and axe. 29. while plowing on the plain between his house and the river. and so far has begun to patiently sat. and It is a great step to is ornamented with a the maker still bird's-head knob. however much skill they show. It is affecting as a work of art by a people who have left so few traces of themselves. which his son had found this summer. a hawk's or eagle's. suggests a bird. It implies so many more thoughts such as I have. It has a rude bird's head. I have then evidence in stone that men lived here who had fancies to be pleased. P. Nov. As long as I find traces of works of convenience merely. the beak and eyes (the latter a mere prominence) serving for a knob or handle. But here an Indian has to likeness of a bird. find a pestle whose handle taste. I am not so much affected as when I dis- cover works which evince the exercise of fancy however rude. 1853. It brings nearer to the races which so ornament their umbrellas and cane handles. Brown's Hosmer showed me a pestle p. but a relation to not in the least godlike. Pond Hole. and in whom the first steps toward a complete culture were taken. . a step beyond pure utility. something more fanciful. The arrowit head. J. m. too.

clear reddish-brown. but it being reflected both from the russet earth and it is the clouds. 1857. but now I begin to see in the western horizon a clear crescent of yellowish sky. All the limbs maple seen far eastward rising over a hill are wonderfully distinct and lit. — It has been cloudy and milder this afternoon. I think we have some such sunsets as this. I should call It it the russet^ afterglow of the year. and suddenly a glorious yellow sunlight falls on all the eastern landscape. sometimes paler or yellowish-brown. Enough of this would have saved him from extermination. leave behind 345 him war and even hunting. the light is single leafless trees.AUTUMN. of a intensely bright. 29. p. but must be clear and comparatively calm. down bank. evergreens and rustling oaks. To Assabet Bath. and Again I am struck by the singularly wholesome colors of the withered oak leaves. and son. m. so thick and firm and unworn. and none being absorbed or dissipated in the heavens. to redeem himself from the savage state. In addition to the clearness of the air at this seaall from one side. as if the tree or shrub rejoiced . every year. russet fields and hillsides. the whitish under sides contrasting with the upper in a very cheerful manner. without speck. especially the shrub oak. may not be warm. Nov. and peculiar to the season.

It is a clear and pleasant winter dayv The snow has taken all the November out of the sky. where the coarse sedge rises above the snow and distant oak woods are now indistinctly reddish. bright the day half hour To Hill. 346 AUTUMN. less distinctly lighter. p. The pine woods snowed up look more river like the The meadows show now far off a dull straw color or pale brown amid the general white. large and somewhat curled leaf on sprouts. and still winter life. colors good for its bare ground or for snow. are not the salmonish hue of white-oak leaves. 29. grateful to the eyes of rabbits and partridges. methinks added to the day. with its light. red-brown and misty-white. 1858. m. and yet The colors of the brightest flowers more agreeable to my eye. It exhibits the fashionits at the advent of winter. Then it is gay. almost yellowish-brown under side. I see parbare oak woods with their gray boughs. . blue shadows and green rivers (both which I see). able colors of the winter on the two sides of leaves. Now. with the under sides ever. This is the extent of gaudiness. now . It sets the fashions . and good as a White houses no light it is How longer stand out and stare in the landscape. Then there is the rich dark brown of the black oak. About as three inches of snow fell last night.. Many. how- have faded already. Nov.

1860. though quite near. If a man has spent all his days about some business by which he has merely got to be rich. To Copan. 1859. and his instant question was. " Have you " got the reward for him ? " " What reward ? " Why. But if he has been trying to better his condition in a higher sense than this. has been trying to be somebody. I think. though he should never get above board (and commonly die poor). not yet very white. I shall think bounty on living. tridge silent 347 and mice and fox tracks. to invest himself. The moment they settled after wheeling around they were perfectly concealed. I told such a man the other day that I had got a Canada lynx here in Concord. as it is called. You would think that some men had been tempted to live in this world at all. Nov. only by the offer of a bounty by the general government. that is. so that all may see his originality. has got much money. then his life has been a failure.AUTUMN. you know. They rose from the midst of a stubble field unexpectedly. Saw quite a flock of snow buntings. and crows sit on a bare oak top. I could only hear their rippling note from the earth from time to time. 29. Nov. him comparatively successful." . the ten dollars which the State offers. 29. and get a patent for it. a great inventors. many houses and barns and woodlots.

a fine situation for a house. furry beast. and found that money was traceable right back to the Wild Cat Bank. But he knew it to be a draft drawn by the cashier of the Wild Cat Bank on the State Treasury. for example. though its is by leaps. long as I As saw him. I easily understood the connection all between a lynx and ten dollars. money. and was at first furry. But the fact was that instead of receiving ten dollars for the lynx. it is is. so you see. but only about the reward. behind the institution of goes. that can cease to be what . and we are never made truly rich by the possession of it. I had thought that a lynx was a bright-eyed. I had paid away some dollars in order to get him. a herd). until into so much money. You might have inferred that ten dollars was something rarer in his neighborhood than a lynx even. or a whole creature (whence pecunia. four-legged.348 AUTUMN. natural gait Then I reflected that the first currency was of leather. I was away back in a gray antiquity. of the cat kind. the value of things of is com- monly estimated by the amount will fetch. further than history Yet though money can buy no fine fruit whatever. very current indeed. payable at sight. money they convertible A thing is not valuable. since leather from pecus. he neither said nor thought anything about the lynx. and that he was anxious to see it on that account.

with indirectly all their learning. Nov. I cannot believe that those fresh and fair creations I had imagined are contained in them. 30. collected into an alcove. and so he has at the North. is A a man has his price at the South. that is. Many so man is has set out by saying. When looking over the dry and dusty volumes of the English poets. . yet by their zeal.AUTUMN. from Grower down. the scholar's Poetry cannot breathe in atmosphere. The Aubreys and profane it Hickeses. I will make many dollars by such a time. seems very mean. The world and our life have stocks. who believe chiefly in this kind of wealth. poets and all discerning people practically a similar value only to most. speculate The mean and low values of in real values. as it much and that he were knocked off for by a Southern auctioneer. or before I die. anything depend on its convertibility into something else. have nothing to do with its intrinsic value. worth so many dollars. Tuesday. 1841. as if his price. So you will see that all prosaic people who pos- sess only the common sense. and know what they want. and so from the library window compared with the commonest nature. You need not envy . Cambridge. English poetry. it is 349 and become something else which you prefer. are speculators in fancy and continually cheat themselves but who have an object in life.

. On running over the titles of these books. Can the Valhalla be warmed by steam and go by clock and bell? Good poetry seems so simple and natural a thing that when we meet it. looking from time I to time at their first pages or farther. we wonder that all men are not always poets. There is no plant that needs such tender treatment. with a very low reverence to students and librarians. who for the first time had cornered up poetry to in an alcove. am oppressed by an inevitable sadness. One must have come into a library by an oriel window as softly and undisturbed as the light which falls on the books through the stained glass. only suggest that this man simply saw or heard or felt what seems the commonest fact in my experience. The best lines. there is none that will endure so rough. I think if not be a shorter way to a complete it would volume to step at once into the field or wood. and not by the librarian's door. Though more than any aloof other. yet more than any other can he stand from her. else all his dreams will vanish.350 his feelings AUTUMN. the poet stands in the midst of nature. Nothing is so attractive and unceasingly curious as character. I can hardly be serious with myself when I remember that I have come Cambridge after poetry. It is the violet and the oak. Poetry is nothing but healthy speech. perhaps.

It is ' 351 divine and related to the heavens. but some trait of a noble earth character. It all things else repairs. I but hear myself. but if in any cot east or west. And . I am am thrilled and elemeanness. It goes silent and unobserved longer than any planet in space. and set behind the woods. or when Venus or Orion rises. it seems like the flowering of all the world. I me with more am not con- know what eighth planet is wandering up there. but when at length it does show itself. It reproaches mean again in contrast. My eyes look inward. some gesture or unconscious . action in the distance speaks to emphasis than cerned to in space all those years. friend. as the is by the aurora. You reach me. It has no acquaintance and no companion. hourly fashions change. but again me plaintively. and is vated so that I can see still. not by your kind or wise words uttered to me here or there but as you retreat. not without. there is any planetary character illuminating the earth.AUTUMN. my mind lie Which outward nature Packed in For. perhaps after years of vain familiarity. and its before unseen orbit is lit up like the track of a meteor. I hear no good news ever. as its all the clothes wears. my own my that my own aspiration realized in that other.

I sat on an oak stump by an This squirrel is old cellar hole. Or simple flower anticipate The insect's noonday hum. I can no difference find. with some snow. not yet melted. And that Is part of new wealth which my own pelf. and mused. Another cold and windy af- ternoon. tridges. The murky night is gone. And nimbly told the forest trees For many stretching miles ? Nov. 30.352 ' AUTUMN. turbed three large gray squirrels and some par- which had all sought out this bare and squirrels hid themselves warm place. with morning cheer. As when the sun streams through the wood Upon a winter's morn. From far streamed through the aisles. 1851. ley to the pine see My eye wanders across the valwoods which fringe the opposite . on the Under the south side of a hill between dis- Brown's and Tarbell's. always an unexpectedly large animal to frisking about. ground. Where'er his silent beams may stray. in a warm nook. Till some new ray of peace uncalled Illumes my inmost mind. Till that new light. I have got For while I look for change abroad. How could the patient pine have known The morning breeze would come. While the in the treetops.

a sort of crumbling precipice of pine horizontally stratified. was that I my afternoon walk. Each pine is like a great myriad green feather stuck in the ground. an old Where is cellar-hole now. got by That. with white lines here and there. I experienced a transient gladness. and I sit by the old site on the stump of an oak which once grew there. a faint indentation merely in a farmer's which he has plowed into. Such is nature where we have lived. with darker seams between them. Thick birch groves stand here and there. a certain recognition from the pine. dark now. A white-pine boughs extend themselves horizontally. side. at something which I saw. tier above basaltic structure. I do not know exactly what it was that attracted addresses itself to and finds in their aspect something my nature. the infinite stories of their boughs. my any eye. years ago. brown The Ly- . a tier.AUTUMN. my home? field. each bearing its burden of silvery sunlight. at any rate. at rate. 353 which Methinks that in my mood I was asking nature to give me a sign. On it this my eyes pastured while the squirrels were up the trees behind me. as if it were a great crumbling piny precipice thus stratified. I am sure that my eye rested with pleasure on the white reflecting pines now a silvery light. rounding off its edges. It is indistinct as some congratulation. one above and behind another.

I find that those large triangular or rhomboidal or shell-shaped eyes or shoulders on this root are the bases of leaf-stalks which have rotted off. while that is of the white lily a downy or mildewy blue- black. The country seems to slope up from the west end of Walden to the mountain. The yellow-lily root is then. a principal item in the vegetable diet of the muskrat. a cold glitter. is peculiar to this season. Hill.354 god'vum AUTUMN. palmatum [climbing fern] is quite abundant on that side of the swamp. 30.colored mountains. 30. 8 a. it would seem. m. 1852. where early lights appear. To river to examine morning that the white root with eyes. Already a little after four o'clock. etc. the sparkling windows and vanes of the village seen under and against the faintly purple -tinged. and sharp leaves rolled up. twining round the golden-rods. roots. slate . The buds of the Populus tremuloides show their down as in early spring. but toward the upper end of the . 1853. found gnawed off and floating about muskrat houses is the root of the great Nov. Nov. The leaf-stalk is yellow. I think that this sparkle without redness. I ascertain this yellow lily. remind me of a village in a mountainous country at twilight. and the early willows. From Pine Wachusett is seen over Walden. To Pine Hill. and slaty-tinged fibres.

which came by the Canada. Minott told me on Friday of man and woman who had brought to a . 1855. when I made my last voyage for the season. wheels on which to get about. purple color. This evening I received Nov. Thus I had a convenient pair of my boat up and roll it I was pleased to get my boat in by this means rather than on a borrowed wheelbarrow. They are a sort of abutment on which the leaf-stalk rested.AUTUMN. 1856. when the ice reminded me that it was time to put it in winter quarters. The fine black dots on them are the bases of the fine threads or fibres of the leaf-stalk. 30. On the twenty-seventh. in quincunx order. I found a large round pine log about four feet long. and that in my last voyage on it. root are still 355 seen decaying. and I fitted to axletree made of a joist them an which I also found in the river. so that four make a diamond figure. Off the larger end I sawed two wheels about a foot in diameter. floating. forty-four volumes in all. an oldish Nov. which in the still living leaf-stalk are distinguished by their These eyes. Cholmondeley's gift of Indian books. are arranged spirally across the roots in parallel rows. and seven or eight inches thick. 30. and brought it home. like the leaves* of course. It was fit that the river should furnish the material.

30. M. Surveying the J. Nov. as thick as sole leather. muster here once a great leg of bacon boiled. greatly to the till and ate. and lasted till the week in November. afterward making in all two more flocks. for as who was awaiting a much of that as he could eat. rain- threatening day. to turn a penny with. was flayed and turned back. making a surprising amusement of the lookersin her despair. about 10 A. lot. at least. A still. wedging their way southwest. Bichardson I The air is full of geese. containing from thirty to fifty each. from two hundred and fifty to three hundred. ate and the ate hole. I suspect they honk more. unfaithful to woman her engagement. cloudy. and think there are but few wandering there.. warm. saw five flocks within an hour. A tall. all flying southwest over Goose and Walden Ponds. omniv- orous heron of a Yankee came along and bar- gained with the woman. He on. in a more or less broken harrow. 1857. at any rate they are more broken and alarmed. Minott Pratt first tells me that he watched the it fringed gentian this year.356 AUTUMN. You first hear a honking from one or two in the northeast. appealed to the police to drive him off. displaying the tempting flesh. raw-boned. when faint . but look up and see forty or fifty coming on. customer. The skin.

with . where the "Times" and "Tribune" have no brown oaks on spondent. though considerably rippled to-day. According to my calculation. These nameless bays. JSfov. 1858. the blue sky overhead. The open pond close by. 357 passing over a village. near. is some a bay never corre- steered for. and genial object by and I sit down on . To Walden with C. yet never referred to by the London " Times " and Galignani's * Messenger. are the true bays of All Saints for me. their ranks again. you think there are but few till you see them. Green pines on pane all this side. that is necessary for a human residence. and the white counter- around. that. to the Some are hastening West Indies. even for the seventh time. M. of the globe filibusters It is an insignificant fraction which England and Kussia and the have overrun. affects me as a peculiarly mild contrast with this frozen pool. When they fly low and form.AUTUMN. and are seen falling into assuming the perfect harrowHearing only one or two honking. and Fair Haven Hill. It is a pleasant day. 30. they look very black against the sky. and Though Walthe snow melting considerably. p. but here the to Europe. ten or fifteen hundred may have gone over Concord to-day. den is open. but ample recess in the woods." as some of those arctic all bays are. it is a perfect winter scene this withdrawn.

milder. large.358 AUTUMN. almost ruddy. seen times before. Coming over the side of Fair Haven Hill at we saw a long. form and disit is solve so fast as in this clear cold air ? for rapidly growing colder. while dark trunks streaked with sunlight floor rise on all sides. flit Did ever clouds and change. These are the into call ternal decorations. warm. dazzling. reflected from the silvery needles of the pine. dusky cloud in the northwest horizon. and perhaps a single is patch of yellow sunlight seen on the white shaded floor. apparently just this side of . seen through the The wood with a sun. and at such a time. white lustre. like that of burnished tin. where cold green masses alternate with pale-brown. seems to be a milder air above within er's it is it. Well Meadow a peculiar winter scene. I beheld many rather low. and shifting clouds. No powerful light streams through. Going west through Wheel- Owl wood toward Weird Dell. leatherthem red. but forgotten. sunset. and a pure white stretches around. but colored ones . you are inclined reddish tawny. cold. but you stand in the quiet and somewhat sombre aisles of a forest cathedral. on the bare rocks. There as the water the shore in the sun. wind. with a clear fail air. I never to see mother-o '-pearl tints abundant in the sky. is Field.

surrounded by serenity and beauty. except that the snow fell less directly. It looked like It was a complete snow cloud. All the red that is in oak leaves and huckleberry twigs comes out. I cannot but still see in my mind's eye those . at the same time that it was snowing. With the advent of snow and so much cold white. while the cloud was apparently high above them. where the sun was just about to set. which was snowing. and at its south end. just mist. it was all aglow on its under side with a salmon fulgor. The cloud was of a dun color. The sun seen setting through the snow-carpeted woods. on the verge of a perfectly clear sky. or at least twenty miles off. and the upper outline of a part of the cloud was more like that of a dusky It was not much of a snowstorm. ice. It was a rare and strange sight. the browns are warmer to the eye. with shimmering pine needles.AUTUMN. Thus local is all storm. rain falling at an equal distance. or dark green spruces. and warm brown oak leaves for screens. enough to partially obscure the mountains about which it was falling. trial The terres- mountains were made ridiculous beneath that stupendous range. when all the rest was clear sky. making it look warmer than a furnace. or it may have been a little this side. that of a snowstorm twenty miles off. 359 Wachusett.

poetry. ! think of precious jewels. striped breams poised in Walden's glaucous all water. America renews her youth here. My contemporary the miracle of its existence. who can tell how long ? When my eyes first rested on Walden. no . The bream Its life appreciated floats in the pond. and. yet so different from me only poise my thought there by its side. I cannot go a hair's breadth beyond the mere statement that it exists. as the centre of the system. a transient be seen again for years. for the time being. and when Tahatawan paddled his canoe there. I only see the bream in its orbit. I can and neighbor. beauty. though I did not see it. as I see a star. and its am ready to kill For more than two centuries have men fished here. another image of God. but I care not to distance or weight. and try I can only to think like a bream for a moment. I neglect all brethren. visitor that It is not like may not a new bird. township. of music. and have not distinguished this permanent settler of the the fatted calf on account. in They balance the rest of the world is my estimation at present. How wild it makes the pond and the township to find a new fish in it. and the mystery of measure its life.360 little AUTUMN. But in my account of the bream. but there it dwells and has dwelt permanently. the striped bream was poised in it. for this its the bream I have just found.

361 lie more than can his own. as if all but this were done. I do not want to eat. counts the fin-rays. whom I can see from time to time. man can want you explain. an- other measures the intestines. that is a rare mood with is her. etc. and these were very rich and generous contributions to science. It is as if a poet or an anchorite had moved into the town. it. and think of yet oftener. It has fins where I have legs and arms. at least a new acquaintance. I to trust. Though science may sometimes compare herself to a child picking up pebbles on the seait is make my life shore. than See what is A new species of fish signifies hardly more a new name. ready to seize on the which are cast up. Her votaries may be seen wandering along the shore of the ocean of Truth. I have a contemporary in Walden.AUTUMN. weighed and measured. Acquaintance with rich more and eventful. Its character will interest me. contributed in the scientific reports. You would say that the scientific bodies were terribly put to it for objects and subjects. a third daguerreo- types a scale. I have a friend among clothes the fishes. dead specimen of an with their backs toward shells A animal. Ordinarily her practical belief bles that it is only a few peb- which are not known. One . I to perceive the mystery of the bream. is . if it is only well preserved in alcohol. and not it its and anatomy.

Emerson. first but that I have a fishy friend in the pond. that is what it is best worth while to measure. R. and that has a name in a book. the inhabitant of the water? of No. their The beauty of the fish. late instructed by a meeting of citizens to ask liberty from the selectmen to have W. and goes a-fishing One boy thinks of fishes. ex . 1859. brother searches the poets for rare the poetry of fishes which flesh is their lowest use.Lieutenant . a provoking mystery. Generally the boy loses some of his perception and his interest in the fish.Governor. is It is their chief use. Its place in our systems is of comparatively little importance. myself. 30. How was it fishes ? Was when the youth it the number of discovered their fin-rays or other arrangement. and degenerates into a fisherman or an ichthyologist. or the place of the fish in some system that made the boy dream of them ? Is it these things that interest mankind in the fish. from the same motive that his lines. High Sheriff) the bell of the first parish tolled at the time . Nov. and John Keyes.362 just as AUTUMN. but a faint recognition a liviDg contemporary. good for science as a living one preserved in its native element. I am one of a committee of four (Simon Brown. What it is the amount of my discovery to me ? little It is not that I have got one in a bottle.

teen. Dec. but that. 1. 1850. they will not give their consent to have the bell tolled. afraid of their It is quite own shadows. I hear a hylodes peeping. they are influenced . they at length answer me to-night that they " are uncer- tain whether they have any control over the bell.AUTUMN. to-day. and while we be assembled in the Town House to express our sympathy with him. A considerable part of Concord are in the condition of Virginia today. by the few individuals said that he remarks " " had heard five hundred damn me for it. and eight or nine inches high. After various delays. warm and as I go home on little if the railroad causeway. but the present year's quite green. I applied to the selectmen yesterday. I counted fifteen or eighsolid. and that he had no doubt. Captain Brown shall is 363 being hanged. in any case. When I broke it up. The lower ones were quite rotten. it appeared as if the annual growth was marked by successive layers half an inch deep. white. but. if it were done. some counter demonstration would be made. each." of a Beside their private objections. It was quite and I saw that it con- . I found it was nothing but moss about fifteen inches in diameter. thrusting covered a my cane into it. the intermediate. I saw a green hemiit sphere of moss which looked as stone. such as firing minute guns.

where I thought the surface had been exposed to the winter. red. The snow keeps fill off unusually. etc. enough to grew by branching occasionally the newly gained space. made the firm and compact surface of the bed. it yields a pleasant acid flavor. also the catkins of the alders and birches. The year smile is looks back to summer..364 tinued solid as just it AUTUMN. 1. There is days a coolness in the air which makes tate to call me hesi- At this seathem Indian summer. the already the downy ones of the Populus tremuloides and willows. I observe the form of the buds which are prepared for spring. shrub oaks. son. 1852. though firm and solid. the large bright yellow and reddish buds of the swamp pink. the lower branches of larger trees of the last mentioned species. There was a darker line separating the growths. young hickform an intermediate class . crowded close together. which has no golden cheek. and young white. seem to hornbeams. Dec. 1853. The landscape that. is of the color of a russet apple. etc.. Those trees and shrubs which retain their withered leaves though the winter. ories. though is crude to bite. It was quite saturated with water. To Cliffs. 1. Dec. sunset sky supplies The it But. and the tender extremities of each plant. and a summer in these reflected in her face. and black oaks. the red ones of the blueberry.

as they inquisitively hop nearer and nearer to me. den. how mean the world. m. and peep out from behind them. By path around Walsnow of the 29th ultimo there is yet pretty good sledding. How superior actually to the faith be professes He is not an office-seeker. and other may winter birds and quadrupeds. Even the chicka- dees love to skulk amid them. silvery.AUTUMN. immortal and natural. for a . Their leaves. drawing yet nearer and deserve best of all of the walker. 365 between deciduous and evergreen trees. like the sweetness of a nut. est They are a most hon- and innocent little bird. With this little ! ! the fact he is. p. He. to us as the winter advances. like a natural product. serve as a shelter to rabbits and partridges. is a redeemer for me. What an institution. I hear their faint. like tinkling glass. Cyrus Hubbard. It matters not how hard the conditions seemed. They almost be called the ever -reds. a man of a certain New England probity and worth. lisp- ing notes. which are falling all winter long. for it lies solid. what a revelation is a man We are wont foolishly to think that the creed a man professes is more significant than Dec. 1. 1856. like the toughness of hickory. and occasionally a sprightly day-day-day. I see the pale-faced farmer out again on his sled for the five thousandth time. too.

Wheeler's woodflit path to railroad. The farmer spoke to me. so much ous to bird and beast. as the snow. stone. broadcast upon the surface of the snow. and off this the little pensioners pick them. true. Their peeping I partially understand. natural. these seeds are shaken down on to a clean. yet comparatively so young. He does not melt the snow where he stands. wood. Their clean table is thus spread a few scattered over the snow. is man self. before Slate-colored snow-birds me in the path.! 366 AUTUMN. still The old farmer condescends to countenance this nature and order of things. at a critical season. and a new law himHe is system whose law is to be observed. snow. a prevalent force. He rides on the sled drawn by oxen world-wise. I can swear. as if they had seen scores of winters. he were made of ele- I thus meet in this universe kindred of mine. feeding on the seeds. clean. composed of these ments. cold. Thus. unmixed with dirt and rubbish. as earth. I go I see men like frogs. It is a great encouragement that an honest man makes this world his abode. by Haden's and take S. moderate. white napkin. A . the countless little brown seeds that begin to be the more obvihundred kinds of indigenous grain are harvested now. Yet what a if faint impres- sion that encounter may make on me after all Moderate.

and firm. I love and could embrace the shrub oak. is the shrub oak. lowly whispering to me. Well-tanned leather on the one side. inches or feet above the ground. clean as the atmosphere.AUTUMN. akin to winter and sunsets. but retain a cer- . last. color of the cow and the deer. rest. I felt a positive yearning toward one bush this There was a match found for me at afternoon. with the red cock's it. color of colors. coverts which the hare and the partridge seek. silver-downy beneath. turned toward the late bleached and rusWhat are acanthus leaves. to all virtue. . with its scanty garment of leaves rising above the snow. 367 Will wonder become extinct in me insensible as a fungus ? ? Shall I become A ridge of earth. of its leaves Tenacious which shrivel not. . is the shrub oak? seek. hardy as virtue. . not decaying. -comb lichen on peeps out still at the rut's edge. but which have put on a kind of immortality. but full-veined and plump as nearer earth. and the set fields. not wrinkled and thin like the white-oak leaves. I fell in love with a shrub oak. thoughts. innocent and sweet as a maiden. In proportion as I know and love it. Rigid as iron. to this ? Emblem of my winter condition. The dear wholesome so clean color of shrub-oak leaves. sun -tanned. and I too What cousin of mine. I am natural and sound as a partridge.

and ragged looking Roman wormcurls' chalices wood. elysian fungus To bloom on the thimble-berry stem ! lasting midwinter What a salve that would I make. at and boxed. Now. and beds of empty. leaves fair and wholesome to the eye. product of New England soil. tain wintry life in them. collected No. port the snow. I and waiting evidently snow. well-nigh useless to man. lowly. am not home at French's or Lovejoy's. leaves firm and sound in winter. loving the earth. see great thimble-berry bushes rising above the a rich. a rich brown. and has its hole in the snow by the shrub oak's stem. hypaethral mildew. too. straw-colored heads of everlasting. I remark in many places ridges and fields of fine russet or straw-colored grass rising above the snow.368 AUTUMN. The shrub and spreading over it. too. The deer-mouse. rustling like leather shields. hard to break down. as ! in July. The blue stand empty. thick-leaved. well named shrub oak. with see the into still to be filled with ice. I have my mind amid the shrub made arrangements to stay with oak. them. knows the shrub oak. or Savery's. not broken down by it. a sturdy phalanx. I am a stranger in your towns. . rank bloom on them. firm shields painted in fast colors. bearing many striped acorns. Tough to supclean and smooth to the touch. I can winter more to oaks. tough.

. resting in clear grassy spaces ! How want is can any 1857. indigenous. 369 low. that it is hard at first to His traveling is a succession of leaps get up. I hear the fainted possible quivet from a nut- hatch quite near me on a pine. How securely he travels there fifty feet from the ground. robust. without wings ! And yet he gets along about as rapidly as on the ground. over hills and valleys and plains. I hear a red squirrel barking at me amid see the pine and oak tops. and 1. bending the twigs aside. bending twig of one tree across an interval of three or four feet. how many eyes put out is ! How many bleeding fingers ! How many shrub- oak patches I have been through. Dec. and now I him coursing from tree to tree. in the air at that height. well-known to and the The squirrels nibble its nuts. stooping. and catching at the nearest twig of the next. p. hardy. which so bends under him. leaping from the slender. What Peruvian bark to your bark How many rents I owe to you. m.! AUTUMN. guiding myself by the sun. prayers are answered. Walking in Ebby Hub- bard's woods. I thus always begin to hear the bird on the approach of winter. winding my way. the striped squirrel and the partridge rabbit. sitting upon an old stump of its larger cousin. man suffer long ? all for a sense of a prayer.

are white with frost. . Dec. 1852. as we glide past N. immediately whose breath shall be its wind. E. cocks. A rare landscape inhabitant. Not he who procures a is exempt from serfield. To be chafed and worried. The banks for some distance. whose moods its seasons. M.. Started in boat before 9 A. and not as serene as nature. sionally through the 2. hounds. but merely wintered.870 as if it AUTUMN. Barrett's It is farm remind me of spring. We do all stand moment is in the front ranks of the battle every is of our lives. there the post of honor. As many and fatal guns are pointed at my breast now. substitute to go to Florida vice. an anticipation. I do not remember when I have taken a sail or a row on the river in December before. here. and summer of '59. 2.] [Added Dec. occa- 1839.. We had to break the ice about the boathouse Still no snow. does not become one whose nature is as steadfast as suggests a suitable she. C. and to whom it will always be fair. there the thickest of the fight. He gathers his laurels in another Waterloo is not the only battle-ground. did not breed. The air is calm and the water smooth. down river to Not wind enough for a sail. The distant sounds of cars. as are contained in the English arsenals. etc. Billerica with W. Hear it all the fall. Where there a brave man. The pleasantest day of all. later.

through which we row. It is leaves so long a ripple behind that in this light you cannot tell where his body ends. Every- . At length we pass the bridge. Again remarkably calm and warm in the sun. The feet.AUTUMN. now that we have brought a hill between us and the wind. as if a muskrat were stirring. is painted as if with the pumpkin pies left over after Thanksgiving. See two ducks there. These creatures have such weight to carry that they select the easiest course. ridgy with backs to them. river has risen since the last rain a few still and partially floods the meadow. and produce a rustling of the grass and seeds. certain resonance 371 There is a and elasticity in the air that makes the least sound melodious as in spring. The waves we make in the river nibble and crumble its edge. There goes a muskrat. This is a glorious riverreach. A perfect cowpath winds along ike side of one. He embark. and think him longer than he is. which yet lasts all day. We land behind Tarbell's. Some parts of the meadow are covered with ice. and the Fringilla linaria flies and mews over. The old unpainted houses under the trees look A side of one as if winter had come and gone. How warm in hills is the hollows ! The outline of the hills very agreeable there. it is so singular a yellow. Hear the jay in distant copses. and walk inland. a looking through winter to spring.

and Billerica.' " be equal to the angle of so. dazzling sheen for mil^s on the river as you look up it. like the The I of a larger Connecticut even. decidedly reddish brown. hereabouts. A bright. glossy brown). ice He alternately ran along the and swam in the water. some three feet high. C. very like a weasel in form. and looking at not so shy as a muskrat I should say very us. somewhat off from the Concord affords the water prospects river. Crossed the left. not so sharp and rat-like. " Let us land . bridge. on the ice. black at ten rods distance (Emmonds says they are a dark. and regularly sharp. Left our boat just above the last-named bridge on — . We did By the island where I formerly camped. turned into a path on the and as- cended a hill a mile and a half off. The ice made no show. ' the angle of incidence should reflection. between us river. little found a spear-head by a mysterious ing. The muskrats would curl up into a ball black. build- On the west side of the river in Billerica . says. now and then holding up his head and long neck. or what was the shore. The mink's head is larger in proportion to the body than the muskrat's. west side. we saw a mink. being thin and dark. slender. half a mile or more above the bridge on the road from Chelmsford to Bedford. where the muskrat houses line the shores. as the Peak of Teneriffe.372 AUTUMN.

is smoother and more ripples The we make produce ribbed reflections or shadows on the dense but leafless bushes on shore. how quickly and with near too the surface what force he turns and plunges again. making a sound in the calm water as if you had thrown into it a large stone with violence. some fine shadows on those grand red oaken When a muskrat comes to hills in the north. We understand very well a man's relation.AUTUMN. somewhat cliffy. whose leaves it now give a red appearance even when seen from Ball's It is one of the Hill. Men commonly a talk as genius were someI esteem it thing proper to an individual. as we row. thirty or All the water forty rods distant. here is 373 a grand range of hills. and so far they seem motionless and permanent. very regular. Returning. the water beautiful than before. The reflections . is perfectly unruffled. not to his genius. covered with young oaks. we move in so fast. left at behind us. but before us down stream it is all There are commotion from shore to shore. and even on the right and a distance. Long did it take to sink the Carlisle bridge. you. he may congratulate his neighbor does. and if one does not now. enjoy that he There is no place for man-worship. most interesting and if novel features in the river scenery. but it common privilege. but to the genius.

it in harmony with Sci- ence never saw a ghost.374 AUTUMN. of a Universal Intelligence. had grown dusky. I thought now that the angle of reflection was greater than after sunset were distinct into It grew cooler the came out soon after we turned Ball's Hill. it. acquired a new transparency. Bee. time before we recovered the full use of our cramped glows. etc. we know of it. legs. the less likely it is that any such will come to claim it. I forgot to speak of the after- had several stages. 2. stars . having been about eight miles by river. and is itself the agent. The boatman knows a river by reaches. We it is it discover that the only spirit which haunts has created a universal Intelligence which all nature. The skeleton. . our feet and legs numb and cold with sitting and inactivity. It was some the angle of incidence. becomes at last. but it sees everywhere the traces. the heaven which we unceasingly rowed. and it became difficult to distinguish our course. which at first twilight in fact after it The and several times sight produces only a shudder in all mortals. 1853. and glorious. but a suggesThe more tive and pleasing object to science. and the trees on the hillsides were lit up again. nor does look for any. the less we associate it with any The longer we keep goblin of our imagination. not only a pure. Got home in the dark.

The farmer has begun to play with his sled as early as any of the boys. going home He follows hunting. his gun near tame by. loose-hung. and fur cap. walking beside his team with contented thoughts. praise be to him. and improve the first snow. I would fain give thanks morn- ing and evening for my blessings. black-spotted hound. He is agreeable to me as a tinge of russet on the hillside. I see him already with mittens on and thick boots well-greased. him to follow his own bent. though it is not yet cold. dragging his legs after him. bluish- white. per- how I respect and thank him for it. Dec. How quickly men come on to the highways with their sleds. as regularly in our fields as the farmers follow farming . 2. and Melvin with at eve. This drama This is the theatre I every day in the streets go to. I of another. . and we are not at war. and red comforter about his throat.AUTUMN. 375 1856. and often he gets aboard for a change. He is of one tribe. Saw Melvin's lank. I thank my stars the sabbath-school all his days ! for Melvin. What a wealth he thus becomes to the neighborhood. I trust the Lord will provide us with anHow good in other Melvin when he is gone. and not continue at sistent genius. gawky. Few know how to take the census. he is my contemporary and neighbor. who is such a trial to his mother. Awkward. There he goes with his venture behind ! him.

2. m. was secretary of the abbot of Wal- den born (!) in Essex. he bought it of an Allen. 1857.376 AUTUMN. Up by boat to Clamshell Hill. He was directly descended from Thomas Minott. my old beanfield at Walden Pond then (C. 3. . but since the river rose have in some places dug galleries a rod into the bank. who. only erected I see that muskrats have not cabins. Dec. and was apparently never completed. and left lying on their half-sunken cabins where they are kept wet by the waves.) This was Deacon George Minott. Dec.. probably opened by the muskrats. I find that according to the deed of Duncan Ingraham to John Richardson in 1797. One I explored this afternoon was formed in a low shore at a spot where there were weeds to make a cabin of. and whose son George was at Saffron Walden p. pushing the sand behind them into the water. (!) and was afterwards river one of the early settlers of Dorchester. It is a somewhat saddening reflection that too low. or for the same purpose as the cabins apparently. 1853. perhaps because the shore was Some of the clamshells.. who lived in the house next below the East Quarter schoolhouse. Minott thinks belonged to George Minott. according to Shattuck. . So they dig these now as places of retreat merely. show very handsome rainbow tints. and was a brother of my grandfather-in-law.

is let into its shell with these magical These shells beaming with the tints of the sky and the rainbow commingled. until the light. light. except the evergreens the buds dormant at the foot of the leaf-stalks look at the fields. Though fitted to be. until its inhabitant it has fallen a prey to the spoiler. for want of cannot be said to exist.AUTUMN. Look at the trees. and see the fire gradually in- creasing and prevailing over damp steaming and . forth. russet and withered. We have no more sap. nor verdure. little pearly heaven of There the clam dwells within a its own. bare or rustling with sere . unfathomed caves of ocean." but only when it is tossed up to light. Its beauty then beams and it remains a splendid cenotaph to its departed tenant. bleached culms such . I remember how cheerful it has been formerly to sit round a fire outdoors amid the snow. It is as if the occupant had not begun to live. such plants are we. and while I felt some cold. to feel nor color now. suggest what pure serenity has occupied them." so long as it remains in " the dark. : is our relation to nature at present. and left is thus a wreck upon the strand. and the various sedges and weeds with dry. some warmth also. results. suggesting what glory he not a has gone to. brown leaves. 377 the beautiful colors of this shell. with whatever violence. it is gem "of purest ray serene.

at 3. or the tinkling of the forge from across the water or the fields. yet remotely within Remoteness throws all sound into my inmost being. of frost-bound or sloshy roads. There me in the chamber. Dec. 1856. and making a me. as the slumme. dust. Bought me a pair of cowhide boots to be prepared for winter walks. not destitute of warmth and melody. The shoemaker praised them. Dec. a serene inward 1840. . or of being bound with skate-straps and clogged with icethey stand beside tant. that is farthest from me which addresses the greatest depth within me.! 378 AUTUMN. The strains I now hear seem an inconceivable distance. The man who has bought his boots feels like him who has got in his winter's wood. expecdreaming of far woods and wood paths. which sends us all to the shoemaker's. pure. Even in winter dripping logs. making sloshy walking. cheer. Mizzles and rains all day. 3. because they were made a year ago. warm hearth for we maintain a temperate life. and it becomes music. in proportion as it is is distant. For years my appetite was so strong that I browsed on the pine forest's edge seen against How cheap my diet still the winter horizon. brous sounds of the village. Music. To the senses. I feel like an armed man now.

and now I feel a certain tenderness for them. it the sap. not disturbed by the axe of the for wood -cutter. on the snow beneath. I have known at a distance these long-suffering men." ! How I love the simple. business and at to who never waylaid nor shot my knowledge. That was my was wood- the silvery needles of the pine straining the light. and fed my imagination Where was forest on them. What a long trial we have and how much more admirable we are . the fruit. For nearly twoscore years. as if this long withto probation were but the prelude to an eternal friendship.AUTUMN. the value of the me but in that line where ! relieved against the sky lot . who mind their own let countrymen. stood. Dry sand and slid 379 that has fallen in the railroad cuts. when I crossed their alone. fields. who never spoke to me. A man killed at the fatal Lincoln Bridge died in the village the other night. — far away. though each one has a gun in his house. reserved my neighbors. prophetic words to go out of the world with Good as " I still live. me me. whom I never spoke to. The only words he uttered while he lingered in his delirium were " All right. I ranged about like a gray moose looking at the spiring tops of the trees. is a condiment to my walk." probably the last he uttered when he was struck. Brave. ideal trees.

without any reference to you. we had been bed- I am not only grateful because Homer. Six weeks ago I noticed the advent of chickadees. He takes up as much room in nature as the most famous. whose notes you hear at a distance. if each other. a restless little flock of them. a collection of black ants (say one fourth of an inch long). and their winter habits. let 's pay our respects to him " and they will flit after and close to you. and found under it and attached to it. I turned up a rock near the pond to make a bound with. and an inch in diameter. " Oh. The eggs (?) adhered to the rock. will seem to say. Dec. and Christ. and Puffer even. which no other would fill or suggest. there he goes. though but little way under the rock. collected around one mon! ster black ant. 3. 1857. and Rice. perchance. when turned up. The had "no wings. As you walk along a woodside. The ants were quite lively. as big as four or five at least. but I am grateful for Minott. I see Melvin all alone filling his sphere in russet suit. and naively peck at the nearest twig to you. and Shakespeare have lived. large ant and a small parcel of yellowish eggs (?). and Goodwin.380 AUTUMN. than fellows. and Melvin. as if they were minding their own business all the while. . and was probably the queen. Surveying the Richardson lot which bounds on Walden Pond.

was betrayed by which you could look. 381 1858. knew it too. which had a glaring film over them. I improve every opportunity go into a grist-mill. that when. while my eye rests delighted on the cobwebs above his head. 3. we were prevented from doing what we had commonly thought indispensable for us to do. and perchance on his hat. as an excuse for staying. He also called it " nervous excitement. by late expehis teeth when he had not cleaned for several days. they cleaned themselves. Rode with a man if it this morning. said he knew it as well as if he saw it. rience. freezes in the house. Wished to turn and proceed to his Said. that but he had found. I as- sured him that such was the general rule. and no serene depth into Inquired particularly way when I told him. from any cause. who said that teeth he did not clean his sick all the when he got up. any excuse to see its cobweb tapestry.AUTUMN. 1859. he said. " I know I am insane. I put questions to the miller. and . and Dec. ." At length when I made a certain remark. made him rest of the day." and I house. things cleaned or took care of themselves. and the distance. Suddenly quite cold. the his eyes. Dec. " I don't know but you are Emerson are you ? you look somewhat like to Emerson's. to 3.

and he mentioned name. Emerson would not Getting to the Finally put his questions to me. but once or twice apologizing for his behavior." and put to me the questions he was going to put to EmerHis insanity exhibited itself chiefly by his son. When I said John Brown did that I thought he was asserting they agreed in that he did wrong because he threw his life away. What he said was for the most part connected and sensible enough." Of . if both (though as he preached such doctrines as he did. they declared that wrong. my who his incessant excited talk. 1860." AUTUMN. " but then lie. When I hear of John Brown and his wife weeping at length. but they if it were their only escape) as- serted that they did not believe he did. " since the time was short. much. He said as and added once. scarcely allowing me to interrupt him. " You do not think he had as much foresight as Brown. Talking with Dec. two or three times. Then proceeded to business. I inquired if Christ did not foresee that he woidd be crucified. it is as if the rocks sweated. Upon which a third party threw in." etc. and to-day.382 him. right. woods. of Fate.. but never to the end suspected companion was. 3. I remarked upon them. as if I were Emerson. and that no man had a right to undertake anything which he knew would cost him his life.

he would have "backed out. to withstand the winter. course. Dec. chestnut-crowned and winged. and white -barred bird. some streak I notice me. be remembered that by good deeds or words you encourage yourself. I seem to have experienced a joy sometimes like that with which yonder tree for so long has budded and blossomed. This color re- minds one of the upper side of the shrub-oak The Fringilla hiemcdis also. her pure cold snowy white. they as 383 if good as said that Christ had foreseen that he would be crucified.elliptical. as tent. who always have need to witness or hear them. the neat. I love the few homely colors of Nature at this season. her vivacious green. partly made leaf. The opposite shore of the pond. seen through the haze of a September afternoon. or about three inches by one. 1840.AUTUMN. wholesome browns. her strong. are flat . three times or more as wide horizontally as they are deep vertically. so clean and tough. and re- flected the green rays. 4. her celestial blue. which is washed away." and the logic of the It is to Such are the principles mass of men. Thus Nature . her sober and primeval grays. Dec. holes in 1856. it lies stretched out in gray conin answers to 4. that the swallow- the bank behind Dennis's. Saw and heard cheep faintly one little tree sparrow.

more flat and glossy. as long as the on each its side. also. and the well-shod farmer who turns out his feet. but. and the spreading tracks. into far fields and woods. . to where some heavy log or stone has thought itself secure. and we have it in the colors of the withered oak leaves the white. are threatening to bridge over dark-blue artery. brown let . I have no doubt that it is an important relief to the eyes which have long rested on snow. to rest on brown oak leaves and the bark of trees. of the heavy. and yet without glaring diversity. 384 AUTUMN. Smooth white reaches river of ice. Already you see the tracks of sleds leading by unusual routes. the red. where will be seen no trace of them in summer. shriveled. They for it. crowding aside and pressing down the snow. so curled. of a trap set remind me any night. at present. Erelong. Each day. and darker feeds her children cheaply with color. much like the black. It is a close contest between day and night. We want the greatest variety within the smallest compass. less dark and less deeply cut. slow-paced oxen. which the frost will spring. when . and pale the black (?). still The scarits occasionally retains some blood in veins.. per- haps. the wrig- gling river nibbles off the edges of the trap which have advanced in the night.

stretched his neck once or twice. and was playing with it It had got away from her once or in the yard. and it went. It amid the curup and gulped and the deed was accomplished. these tracks will lead the walker deep into remote swamps impassable in summer. might be set down among the Gesta gallorum. twice and she had caught it again. stepped it with one eye. the cold is 385 stronger. a good . less. tail. head foremost it and this alive. at it when up inquisitively. never again to be seen in world Min all fortably tucked under her. and giving it a dexterous toss in the air.AUTUMN. down . head. looking on unconcerned. its capacious throat in the the while. Sophia says that just before I came home. There were several human witnesses. Min caught a mouse. and now it was stealing off again. caught it in its open mouth. All the earth is a highway then. with paws tucked under her. to What her ? matters it one mouse. Riorden's stout cock. She sits composedly sentinel. lustily in celebration of the ex- Then he crowed ploit. with paws com- twinkling of an eye. It is a question whether Min ever understood where that mouse went to. as she was complacently watching it with her paws tucked under her. more or off The cock walked rant-bushes. then picked up by the gave two or three whacks on the ground. looked down turning its her friend.

386

AUTUMN.
hole, the possible entry of a mouse.

part of her days at present, by some ridiculous
little

He who
alone.

abstains from visiting another for
reasons,

magnanimous

enjoys

better

society

My

first

botany, as I remember, was " Bige-

and Vicinity," which I began to use about twenty years ago, looking chiefly for the popular names, and the short references to the localities of plants, even without any regard to the plant. I also learned the names of many, but without using any system, and
low's Plants of Boston

forgot

them

soon.

I was not inclined to pluck

flowers, but preferred to leave

were, and liked

them best

there.

them where they I was never

in the least interested in plants in the house.

But from time to time we look at nature with new eyes. About half a dozen years ago, I
found myself again attending to plants with

more method, looking out the name of each one, and remembering it. I began to bring them

home

in

my
it,

hat, a straw

lining to

which I called

one with a scaffold my botany box. I

never used any other, and when some
visited

whom

I

were evidently surprised at its dilapidated look, as I deposited it on their front entry
table, I assured

hat, as

my

was not so much my botany box. I remember gazing

them

it

with interest at the swamps about those days,

AUTUMN.
and wondering
familiarity
if

387

I could ever attain to such

with

plants

that

I

should

know

the species of every twig and leaf in them,

should be acquainted with every plant (except
grasses and cryptogamous ones),
winter, that I saw.
flowers,

Though
half

I

summer and knew most of the

and there were not in any particular
a dozen shrubs that I

swamp more than
maze
ing

did not know, yet these

made

of a thousand strange species,

thought of commencing at
it

seem like a and I even one end, and lookit
till

faithfully
it all.

and laboriously through,

I

knew

little thought that in a year or two I should have attained to that knowledge

I

without

all

that labor.

Still,

I never studied

botany, and do not to-day, systematically, the

most natural system is still so artificial. I wanted to know my neighbors, if possible, to get
a
little

nearer to them.

I soon found myself
first

observing
leaved,

when

plants
it

blossomed

and

and I followed

up early and

late, far

and near, several years in succession, running to different sides of the town and into neighboring towns, often between twenty and thirty
miles in a day.
I often
visited

a particular

plant four or five miles distant half a dozen

times within a fortnight, that I might
exactly

know

when

it

opened, besides attending at the

same time

to a great

many

others in different

388
directions,

AUTUMN.

and some of them equally distant. At the same time I had an eye for birds and whatever else might offer. Dec. 4, 1859. Awake to winter, and snow two or three inches deep, the first of any consequence.

Dec.

5,

1853.

p. m.

Got

my

boat

in.

The
it

river frozen

over thinly in most places, and

whitened with snow which was sprinkled on
this noon.

4

P.

M.

To

Cliffs.

Now

for short days

and

early twilight, in which I hear the sound of

The sun goes down behind a low cloud, and the world is darkened. The partridge is budding on the apple-tree, and Before I got bursts away from the pathside.
wood-chopping.

home, the whole atmosphere was suddenly
so that
it

filled

with a mellow, yellowish light equally diffused,

seemed much lighter around

me

than

immediately after the sun sank behind the horizon-cloud fifteen minutes before.

Apparently

not

till

the sun had sunk thus far, did I stand in

the angle of reflection.

Dec.
side

5,

1856.
hill,

p.

m.

As

I walk along the
flit

of

the

a pair of nuthatches

by

toward a walnut
faint tut-tut or

tree, flying

low in mid course,

and then ascending to the tree. I hear one's quah-quah (no doubt heard a good way off by its mate, now flown to the next

AUTUMN.
tree), as it is ascending the

389
trunk or branch of

a walnut in a zigzag manner, wriggling along,

prying into the crevices of the bark
it

;

and now
it

has found a savory morsel which

pauses
It is a

to devour, then flits to

a new bough.

chubby
sky.

bird, white, slate-color,

It is a perfectly cloudless

and black. and simple winter

A white moon half full in the pale or dull-

blue heaven, and a whiteness like the reflection

snow extending up from the horizon all way up to the zenith. I can imagine that I see it shooting up like an aurora now at 4 P. M. About the sun it
of the

around, a quarter of the

is

only whiter than elsewhere, or there

is

only

the faintest possible tinge of yellow there.

My
tell of

themes shall not be far-fetched.
Friends, society
It
is

I will

homely, every-day phenomena and adven!

tures.

seems to
so

me

that I re-

I have an abundance, there
joice in

much that

I never speak to, but only

and sympathize with, and men, too, that know and think of. What you call bareness and poverty is to me simplicity. God could not be unkind to me, if
try.

he should
oner to try

I love the winter with
its cold,

its

im-

prisonment and

for

it

compels the prisI love to

new

fields

and resources.

have the river closed up for a season, and a pause put to my boating, to be obliged to get my boat
in.

I shall launch

it

again in the spring with

390
so

AUTUMN.
pleasure.

This is an advantage and moderation compared with the seaside boating, where the boat ever lies on the shore. I love best to have each thing in its season only, and enjoy doing without it at all
in point of abstinence

much more

other times.
to enjoy

It is the greatest of all

advantages
it

no advantage
consider
;

at

all.

I find

invari-

ably true, the poorer I am, the richer I am.

What you

my

disadvantage, I consider

my
I

advantage

while you are pleased to get

knowledge and culture, I

am

delighted to think

am getting rid of my surprise that I

them.

I have never got over

should have been born into
all

the most estimable place in
the very nick of time, too.

the world, and in

Dec.

5,

1858.

How

singularly ornamented

is

that salamander.

Its brightest side, its yellow

belly, sprinkled with fine

dark spots, is turned downwards. Its back is indeed ornamented with two rows of bright vermilion spots, but they can only be detected on the very closest inspection, and poor eyes fail to discover them even then, as I have found. To Providence to lecture. Dec. 6, 1854.

am

After lecturing twice this winter, I feel that I in danger of cheapening myself by trying to
lecturer, that
is,

become a successful

to interest

my

audiences.

I

am

disappointed to find that
for, is lost,

most that I am, and value myself

or

!

AUTUMN.
worse than
lost,

391
I
fail to

on

my

audience.

get

even the attention of the mass.

I should suit

them

better

if

I suited myself
as

less.

You cannot

you are like them, and sympathize with them. I would rather that my audience should come to me, than I go to them that so they should be sifted that is, I would rather write books than lectures. To read to a promiscuous audience, who are at your mercy, the fine thoughts you solaced yourself with, far away, is as violent as to fatten geese by cramming, and in this case they do not get fatter. Dec. 6, 1856. 2 p. m. To Hubhard's Bridge and Holden Swamp, and up river on ice to Fair Haven pond crossing, just below pond back on
interest

them except

;

;

;

east side of river.

Skating

is fairly

begun.

I

can walk through the spruce swamp now dry-

shod amid the water andromeda and Kalmia

handsome every one of these blown about over the snow crust, or lie neglected beneath, soon to turn to mould Not merely a matted mass of fibres like a sheet of paper, but a perfect organism and system in itself, so that no mortal has ever yet discerned or explored its beauty. Over against this swamp, I take to the river-side where the ice will bear.
glauca.
leaves that are

How

White

snow-ice

it is,

but pretty smooth.

It is

quite glare close to the shore,

and wherever the
Just this side of

water overflowed yesterday.

392

AUTUMN.
made undoubtedly December
It

Bittern Cliff, I see the very remarkable track of

an

otter,

the snow-ice was mere slush.

through a hole (now black ice) a button-bush, and apparently pushed its way through the slush, as through snow on land, leaving a track eight inches wide, more or less, with the now frozen snow shoved up two inches above the general level on each side. Where the ice was firmer were seen only the track of its feet. At Bittern Cliff I saw where these creatures had been playing, sliding or fishing, apparently to-day, on the snow-covered rocks, on which for a rod upwards and as much in width, the snow was trodden and worn quite smooth, as if twenty had trodden and slid there for several hours. Their droppings are a mass of fishes'
scales

3d, when had come up by the stem of

and bones,

loose, scaly,

black masses.

At

this point, the black ice

approached within three

or four feet of the rock, and there was an open

space just there a foot or two across, which

appeared to have been kept open by them.
white ice just below the pond.
all

I

continued along on that side, and crossed on

The

river

was
tail

tracked up with otters from Bittern Cliff

upward.
edgewise,

Sometimes one had

trailed his

making a mark

like the tail of a deerfast,

mouse

;

sometimes they were moving

and

there was an interval of five feet between the

AUTUMN.

393

I saw one place where there was a zigtracks. zag piece of black ice two rods long and a foot wide in the midst of the white, which I was sur-

made by an otter pushthrough the slush. He had left ing his way These very confishes' scales, etc., at the end.
prised to find had been

spicuous tracks generally

commenced and

termi-

nated at some button-bush or willow where black
ice

now marked

the hole of that date.

It is sur-

prising that our hunters

know no more about
officio

them.

When
he
is

I speak of the otter to our oldest

village doctor,
ralist,

who should be ex
is

a natu-

greatly surprised, not

such an animal

found in
in

knowing that these parts, and I
vessels that re-

have to remind him that the Pilgrims sent home

many

otter skins

the

first

turned, together with beaver, mink, and black-

fox skins, 1,156 pounds of other skins in the
years 1631-36, which brought fourteen or fifteen

pound, also 12,530 pounds of beaver In many places the otters appeared to have gone floundering along in the slushy ice
shillings a

skins. 1

and water.

On
and

all sides in

swamps and about
less noticeable

their edges,

in the woods, the bare shrubs are sprinkled

with buds more or
their little

gemmae or gems
1

their

and pretty, most vital and

attractive parts now, almost all the greenness
Vide Bradford's History.

!

394

AUTUMN.
color left, greens
rabbits.

and and
tic,

and salads for the birds

Our
is

eyes go searching along the

stem for what
quarters.

the concentrated

most vivacious and characterissummer gone into winter

For we are hunters pursuing the summer on snow-shoes and skates all winter
long,

and there
7,

is

really but one season in our

hearts.

life, like

1838. Never do we live a quite free Adam's, but are enveloped in an invisible network of speculations. Our progress is from one such speculation to another, and only at rare intervals do we perceive that it is no progress. Could we for a moment drop this byplay, and simply wonder without reference or

Dec.

inference

Dec.

7,

1852.

day

yet.

Perhaps the warmest p. m. True Indian summer. The walker

perspires.

The shepherd's - purse

is

in

full

bloom

;

the andromeda not turned red.

Saw a

pile of snow-fleas in a rut in the wood-path, six

or seven inches long, and three quarters of an

inch high

;

to the eye exactly like powder, as if
it from his was passed through the

a sportsman had spilled

flask,

when a
its

stick

living

and and

skipping mass, each side of the furrow preserved
edge, as in powder.

Dec.
This
is

7,

1856.
first

Skate to Fair Haven pond.
skating.
It takes

the

my

feet

a

There are many of those singular spider-shaped dark places amid the white ice. winding between I edging of ice . again taking the snow to reach the next ice. the track of one skater who has preceded me morning. the button-bushes. but slipping sometimes on a twig. Now I suddenly see the trembling sur- face of water where I thought were black spots of ice only. am ! Now I glide over a field of white air-cells close to the sur- with covering no thicker than egg-shells. and bank am slow to acquire -confidence in but returning. am is it. That grand old poem called Winter is round again . cutting through with a sharp crackling sound. around me. and following narrow threadings of ice amid the sedge. gliding with unexpected ease through withered sedge. few moments this 395 I see to get used to the skates. which bring me out Occasionally I to clear fields unexpectedly. now shoot over a bridge of ice only a foot wide between the water and the shore at a bend. Now I go skating over hobbly places. but this rests my feet straddling the bare black willows. so that I cannot keep to shell bend.AUTUMN. above the Clam- am confined to a very narrow on the meadow. how bold I face. The it river is rather low. obliged to take a few strokes over black and thin-looking ice where the neighboring springy. where the surfacewater has run through some days ago.

been subjected to the vicissitudes of millions of years of the gods. It is wonderful that old It men do not was summer. a dumb white surface of ice speckled with snow. The water is already skimmed over again. snowflakes. The severest and coldest of the lose their reckoning. retreating over the hills drawing his sled behind him.396 AUTUMN. Cliff. just as so many winters before. where so lately were lapsing waves or smooth. amid sere pennyroyal and frostbitten catnip. and I was prepared to see it flit away by the time I again looked over my shoulder. The winters come now as fast as pond. and not a superfluous ornament remains. and now again it is winter. and I see him. Nature loves this rhyme so So well that she never tires of repeating it. reflecting water. As I sit under where the snow is melted. so satisfactory and perfect. and see with without any connivance of mine. It was as if I had dreamed it. sweet and wholesome is the winter. and I hear the familiar belching voice of the It seemed as if winter had come without any interval since midsummer. too. I see the holes which the pickerel fisher has made. I look over my shoulder upon an arctic scene. children will never weary of it. Lee's surprise the pond. an epic in blank verse. enriched with a million It has tinkling rhymes It is solid beauty. that her What a poem. so simple and moderate. ! .

I owe thus to my week's surveying a few such slight. line. Dec. I observe that its recent shoots (which like many larger bushes and trees frequented place. them down for a dry and springy seat. 1857. As I sit there amid the sweet fern. Dec. because different lots were cut at different times. We eat our dinner in the middle in a sheltered of the amid the young oaks cast and un- I cut some leafy shrub oaks. till it cannot be amended. tive discoveries. 1838. Nothing in Nature is sneak- . but posithis is a cheering my otherwise barren work.AUTUMN. growing in squares or other rectilinear figures. 8. Even and compensating discovery in I get thus a few positive values answering to the bread and cheese which makes my dinner. It is a sunny. Looking the other way. I none of it. so see thick and white. Running the long northwest side of Richardson's Fair Haven in the lot. talking with my man. 397 it. and warm day woods for the season. 7. immortal critics have shot their arrows at and pruned it. fine. and have a few leaves in a tuft still at the extremities) toward the sun are densely covered with a slight silvery down which looks like frost. Briney. but the bare reddish twigs. You will see full-grown woods where the oaks and pines and birches are separated by right lines.

violet-like. The dear privacy and retirement and solitude which winter makes possible. furnishing more than woolen Dec. It snowed in the night of the 8. so is is as lavender and balm. as somewhat maltreated or slighted. the pride of the land and ornament of every lady's boudoir. 6th. The remote pastures and hills beyond the woods are closed to cows and cowherds. I am struck by this sudden solitude and remoteness which these places have acquired. If skunk-cabbage offensive to the nostrils of men. Those are not surely the cottages I have seen all . feet to all walkers hills ! From Fair Haven I see the and fields. What was it to Lord Byron whether England owned or disowned him. and it ing or chap-fallen. two inches deep. but each is satisfied with its being. gleam with the dear old wintry sheen. 1850. carpeting the earth with snow. and the ground is now covered our first snow. Let not the oyster grieve he has gained as an . whether he smelled sour and was skunk-cabbage to the English nostril. Suddenly they are shut up. but trustfully unfolded its leaf of two handsbreadth. aye and the icy woods in the Corner. that he has lost the race oyster. still has not drooped in consequence.398 AUTUMN. . aye. I see no tracks now of cows or men or boys beyond the edge of the wood. and to cowards. or.

m. Dec.A UTUMN. much more own body. in 899 They are some cottages which I have my mind. 1852. so many pearly drops covering the whole plant. 7 a. I 8. 8. . 1854. be abroad in the morning red. Dec. ice to p. and thence to WalWinter has come unnoticed by me. m. like an oblong cup. on den. How can we spare to sky. Up river and meadow Hubbard's Bridge. of the Trichostema dichotomum in the woodpath. Dec. without a slight sense of guilt. 1853. 8. and which the floods have washed up. summer. and so this little butter-boat is filled with a frozen pure drop which stands up high above the sides of the cup. to see the forms of the eastern trees against the dun and hear the cocks crow. have caught the rain or melting snow. One cannot burn his or bury even his old shoes without a feeling of sadness and compassion. The dry calyx-leaves. have come along the river-side in Merrick's pasture to collect for kindling the fat pine roots and knots which the spearers dropped last spring. the It is interesting to observe manner in which the plants bear their snowy burden. Get a heaping bushel-basket full. its The pennyroyal there also retains fragrance under the ice and snow. when a thin low mist hangs over I the ice and frost in meadows.

over side of Bear Garden. have been so busy writing. apparently sleet frozen in water. fine. the ice by contrast and snow a black artery. and ! you were a spindle in a factory. to native fields ? Dec. Already foxes have left their tracks. the sun now setting. This afternoon I go to the woods down the railroad. or some squirrel. you live as you go along. The other is leisurely. and glorious. Went over the fields on the Walden. is How when black the water where the river I look from the light. here and there concealed under a pellicle of ice. without jar or running off the track. even like a pigeon's neck. In the second. and sweep around the hills by beautiful curves. You travel only on roads of the proper grade. soft and delicate and warm. open. you are merely getting your living. How different from my habitual one It is hasty. The skating is all hobbled like a coat of mail or trivial. In the first case. but in vain. 8. coarse. This is the life most lead in respect of nature.! 400 AUTUMN. Here is the river frozen over in many places. 1855. I only hear the faint lisp of probably a . How the crust shines afar. as if thickly bossed shield. Why do the mountains never look so fair as from my crust. with the surrounding white. like a flower. seeking the society of some flock of little birds. There is a glorious clear sunset sky.

8° above zero. O. But I did not find it. 1620.. in his history of the Plymouth Plantation. though the latter is now so thin. there would have been a sweet society for me. Jacob Farmer brought me the head of a mink and took tea here.a utumn: tree sparrow. is food enough for me. 79). He says he can call a male quail close to him by imitating the note of the female. chickadees or lesser red-polls. 1856. Pil- grims on their arrival in Cape Cod Bay the 11th of November. Yet it is cheering to walk there. says (p. whistle. while the sun is reflected from far through the aisles with a silvery light from the needles of the pine. Yet I had the sun penetrating into the deep hollows through the aisles of the wood. even in a nuthatch or downy woodpecker. In a little busy flock of lisping birds. 401 I go through ently unoccupied empty halls. which is only a faint to-night. remembering the condition of the S. apparby bird or beast. " Which way ward so ever they turned their eyes (save upto the heavens) they could ace or content in respect of have little solany outward objects. . yet. The contrast of light or sunshine and shade. Probably the day Bradford. Dec. and the silvery sheen of its reflection from masses of white pine needles. coldest 8.

they were as if they had been glazed." so Bradford was one of the ten principal persons. and the whole country. " : Cod Harbor a settlement. Nature has not changed one iota. I. The earliest mention of anything like a glaze in New England that I remember is in the same in History. represented a wild and savage hue. and it would be to his eyes in the It required no little courage to found a colony here at that season of the year." such no doubt country still. The weather was very cold." tavern. AUTUMN. with a dollar and three cents in his pocket. and it froze hard as the spray of the sea lighting on their coats. in 1620. and he Dec. full of woods and thickets. for I had only earned my . to Bradford's eyes.402 for. dollars herited wealth I told He remembers many who inwhom he could buy out to-day. 1857. summer being done. spent the three cents for drink at Bigelow's and now he is worth " twenty hundred clear. That same night they reached the bottom of the Bay. a poor boy. all things stared upon them with a weather beaten face. where Bradford describes the second expedition from Cape search of O. cord twenty-four years ago. Such was a New Eng- land November. says he came to ConS 8. p. the 6th of December. and saw the Indians cutting up a blackfish. 83. him that he had done better than in a pecuniary respect. S.

but the imagination that takes cognizance of tion requires a long range." I was particularly poorly . 403 's " Well. clad then. boots. my corduroys not preserving a selvage. without halo. the farther off we are accustomed to conspirits. better and I don't know as I 've got much clothes than you." said he. or in the future. It is not simply the understanding now. rubbers. and gloves would not have brought that it fourpence. sider them. is bare and bald. if distant or universally sig- We do not know poets. The imaginaif It is the faculty of the poet to see present things as in this sense past and future. as I had. . and I told the Irishman was n't everybody could afford to have a fringe round his legs. or the blue enamel of intervening air ? But let it be past or to come. How is it that what is actually present and transpiring is commonly perceived by the common sense and understanding only. Dec. We believe in now and beauty.AUTUMN. 1859. we believe in They have their abode in the remote past. it. but not here. but we locate them in some far vale . living. "that all I 've done. in the woods my hat. and off saints for our contemporaries. The man dead is spiritualized. the fact remembered is idealized. It is ripe and with the bloom on it. and it is at once idealized. the greater and better. as nificant. heroes. pants. 8.

like nuts shaken in a bag. petals of the witch hazel tells still hold on. half rattle. . still Dec. half gurgle. apparently feeding on scattering the scales about. with a side tumultuous note." It is one of my qualifications that I have not written an article for the " North American Review." it is said of most that at one time they wrote for the "North American Review. away beyond Fair Haven. 9. In the " Homes of American Authors. Railroad to Lincoln bridge and back by road. out of them. I love to gather them. 9. From a little east of Wyman's sun is I look over the pond westward. m. in flocks. The chestnuts are about and There are more this year than the squirrels can consume. Smith's Those little ruby-crowned lesser red-polls They suddenly flash away from this about. only for the sense of the bountifulness of nature they give me. its seeds. or a bushel of nutshells. To A. A fresh dandelion.404 AUTUMN. They are plump and if tender. both in the fallen burrs and mouldy leaves. I picked three pints this afternoon. p. 1856. m. They are oftenest seen on the white birch. The near setting. p." Dec. A few A man me he saw a violet to-day. and did not find one mouldy one among those which I picked from under the wet as plenty as ever. soon returning to the tree they had forsaken on some alarm. 1852. hill. to that.

the of the axe or the locomotive whistle does the ubiquitous hooter sit? woodchoppers who are invading his domains. The pond I hear perfectly smooth and full of light. 405 through all A bewitching stillness reigns all the woodland. than once in ten years. the winter day in the woods or fields has commonly the is stillness of twilight. the voice of the I hear every week hooting owl. hooting from his invisible perch at his foes. Some of my townsmen I never see. and of a great proportion I do not hear the voices in a year. only the strokes of a lingering woodchopper at a distance and the melodious hooting of an owl. though they live within my horizon but loud almost. Indeed. mingled oft in strange harmony with the newly invented din of trade. which is as common and marked a sound as that . and only a grove or two is left. yet where and who sees him? In whose wood-lot is he to be found? Few eyes have rested on him hooting. . some primeval sounds in the air.AUTUMN. still his aboriginal voice is heard indefinitely far and sweet. As the earth only a few inches beneath the suris it was anciently. though the chopper has not seen him. yet cut away the woods never so much year after year. and over the snow-clad landscape. though I do not see the bird more face undisturbed and what still so are heard . few on him silent on his perch even.

more or other things are seen in the reflection than in the substance. The worker who would accomplish much these . or even a healthy book of travels. as if it were the bar over that passage-way to Elysium. against which the tops of the trees. outline of Fair Haven Hill. pines and elms. the last column in the looks like an outlet of train of the sun. but are invisible against the dark hill beyond. a mile beyond whereas in the reflection I see not this. to last far into the night. and these are indefinitely prolonged into points of shadow. As I look over the pond westward. and over the valley which Walden toward Fair Haven. or else serene philosophy. and a slight blush begins to suffuse the eastern horizon. and set in a gilded frame. When I get as far as my bean- the reflected white in the winter horizon is of the perfectly cloudless sky at the horizon's edge. are seen with a beautiful distinctness. and so the picture of the day is done. Such is a winter eve.406 I perceive that AUTUMN. only the tops of some pines which stand close to the shore. I see a burnished bar of cloud stretched low and level. The sun is set. Now for a merry fire. some old poet's pages. eked out perhaps with the walnuts which we gathered in November. being condensed and its hue deepening into a dun golden. field. I see in substance the now bare .

out his arms. The northwest wind meeting the current in an ice exposed place produces that hobbly day. also in his the latter pecking holes in blinds. . and the sea is fath- omed. short days. of his head. often returning home by moonlight.AUTUMN. digits into space. Bryant sparrow and a pigeon woodpecker. and barn roof and sides in order to get into if it. ularity This reg- and permanence make these phenomena 9. and no doubt the same phenomenon occurred annually at this point in the river. the unit of measure for the distance of the fixed stars. 10. Bee. candle-light. and set out for the woods again by ends of the night. a thousand years before America was discovered. His middle finger measures how many He extends a few times his finger. which I described at Cardinal Shore day before yester- Such is the case in this place every year. as a nail had been driven into them. 1837. 407 slice must shear a dusky off both The chopper must work as long as he can see. quite sub- dued to us. See a song Dr. Not the carpenter alone Space is car- ries his rule in his pocket. holes in the window sashes or casings. At New Bedford. or the white crescent The meanest peasant finds in a hair upon his nail. more interesting to me. Dec. thumb and He stretches and the continent is spanned. tells of 1858.

and heaven to me consists in a complete communion with the otter nature. I discover a strange track in the snow. AUTUMN. Passed in some places between shooting ice crystals extending from both will Mere innocence Dec. in the silence of I cannot but smile at my own wealth when I am thus reminded that every chink and cranny of nature is full to overflowing. Paddled up Assabet. These day. Such the night. just Upon the thinnest black cemented. even. 10. tame any ferocity. sides of the stream. if possible. I by the highways. He travels a more wooded path by watercourses and hedgerows. Another still more glorious Indian summer. but we shall meet at last. on account of the wholesome bracing coolness and clearness. but though his tracks are now crosswise to mine. our courses are not divergent. 1853. It is my own fault that he must thus skulk across my premises by night.408 Dec. ice crystals. 1840. by yard and the smith's shop. Now I yearn toward him. and learn that some migrating otter has made across from the river to the wood. my an incident as this startles me with the assuris still ance that the primeval nature working. or flat with branches bent down. The surface . are among the finest days in the year. 10. was the appearance of fir-trees broad fern leaves or ostrich plumes. and makes tracks in the snow.

flock Snow softened. with a small leaf-frost on The thermometer It is at 7. All this appeared to advantage only while the ice (one twelfth of an inch thick. etc. crust. 409 was far from even. and I write with such repose and freedom from exaggeration. When the base was very broad. m. 1856. and there is much water in the road. with many irregular rosettes of small and perfect pyramids. Weather warmer. 1854.. What I write about at home. morning. Dec. How The which was so firm and rigid. The form of the crystals was oftenest that of low flattish or three-sided pyramids. Hear else.30 A. . the small woodpecker's whistle not much only crows and partridges and chickadees.AUTUMN. I understand so well comparatively. though Snow-fleas in paths . p. quickly the snow feels the warmer wind. the apex was imperfect. 3° + remarkable how suggestive the slightest drawing is as a memento of things seen. clear.15 and 7. first I have seen. 10. rather in sharp-edged plaits and folds. A fine. perhaps). Saw a large white against quite it is of snow-buntings (quite woods. M. 10. cold winter trees. the largest with bases two or three inches long. To Nut Meadow. Dec. warm. at any rate). is now suddenly softened. For a few years past I have been accustomed to make . rested on the black water.

there were sturdy blows given as well as received. if I choose. about. if their heads had in- dented the bridge.410 a rude sketch in est AUTUMN. of plants. It is as if I saw the same thing again. and decimate the employees. " I am not your son's keeper . at least. Surely the approaches to our town are well guarded. These are our modern Buccaneers of the Fitch- burg Railroad. and The if their brains lay place looks as innocent as " a bank whereon the wild thyme grows. my journal. which has killed one. and I my may again attempt to describe it in words. We have another of exactly the same character in another part of the town. and full- various natural phenomena. to my knowledge. Yesterday I walked under the murderous men have been swept dead from the cars within as many Lincoln bridge. go look beneath the ribs . dragons of Wantley." The bridge does its work in an artistic manner. commits her son to their charge. one employee bond give up to pany has signed a The Vermont mother at this pass annually. the directors say. they lie in wait at the narrow The Compasses. where at least ten I looked to see if years. and when she asks for him again. these rude outline drawings do not fail to carry me back to that time and scene. and though the accompanying description may fail to recall experience. ice.

a painted torDec. but such conciliatory words from that pected. directly at them with the A true contrition. This would require but a little resolution in our legislature. day. 1840. man who had failed to fulDec. . 411 of the Lincoln bridge. and so behaved that seemed I was the defaulter and could not be satis- fied till he would let me stand in that light. shaggy coat and coarse comforter I had not exI saw the meaning which lurked far all behind eye. Ch. says he saw larks yesterday. as some faint stars better we see when we do not look full light of the eye. all travelers might pass in safety. feet from where he now crouches. the better for the dark. 1853. came as if A to me to-night with a countenance radiant it with repentance." It is a monster which would not have minded Perseus with his MeIf he could be held back only four dusa's head. How long a course of strict integrity come short The crack of such confidence might have and good will attractive of his whip was before enough. but it is preferred to pay tribute still. and grossly disappointed me. To Heywood's Pond and Almost a complete Indian-summer I am without greatcoat. 11. up brook. will humble integrity itself. clear and warm. and laugh him to scorn. when witnessed.! AUTUMN. fill an engagement. 11.

and there is that peculiar. and a ground robin (?) last week. that the reflection of objects in It occurs to still me in water is a similar manner fairer than the substance. under ice at White Pond. in both cases we see terrestrial objects. m. p. by turning them more to the sky. because we behold it with nerves of the eye unused before. . in the first case. Is it not that we let much more light into our eyes (which in the usual position are shaded by the brows). clear. He conjec- tures. vitreous. accordingly they are not dark or terrene. clear winter sunsets over the snow. 11. have now those early. as it were. but lit and elysian. Bee. by having the sky placed under our feet ? that is. The day is short. and yet we do not employ unused nerves to behold it. with the sky or heavens for a background or field . It seems to be composed of two twilights merely. that the landscape looks fairer when we turn our heads upside down. Perhaps this reason is worth more for suggestion thaD explanation. day before. You must make haste to do the work of the day before it is dark. To Bare Hill. I am told. It is but mid-afternoon We I when see the sun setting far through the woods. greenish sky in the west. 1854. still. The morning and the evening twilight make the whole day. a molten gem. and in the case of the reflections.412 toise the AUTUMN.

AUTUMN. reminded of the incredible phenomenon cold. will come twittering a flock of delicate. perchance a jay or a crow. p. as it were a fruit of the season. A par- struck the snow with her wings. but hear. No snow. one or two tree sparrows. to sport . it is only aggravated November. For the first time I wear gloves. I see where she making five or as it were. but I have not walked early this season. finger-marks. the round red buds of the high blueberry. that erelong. at the snarl. I see no birds. m. Slowly I worm my way amid blueberry. To Holden Swamp.. 11. lesser red-polls. the thicket of black alder. admiring the leaflets of the swamp pyrus which had put Dec. etc. bits. and the firm sharp red ones of the panicled andromeda. 413 I hear rarely a bird except the chickadee. I thread the tangle of the spruce swamp. and coming up. Standing I am though in this bare November landscape. now exposed there. 1855. Conantum. away over the the Great tridge goes crust in the of Meadows beyond off. forth again. the great yellow buds of the swamp pink. scarcely any ice to be detected. of small birds in winter. and cat-birds' nests in the leafless thicket. see the forms. now frost-bitten. six. amid the powdery snow. apparently of rab- the foot of maples. or A gray rabbit scuds swamp on the edge Peters' s. I think. crimson-tinged birds.

as if it were high midsummer to them. natures. All the fountains of nature seem to be sealed up. shaking down the powdery snow there in their cheerful social feeding. and last night. These crimson aerial creatures have wings which would bear them quickly to the regions of summer. such ripeness in their It is as and barren season you were to find a brilliant crimson flower which flourished amid snow. ! What a rich contrast tropical colors. colors. but linnets of rich below zero. and feed on the seeds and buds just ripe for them on the sunny side of a wood. but these imprisoning cold. perchance. He said not only. the ice will be two feet thick. let there be plumage and pleasing twitter. before be at he made at the same time warm and glowing creatures to twitter and home in it. but here is all ! the summer they want. in this stern ! surprising as if He made this bitter which man quails. crimson breasts. the mercury sank to thirty degrees linnets in winter. They greet the hunter and the chopper in their furs. The traveler is frozen on his way.414 AUTUMN. and launched them forth the day of the Great Snow. such delicacy in their forms. Their maker gave them the last touch. bearing summer in their The snow will be three feet deep. on cold white snow Such etherealness. but under the edge of yonder birch wood will be a little flock of crimson-breasted lesser .

jewel-like colors reflected There is added and adornment. in the winter. their adapt- edness to their circumstances. them a warmth that is akin to the Here is no imperfection suggested. like the from ice-crystals. seen thus far south. I had There is in warmth that melts the icicle. It is only necessary to behold thus the least fact or phe- from a point a hair's .AUTUMN. of these from the north. like the pine grossbeak. too familiar a different angle. and I was no longer wholly or merely a denizen of this vulgar earth. at birds. fact. haunted by I had seen into paradisaic re- gions with their air and sky. my acquaintances. as I stood in the swamp. feeding if 415 on the seeds of the birch. for the artist has had leisure to add beauty to use. a crystalhealth and soundness. there. angels I saw this familiar. a vision thus prospectively. There is no question about the ex- istence of these delicate creatures. When some is rare northern bird. and I was charmed and it. superfluous painting line. I am struck by the perfect confidence and success of Nature. as a flower were created to be first fully now on in bloom. a its peach to be now ripe stem. he does not suggest poverty. red-polls. but dazzles us with his beauty. Yet I had hardly a foothold nomenon. The winter with its snow and ice is not an evil to be corrected. It is as it was designed and made to be. however familiar.

Great winter reflecting itself looked like a precious gem rainbow colors from one angle. now river reflections. we are dazzled by ice. its Its head not silvered. In winter. It is the exception that we . As I go here or there. its beauty and sigOnly what we have touched and worn breadth aside from our habitual path or routine. now a flock of lesser red. to be inspired. several scratches last received. nificance. the colors of the rainbow in colorless From the right point of view. I am tickled by this or that I come in contact with. The age of miracles is each in moment thus returned now it is wild apples. partial We get only transient and glimpses of the beauty of the world. resides immortal youth is and perennial summer. polls. tradition. is To perceive freshly. as if I touched the wires of a battery. every storm and every drop in rule it is a rainbow. is our scurf. reimpress and harp upon. con- formity. for there is eternal health and beauty. These I continually recall to mind. repetition. cheek it. Beauty and music are not mere traits and exceptions. Standing at the right angle. is too. but has a ruby tinge of nature excites our pity. My body is all sentient. to be overcome. it in is If any part for ourselves we grieve. I can generally recall. have fresh my mind. enchanted by trivial. with fresh senses. they are the and character. not blanched.416 AUTUMN.

and so. stump on it. I have seen an attribute of anIt is a other world and condition of things. that this fruit should be borne in me. and two some of the time. and thus deeply and powerfully. for he has cut his own wood years. and has.AUTUMN. supplied all their fuel for thirty years. more than by aught else in all my experience. Dec. and burn about eight cords in a year. see 417 and hear. as well as an ordinary farmer does his cornfield. sprung from a seed finer than the spores of fungi floated from other atmos- pheres ! finer than the dust caught in the sails from land! Here the invisible seeds settle. Minott tells me that his and of vessels a thousand miles his sister's wood-lot contains about ten acres. in the vision that try to discover what it charmed and translated What if could ! thoughts and feelings — for daguerreotype I our am surprised and enchanted often by some quality which I cannot detect. till within two or three knows the history of every and the age beech-trees of every sapling. with a very slight exception at one time. 11. 1856. wonderful fact that I should be affected. Then I we was me. and bear flowers and fruits of immortal beauty. he thinks would constantly continue to do They keep one fire all the time. He knows his wood-lot. as an- and black birches there . knows how many are. and spring. and what grows in it.

" When we a nation." How many sweet passages there must have been in his life there. go into his lot with an axe. speak of a peculiarity in a man or we think sometimes to describe a mere mathematical point. A rill runs through the lot where At last is he quenched his laid it bare. or feet. and he a vandal compelled to let a stranger. winter days! foxes he saw ! How many thirst. There are times when thought it may be. more economical as well as more poetical to have a wood-lot. chopping all alone in the short rabbits. It is other knows his pear or cherry trees. With head. or sinks. Minott may say to his trees. and cut and get your own wood from year to year than to buy it at your own door. wings. and each sparkling dewdrop will seem a " Slough of Despond. or But let her don her cumbersome working-day garment. dense." And swims. " Submit to my axe . It is fit that he should be buried there. partridges. as a drop of wine in a glass of water tinges the whole glass. though. rough. or creeps. pursues her way. or rare. and several times he has rheumatism has made him a prisoner.418 AUTUMN. 1837. flies. 12. Some parts may be fur- . elbows her way through the underwood of words to the clear blue beyond : — " O'er bog or steep. or wades. hands. strait. I cut your father on this very spot. But in fact it pervades the whole. Dec.

bears leaves. 419 ther removed than others from the centre. notwith- No part of man's nature useless or sinister intent. Can I not walk ? among men it as sim- ply as in the woods I am greeted everywhere with mild looks and words. even as a spine. me when they are cold. Ah. in the cornfields The young pines springing up from year to year are to me a much more refresh- ing fact than the most abundant harvests. be only an abortive branch " which. My Dec. the mere remembrance. not till I am I hold by a deeper and stronger tie than after absence can sunder. and of melting seems as if the eaves were running. dear nature. 1840. I know and have communion with a finer and subtler part of themselves which does not put me off when they put me off. last stronghold is the forest. standing. 12. 12. feel that I In regard to my friends. . but not a particle so remote as not to be shined on or shaded by it." Dec. and in Euphorbia heptagona. and I heard the sough snow all around me. 1851. Society seems very natural and easy. which is not cold to cold. sometimes flowers and fruit. but the worst passions have So a spine is proved to their root in the best. is formed with a In no respect can he be wholly bad.AUTUMN.

I bethought myself. to try what a ble as far chance sentence out of that could do for me. I wished to ally myself to the powers that rule some deep which meanders through retired and fertile meadows I wished to do again. things quite congenial to my highest. made a my chamber and the universe. to lurk in crystalline thought like the trout under verdurous banks where stray mankind should only see my bub- come to the surface. even as respects (for I find that will always alter to suit my diet my emfire in ployment). . to open one of Emerson's books. which it happens that I rarely look at. while my fire was kindling. endeavored to return to myself. away as a man can think. and not the work of Concord and Carlisle. I wished for leisure and quiet to let my life flow in its proper channels. living coarsely. of the pine woods come to it as a hungry man to a crust of bread. ! I a short forgetfulness. and to-night.420 AUTUMN. when I might not waste the days. I wished to live. I have been surveying for twenty or thirty days. might establish daily prayer and thanksgiving in my family. I wished to dive into stream of thoughtful and devoted life once. in- most. indeed leading a quite trivial life. ah. for the first time. with its proper currents. or for far from towns. which would yield me better than money. and most sacred nature. might do my own work.

things more seriously than which I opened upon in his The first sentence book was this. of friends could give remarkable accounts. scholar. he can thus submit himself. out of what seemed hours of obstruction and loss. and yet had not been contented . no word. rate. he will find that ample returns are poured into his bosom. to But what makes this coincidence very quote. with a high trust. no no record would be. remarkable to me. I which her numerous At any to regard such saw that he was disposed I.AUTUMN. if at all. but he declaring gravely that she was one of those persons whose experience warranted her attach- ing importance to such things as the Sortes Virgiliance. Let him not grieve too much on account of unfit associates. what he does. so that I had perhaps thought the same thing myself twenty times during the day. " If. with 421 thinking at the same time of a conversation I him the other night." etc. an instance of the Sortes Virglliance as most. had. is the fact of the obviousness of the moral. He will learn that it is not matter what he reads. of perfect sympathy. little." etc. " in a society act. much Be a and he shall have the scholar's part of Most of this corresponded well enough with my mood. and this would be as good everything. for instance. I finding fault with him for the stress he had laid on some of Margaret Fuller's whims and superstitions. .

From Cliffs. How much forbearance. blossoming in a garden in Cambridge within a day or two. so sure to make itself known the truth. also. Yet how near they come to doing so. 1856. Miles road where the bank had been burned in the fall. I see snow on the mountains. Colder at last. The buds of the aspen are large. like the skin of a pard. They now have a parti . a man as learns to speak simply at last. they neither go to school. 12. and that of our companions That there should be such a thing as a brute animal. 422 AUTUMN.colored look. for what else waits to be known. Beomyces rosea. and show wool in the fall. Last night's rain was then snow there. Wonderful. how much they . rather than impressed as by an intimation out of the deeps. it. goes to every accomplishment ! I am thinking by what long Nothing is discipline and at what cost. nor read the Testament. Dec. for instance they are neither Chinese nor Tartars. 12. aye. Tansy still fresh yellow. 1852.. by the lower bridge. sacrifice and loss. Saw a violet on the C. Dec. as if they were spread with a saddle-cloth I hear of a cultivated rose for Boreas to ride. wonderful is our life. with that account of leaving me thus to be amused by the coincidence. not ! human ! that it ! should attain to a sort of society with our race Think of cats.

Up river on ice to Fair Haven Hill. that is. They also utter from time to time. cloudy sky. they look like snowflakes. Dec. as if alarmed. and in all together at the same time. They are very resttheir and continually changing will ground.AUTUMN. contrasted prettily with the former. in settle close by. kill we fatten and he and eat some of our cousins is ! Where a butcher or the great natural historian or the patron of butchers ? ? Is ? As well look for a great anthropologist among cannibals New Zealanders. Seen flying higher against a a short. are like us 423 who do so. There is but three inches at most of crusted and dry frozen snow. perhaps an alarm or call. 1858. There must be a thousand or two. individuals do. and then as they wheel. At length without hav- ing solved any of these problems. and they are running amid the weeds that less. I see an immense flock of snow buntings. you some positions. I think the largest I ever saw. at least. their note if is the rattling of nuts in a bag. as a whole bin-full were rolled from side to side. they rise all When like together. wheel. rise above it. the white comes into view. a clear rippling note. It . They suddenly rise again a few seconds after they have alighted. 12. but after As they fly from you see only or chiefly the black part of their bodies.

sun. rambling flock. They are unusuI should like to know ally abundant now.424 is AUTUMN. It Surveying to-day. havoc an owl might make among them ! What So far as I observe. as were. and. The pines looked like old friends again. should resemble the Away goes the great wheeling. it. part not foremost. rolling through the they will air. with an undu- lating jerk. where all these snowbirds will roost to-night. But Melvin tells me he saw a thousand feeding a long time in the Great Meadows. they confine themselves to the uplands. We had one hour of most Indian-summer weather in the I felt the influence of the softened my stoniness a little. middle of the day. lesser remarkable that their note. settle. 1851. when at length they the rushing flock on the other side it be fetched about. he thinks on the seeds of the wool grass. as in the boys' game of snap-the- whip. above described. not alighting in the meadows. they come rushing down from the north. snapper are gradually the new track. or a course. Cutting a . about the same time I saw those above described. and you cannot easily tell where Suddenly the pioneers. red-polls'. for they will probably roost together. Dec. will change their when know will in full career. 13. and those that occupy the place of the off after their leaders on Like a snowstorm.

—a stuttering. who does not speak without thinking. but as we are. in I saw an inner form. flected When I re- how different I saw that it he was from his neighbors. unpretending man. . aside from my chosen path so often. and when shall I reTo be able to visit the glimpses of the moon ? see ourselves. Any coarseness or ten- derness is seen and felt under whatever garb. in his frock. not merely as others see us. the gods for fear of incurring the reproach of Saw Perez Blood sure. but that We do indeed see through and through each other. spite of the garment. does not guess. that service a variety of absorbing fine intimations of employments does us. path through swamp where was 425 dogwood. I see myself better. It seems an age since I took walks and wrote in my journal. I wauted to know much brittle the name of every bush. through the veil of the body. This varied employment to which my me necessities compel me serves instead of forIf it eign travel and the lapse of time. and see the real form and character. it no doubt makes me forget many By stepping things which I ought to forget. I would not be rude to the superstition. was not so much outwardly.AUTUMN.. etc. and am enabled to criticise inyself better. forget makes some things which I ought to remember.

and no other. which I noticed was putting forth shoots beneath. Dee. It may have something to do with the life of the root. Mr. Why have I ever omitted early rising and a morning walk ? As we walked over the Cedar Hill. and I observed about the base of the cistus the frost formed an inch or mouths down about the base of the stem. 13. no other species exhibited this phenomenon. 1855. probably about the same night I into little flattened trumpets or bells. We stooped to examine. and flows down its stem. They were very conspicuous. Weston asked me if I had ever noticed how the frost formed about a particular weed in the It was a clear cold morngrass. 13. and that therefore the moisture is collected and condensed. 1852.426 AUTUMN. dotting the grass white. more long. Walk early through the woods to Lincoln to survey. with the . Bee. Winter weather may be said to have begun yesterday. But the most remarkable thing about it was that though there were plenty of other dead weeds and grasses about. Sanborn tells me that he was waked up a few nights ago in Boston about midnight by the sound of a flock of geese passing over the city. Perhaps the growth generates heat and so steam. for the spirit- ual assists the natural eye. I think it can hardly be because of the form of its top. ing. nakedly How men appear to us.

where legislatures sit. really parallel columns of across mackerel sky reaching east. true winter walk Dec. — or mistaking the pecting that perhaps. first I take I see that the fox has already taken the same walk before me. 13. 13. so that there seems to be no loss. cease to feel we is mean and barren. over state-honses and capitols. m. over harbors where city. It is the walk peit. both turn our steps hither at the same time. quite the heavens from west to of blue sky . as we are walking in the woods. and coming to a head. with clear intervals like and a fine-grained vapor spun . My first and now perhaps that which I take on the river. or sitting in our chamber. for what is lost in time is gained in power. it Dec. 427 heard them here. culiar to winter. about settling in it is not sus- preoccupied by greater geese than themselves. unaccountably.30 p. fleets lie at anchor. waking the inhabitants. We Now ment fine at 2. just along the edge of the button-bushes where not even he can go in the summer. 1857.AUTUMN. All at once. or where I cannot go in the summer. the melon-rind arrange- of the clouds. after a worthless fortnight. is encouraging to believe that our life is is dammed. the edge of a lake.. for a swamp it. They go honking over cities where the arts flourish. 1859. In sickness and barrenness.

What an ever-changing scene is the sky. But how long can a man be in a mood to watch the heavens ? That melon-rind arrangement.428 AUTUMN. of flames. branches. In half an hour. same direction beneath all glass extending in the the former. surprising touches here and there which show a peculiar carded. Now I see a column of white vapor reaching quite across the sky from west to is east. so very common. and again. its drifting cirrus and stratus ! The spectators are not requested to take a recess of fifteen minutes while the scene changes. This appearance is changed all over the sky in one minute. When I next look up the locks of hair are perfect fir-trees. Again it is pieces of asbestos. but. the mackerel sky is gone. and as often as we look it is up. state of the atmosphere. with locks of fine hair or tow that combed out on each side. our thoughts revert to other objects. No doubt the best weather signs are in these forms which the vapor takes. walking commonly with our faces to the earth. the scene has changed. or the vapor takes the curved form of the surf or breakers. is perhaps a confirmation of Wise the balloonist's statement that at a . with their recurved These trees extend at right angles from the side of the main column.

Hayden's is house. The eastern horizon also purple. seems the abode of the blessed. with its golden and it. now At length. But that part head is of the parallel cloud columns overinvisible.AUTUMN. but various types at different heights or hours. as the sunlfc sinks lower below the horizon. one which I see there. I think the summer rarely equals There are real damask-colored isles or continents north of the sim's place. a perfect winter sunset. scene. and further off northeast they pass into bluish purple. How may a man most cleanly . and so the purple glow glides down the western sky. out it gets. the sun has just set. 1840. Dec. What ! a spectacle the subtle vapors that have their habitation in the sky present these winter days You have not only unIt is a varying forms of a given type of cloud. for beauty and grandeur. of all proportion to the attention Who watched the forms of the clouds over this part of the earth a thousand years ago ? who watches them to-day ? When I reach the causeway at the Cut. certain height there is 429 a current of air moving from west to east. 14. the purple travels westward. re- turning. for variety. Hence we so commonly see the clouds arranged in parallel divisions in that direction. purple isles. the clouds overhead are brought out. so fair and pure.

and gracefully depart out of nature ? At present his birth and death are offensive and unDisease kills him and his carcass clean things. vites much as his life offended the moral It is the odor of sin. Charon come to ferry us over He preaches a biting homily to us. but he hears his requiem sung. Man lays down his body in the field. when he had left such a Our true epiwitness behind him on the plain. and be no more heard. Shall we not . His carcass insun and moisture. he the Styx. and thinks from it. and makes haste to burst forth into life new and it disgusting forms of It with which already teemed. put away beef and pork. and my trump shall die away. was no better than carrion before. It offends the bodily sense only so sense. taphs are those which the sun and wind write upon the atmosphere around our graves so conclusively that the traveler does not draw near to read the lie on our tombstones. is The mosquito sings our dirge. and may well make the soldier shudder. The intemperate cannot go nigh to any wood or marsh. small beer and ale. The birds of prey which hover in the rear of an army are an intolerable satire on mankind. smells to heaven. but just animated enough to keep off the crows.430 AUTUMN. as a stepping-stone. to vault at once into heaven. He says. as if he could establish a better claim.

for in is death Nature finds man returned on her hands. The painter puts its it into it the foreground of his picture.AUTUMN. be a precious relic to be kept in the cabinets of the . before she can receive her poisons her gales. and as clean as the sapling or fresh buds of spring? Let us die by dry rot still at least. perchance. like a tree in the woods. which possesses is a sort of embalmed life after death. She obliged to employ her scavengers in self-defense to abate the nuisance. he is not simply the pure elements she has contributed to his growth. 431 be judged rather by what we leave behind us. He a curse to the land is him birth. shall we be Will our spirits ascend tolerable to heaven? pure and fragrant from our tainted carcasses? guest May we not suffer our impurities gradually to evaporate in sun and wind with the superfluous juices of the body. and that gave is own again. and dry up. When her fires burn up the filth that has accumulated. May not man cast his shell with as little offense as the mussel. and so wither at last. and it. and with still remembered. than by what we bring into the world ? The When we have is known by his leavings. become intolerable to ourselves. but with her floods she must wash away. The dead or tree stands its erect without shame offense amidst green brethren. the most picturesque object in the wood.

for fire the true washer . 1851. I should say that there were two or three remarkably as warm days. all seato one who is actively work in the woods. I hear the small woodpecker whistle as he wood on Fair Haven. the pulsation of the life which once passed therein still faintly echoed ? We confess that let it was well done in Nature thus to the mussel and out her particles of lime to coral. and many cold ones in the course of the year. sons are at As for pretty much alike the weather. who ask out all I have not found very cold being day. 14. tude. May we not amuse ourselves with it. tempera- This if is my answer to my it acquaintances. I look on them as natives of a more northern latiflies toward the to leafless doomed be out this winter. to hear the history of its inhabitant in the swells of the sea. who fire beis subjected the body to the purification of fore they returned it upon nature. The ancients were more tidy than we.432 curious ? as AUTUMN. to receive them back again with such interest. The chickadees remind me of Hudson's Bay for some reason. water Dec. and it apply to our ear. when we count the layers of a shell. Fire is thorough. water only displaces the impurity. is superficial. . all alike in respect to but the rest are ture.

What isles those western clouds. now the winter are held up these dry above the chalices. 1854. Where all lately was a delicate blue flower. come I come from contact with certain acquaint- ances. whom even I am disposed to look toIt oftenest ward as possible friends. Only they can wound me seriously. where. up north .! AUTUMN. genial and open in the coldest seasons. but clean-washed cups of the blue curls spot the half snow-covered grain-fields. What mementos to stand snow Why friends not live out more yet. With C. in. nature is serene and immortal. always springs be open. Dec. and that perhaps without their knowing it. 14. 433 The now dry and empty. m. p. happens come from them wounded. who can tell the serenity and clarity of a New England winter sunset? This could not be till the cold and the snow came. Am I not one of the Zincali ? There are certain places where the ice will but a very wide angle. in what that I a sea! Dec. Ah. perchance. Ah. and have my only and relatives altogether in nature ? my way acquaintances among the villagers ? That diverges from this I follow. warmer There are such places in every character. 1852. 14. not at a sharp.

and clouds with singular beauty. of Assabet to Bridge. or like another surface of polished and often ice is distinguished from the its rounding only by reflections. The reflections are particularly simple and distinct. for they contrast not with a green meadow. trees. the abrupt white field of Dec. crystallization. Jack Frost. the stems so black and distinct. houses. willows. but clear white ice. 1837. I have rarely seen any reflections (of weeds. to say nothing of the silvery surface of the water. As further conis firmation of the fact that vegetation I a kind of observe that upon the edge is of the melting frost on the windows. a beautifully smooth mirror with an icy frame. Jack . 15. as in summer. but instead of that broad green ground absorbing the light. and the houses of the village) so distinct. gem set in and reflecting the weeds. This strip of water of irregular width over the channel between broad ice. It is well to improve such a time to walk by it. to a watery surface of silvery smoothness. Your eye slides first over a plane surface of smooth ice of one color. its bank The It is river is open almost whole length. and elms. like a ice. These twigs are not referred to and confounded with a broad green meadow from which is they spring. fields of ice looks like a polished sur- silver mirror. ice.434 AUTUMN.

are arctic pines. high-towering palms. in all places. with branches downcast. is Silence communion of a conscious soul itself. or shocks of wheat rising here and there from the stubble. presented. form complete hedgerows. all then and there is silence. just in proportion as ourselves there. She audible to men. stiff-frozen. Silence is ever less strange than noise. On the other. playing singular freaks. the vegetation of the torrid zone On is one side. . such as we see in pictures of oriental scenery. like the arms of tender in frosty weather." Dec. right trunks we find The nuthatch tapping the up- by our the side is only a partial spokes- man with its is for the solemn stillness. The crystalline particles are partial to the creases and flaws in the glass.AUTUMN. 435 together now bundling his needle-shaped leaves so as to resemble fields waving with grain. men In some instances. or miniature watercourses. and when these extend from sash to sash. the number of radii varying from three to seven or eight. If the soul attend for a moment to own infinity. where dense masses of crystal foliage " high over- arched embower. and wide-spread banyans. lurking amid the boughs of the hemlock or the pine. 1838. at all times. the panes are covered with little feathery flocks where the particles radiate from a common centre. 15.

recall that characteristic winter evening cold. having lost their reliance on the soul. 1856. December 9th. or recline on the ground. When It is I see that a man neglects his fails in his boat thus. Everywhere . as last winter. When most at one with na- ture I feel supported and propped on all sides by a myriad influences. Nature is right. but practical truth. m. Men of little faith stand only by their feet. not only shiftlessness or unfilthiness to let^ things but a sort of go to wrack and ruin I of still thus. 15.436 If AUTUMN. The most upright man is he that most entirely reclines (the prone recline but partially) by his entire reliance he is most erect. I do not wonder that he business. serve Dec. the now dark green of . — oak senses necessarily fed leaves. we we may always hearken to her ad- monitions. Dec. she preaches not abstract. I obB 's boat left out at the pond. but her cheek is flushed with exercise. but man is straight. will. 15. She erects no beams. dry. bleached and withered weeds that rose above the snow. 3 p. and yet she builds stronger and truer than he. She is no beauty at her toilet. thrift. To Walden. 1840. as trees in the plain or on the hillside are equally perpendicular. The some diet my mind and and whole- on. she slants no rafters.

The hooting of the owl that is a sound which my red predecessors heard here more than a . more aboriginal. still alone free from the melodious hooting of the owl. aye. the gilded bar of cloud across the apparent outlet of the pond. and the hasty walk homeward to enjoy the long winter evening. as if they were not (how little he is Anglicized!). and perchance the faint metallic chip . — grand. rights. heard at the same time with the yet more distant whistle of a locomotive. cently squatted here. last is town-meeting. Miles. nor of the of who parish. the Flints. Philosophy a Greek word. and perchance more enduring here than that. nor of the Dec. by good thing. no whisper in first There is of re- the Bulkeleys. 1859.AUTUMN. the hushed stillness of all the wood at sundown. the last strokes of the woodchopper. thousand years ago. nor Concord Fight. the deepening horizon glow. ice . it oc- cupying the space rightfully. aboriginal sound. heard above all the voices of the wise men of Concord. the short boreal twilight. who came to col- . It rings far and wide. 15. conducting my thoughts into the eternal west. the smooth serenity and the reflections of the pond. M. the winter day. ently bends his steps who pres- homeward . yet and it stands almost for a Greek some rumor of it has reached the commonest mind. primeval. of a single tree sparrow 437 the pines. the Hosmers.

If this were not well done. according to Sprengel. And now the neighboring hilltops telegraph to us poor crawl- . and couch their spears. " I have handled a good deal of wood. when it I objected to the small size of his wood. He piled his high and that he has found that tight. that was necesit sary to split wood fine in order to cure well more than four inches in diameter would not dry. In some places it was spread out like gauze over the tops of the trees. a good deal depended on the manner in which it was corded up in the woods." The east was glowing with a narrow." Dec. 16. where elves and fairies held high tournament : — " Before each van Prick forth the aery knights. Till thickest legions close. 1837. said. Ms wood-bill to-day. forming extended lawns. moreover.. which seemed to have been suddenly stiffened by the cold. the blue of the zenith mingling in proportions with the salmon color of the horizon. and. the evapthe leaves. oration of The woods were this morn- ing covered with thin bars of vapor. and I think that I understand the philosophy of it. and he added. the stakes would spread and the wood lie loosely. and so the rain and snow find their way into it. but all possible ill- defined crescent of light. 438 lect AUTUMN.

Awkwardness is a resisting motion. the latter by buoyancy or yielding to nature. The day flower out into a truth. the former by their . The motion of quadrupeds is the most constrained and unnatural is angular and it abrupt. But the subtlest. Dec. How ture is indispensable to a correct study of Na- a perception of her true meaning. They move on a more inward pivot. When I see the sun shining on the woods across the pond. If you consider it from the hilltop. gracefulness is The line which would exa yielding motion. except in those of the cat tribe. silence fact will one is integral. 1840. 439 ers of the plain. The reason will mature and fructify what the understanding had cultivated. their press the former that which is a tangent to the sphere. most ideal. where undulation begins. Rippling is a more graceful flight. I think this side the richer which sees it. 16. It is produced by the most subtle element falling on the next subtlest. would express the latter a radius. and spiritual motion is undulation. Beauty is where it is perceived. the monarch's golden ensign in the east. That of birds and fishes is more graceful and independent.AUTUMN. you will detect in it . Speech is fractional. weight or opposition to nature.

The worm. The two waving lines which express flight seem copied from the ripple. and the cocoon can only be got off by slipping it up and off the There they hang themselves secure for twig. spiritus. ready to become butterflies when new leaves push forth. having around itself first incased itself in another leaf. the winter. which is now quite brittle. so that they left looked like a few withered leaves dangling. So far . like pepper. the wings of birds endlessly repeated. your hand. Sometimes. for greater protection folded more loosely one of the leaves of the plant. from its depending on the strength of the stalk. They are so small that they go through and through the new snow. to incase the leaf-stalk and the twig with a thick and strong web of silk. one still by two leaves wrapped round hanging by its stem. 16. proof against cold and the birds. The snow everywhere was covered with snowWhen you hold a mass in fleas.440 AUTUMN. 1850. the strongest fingers cannot break it. There is something analogous In ento this in our most inward experience. as Dec. tak- ing care. thusiasm we undulate to the divine the lake to the wind. they skip and are gone before you know it. artfully concealed I noticed [last Sunday or the 14th] a bush covered with cocoons which were them. however.

are the best for these frost works. see mood of nature. the snow ran into. Dec. It is They are colored and fragrant. a. flowers his fruit. . where His admirable I read in Gerard's Herbal. though ones. 1859. quaint descriptions are to my mind scientific greatly superior to the modern more He describes not according to rule. when the earth is still bare and the weather is so warm as to create much vapor by day. 1853. they look like some powder which the hunter has spilled in the path. 16. Dec. to each Would you be well.AUTUMN. 441 when collected. fruit. 16. of pines. against the These days. He as brings them vividly before you. m. The elms covered with hoar morning light. Observed the reflection of the snow on Pine Hill from far ' % Walden extending beyond the true limits of a reflection quite across the pond. 1852. . but according to his natural delight in the plants. as one It is who has seen and delighted in them. frost seen in the east. which in the reflection. Also. The sky overcast with thick scud. almost It sug- good as to see the plants themselves. 16. are very beautiful. is gests that one cannot too often get rid of the assumption that are leaves . His leaves a man's his flowers. that you are attuned Dee. in our science. To Cambridge. less obviously.

Man is masculine. Modern botanical descriptions approach ever nearer to the dryness of an algebraic formula. 1840. He has really seen. and and reports his sensations. and tasted. especially be seen in the life of the which approaches most nearly to that of The druids paid no taxes. This may priest. and comes running in with to his friends. poetry. moral power. 17. but his manliness (virtus) It is the inclination of brute force to feminine.442 knowledge added AUTUMN. to a child's delight. It is the keen joy and discriminajust seen a flower for it tion of a child who has the first time. der. . 17. and philosophy will be one. as x + y = a love-letter. there are glimpses of this truth in the Dec. and the ideal man. " were allowed exemption from warfare and all other things. Dec." The clergy are eveu last stage of now a privi- leged class. religion. How much ! better to describe your object in fresh English words than in these con- ventional Latinisms smelled. In the civilization. 1837. The practice of giving the feminine gender to all ideal excellences personified is a mark of refinement observable in the mythologies of even the most barbarous nations. In all ages and nations we observe a leaning towards a right state of things. Glory and victory even are of the feminine genbut it takes manly qualities to gain them. and first.

1850. 17. The stems and branches of . 1851. The pitch-pine woods on the right of the Corner road. Dec.AUTUMN. that the days were very sensibly length- ened by the light reflected from the snow. low branches rising at a small angle and meetsombre twilight comes through A this roof of pine leaves and snow. their ing each other. The winter morning is the time the woods to see in per- fection and shrubs wearing their snowy and frosty dress. Even he who visits them half an hour after sunrise will have lost some of their most delicate and fleeting beauties. A piercing cold afterThe pitch pines now in balls on their noon . Dec. 443 when the snow first came. wading in the snow. yet in some places the sun streams in. it was all You walk in the pitch-pine woods as under a pent-house. and in streaks on their branches. Any work which required light could be pursued about half an hour longer. It lies hold the snow well. producing the strongest contrasts of light and shade. I noticed. so we may well pray that the ground may not be laid bare by a thaw in these short winter days. The trees wear their morning burden but coarsely after midday. and it no longer expresses the character of the tree. 17. but soon after sunrise gone. plumes. I observed that early in the morning every pine needle was covered with a frosty sheath.

Oh. where I do not know but and as memorable a fact as a friend. of course. would you but be simple and downright. To to explain to a friend is to suppose If not intelligent of one another. the very best words. by contrast. what purpose will you explain ? I One of the best men know often offends me by uttering made words. the trees look black You wander zigzag through the aisles of the wood. Improve every opportunity in writing. you are you are not.444 AUTUMN. appearance of phlegm and stupidity in me. keep asunder. a graceful bending. and the conversation comes to naught. no words are so tedious. the auditor. if I were Master Kingsley. — . from the university. as if it to express yourself were your it is last. Never a It produces an natural or simple word or yawn. I am more sure to come away from it cheered than from those who are stillness and twilight is reign. most smooth and gracious and fluent. a as dash of polite conversation. I am suddenly the closest and most phlegmatic of mortals. When they who have aspired to be friends the part of religion to cease to sympathize. of promising parts. a pine wood as substantial nearest to being my friends. would you but cease your palaver. The conversation of gentlemen after dinner.

to keep them warm. yellowish. on young alders in a meadow. to-day. Cold. Dec. You go stump- ing over bare frozen ground. with a piercing still. three or four inches long. with dry alder and fragments of fern leaves attached to and partially concealing them. I found that I had no such friend as the shrub oak hereabouts. sometimes clothed with curly. fastened to the main stem and branches at the same time. p. silvery brown cocoons of some great moth.AUTUMN. m. withered grass. It was the most homely and agreeable object that met me. may be a hundred. wrinkled and flattish. 1856. A farmer once asked me what I returned When day. It is comparatively summer-like side of on the south woods and hills. 1853. 445 My will this acquaintances sometimes wonder why I impoverish myself by living aloof from or that company. northwest wind and bare ground It is 's pretty poor picking outdoors to-day. but greater would be if the impoverishment I should associate with them. saw a great many. Dec. 17. I was greeted . cattle late in the fall. There but little comfort to be found. While surveying in Lincoln. from the south the other by withered shrub-oak leaves which I had not seen there. 17. like the back of half-starved beating this ear. now now that.

except what there may be in the bark of this shrub.446 they were served. as perfect now as when the wild bee hummed about them. I do not remember the transiBut these leaves still have a kind of life in them. AUTUMN. not knowing any use they But I can tell him that they do me They are my parish ministers. their forms as perfect as ever. yet just enough. Go through the shrub oaks. Now you have the foliage of summer painted in brown. or the cut ? ! was struck ! chewink scratched beneath them. They are exceedingly beautiful in their withered state. When was that pat- With what a free stroke the curve With how little. as Their colors are of wholesome. Look at the fine bristles variety in their forms which arm each pointed lobe. no greenness meets the eye. know. sapless. regularly good. If they hang on. made for. All growth has ceased. it is like the perseverance of the saints. I have leisure to admire them. What pleasing and harmonious colors above and below! . They never did any man harm that I settled. The green leaves are all turned to brown. the little buds are sleeping at the base of the slender shrunken Who observed when they passed from green to brown ? tion. summer at the is passed. quite dry and petioles. that the crowd Now and bustle eye. figures never Their weary my Look few broad scallops in their tern first sides.

while I find only a few .AUTUMN. Dec. m. But they probably look large to its microscopic I see. What abundance in and what variety the diet of these small graminivorous birds. close by has quite similar. they have not given up ! ! the ghost. dispersing it. which snow. To Walden. This is the reason. chaffy-looking seed. hole in the snow. or innocent and beneficent beings How spiritual Though they give up the ghost they have lost their sap. worm or insect. light-brown. ribbed under side. 1859. like saints. dusting the when I jar it. I see on the pure white snow what looks like dust for half a dozen inches under a twig. sive layer of to distant places snow beneath them or it is carried by the wind. that these plants rise so high above the snow. they are as fair as ever. some and the silvery face. when I jar it. The smooth. on the least jar. falls still in copious showers. over each succes. making quite a it The seeds are so fine that must have got more snow than seed at each pick. then. how or ashy. that a meadow-sweet eyes. acorn-color. and here are the tracks of a sparrow which has jarred the twig. Looking and the dust its slender. and retain their seed. 17. but larger seeds. delicately brown-tanned 447 upper survery pale. How poetically. Rarely touched by p. closely I find that the twig is hardback. and picked the minute seeds a long time.

hold their provender. are the large oval seeds of it the stiff-stalked lespedeza. Also. the birds can easily pick the latter out of the heads. these are to the sparrows. 18. little A further I see the seed-box. as they stand in the snow. the track of a partridge It has amid the shrubs. ate with the sumac When There the snow is is much deep. windy day. hopped up to the low clusters of smooth sumac berries. cold. or where it has evidently jarred them down (whether intentionally or not. P. What the cereals are to men. is On the ridge. sprinkled the snow with them. in it as in the calmest water. which I suspect berries. m. 1852. here only. Very Pond beautifully So polished it frozen. it was so exquisitely polished that the sky and dun-colored scudding clouds. solid food in them. I slid over it . I took many parts of for water. These stiff weeds which no snow can break down. skating. like the faces of a reflector. I am not sure). and eaten all but a few. Ludwigia. (This the Loring's first To Anursnack. north.448 nuts still. AUTUMN. full of still smaller yellowish seeds. The only threshing they require is that the birds fly against their spikes or stalks. Cracked into large squares.) the surface. were reflected nevertheless. Bee. It was waved or watered with a slight dust. with mother-o'-pearl tints.

and would be imstupidity of pertinent for to inquire. M. know as well as they can At any it is none of my me business. I do not care whether spoke to me afterward. is. the little ruby-crowned birds about. and I was That is all I ask or expect generally. tell. It appears (?). audience attended closely. This river looks an earlier hour. 8°. is in their infantile innocence. 1856. At my lecture. Thermometer at eight A a. it I think rate.45. the satisfied. Not one I have no doubt they liked it in the main. and I At Nashua. and I hear of others very much lower The last half Junction to Nashua is Groton from the route along the Nashua river mostly. with a little 449 misgiving. less interesting than the Concord. 18. if I can only get the ears of an audience. even more open. at Bee. notice none of our meadows on it. very cold day. though none of them would have dared say so. The most of these country towns. provided they were conscious of it. N. against a strong northwest wind. this bitter cold afternoon. and ride to Amherst. the eleven miles. Lectured . they say they like I my lecture or not. mistaking the ice before Still me for water. 2° at 11. any rate.. not to include the cities. that less wooded At banks are more uniform. Start for Amherst. H. 12 m. nor needed they. Generally.AUTUMN. hire a horse and sleigh.

As dry and olive or slate-colored lichens. Their juice is as the lichens do. (vestry) of the orthodox church. and your jaws The oak woods a quarter . as if they enjoyed this moisture as much They seem to be lit up more than when the sun falls on them. 18. and. The pitch pines is are very inspiriting to behold. the best kind of bottled cider that I know. Their trunks and those of trees generally. They are all good in this state. being wet. are the cider press. lichens are of a fresh and living green. Eain. The landlord apologized me because there was to be a ball there that night. It rains but little this afternoon. and the bright lichens on them Apples are are so much the more remarkable. and are very good. which would keep me awake. It is a lichen day. I was an old inhabitant had never heard of it. though not even a patch of clear sky is to be seen to-day. and it did. I trust. It was the told to stop at the United States Hotel . are very black. thawed now. though there is no sign of fair weather. helped to undermine ordinary. but I found the letters on a sign without help. Dec. it. 1859. as Their green much enlivened and freshened as that of the It suggests a sort of sunlight on them. so the already green pine needles have acquired a far livelier tint. desolate - looking to country tavern. unpretending (?).450 in basement AUTUMN.

1851. There is nothing fantastic in them. the sound of the woodchopper's axe a twilight sound now in the night of the year. of a mile off appear ever. Their simple beauty has sufficed men from the earliest times. 19. The withered being thoroughly saturated with moisture. It is such simple diet to my senses as the grass and the sky. 1837. They have never criticised the blue sky and the green with Dec. 1850. and droops over gracefully. the yellow foundation of flowers still remaining. 19. The witch hazel is covered fruit.AUTUMN. unread. 19. as if men had stolen forth in the arctic night to get fuel to keep their fires a-going. and they are not only redder for being wet. 19. Hell itself may be within the compass of a spark. This plain sheet of snow which pond is not such a blankunwritten. but through the obscurity of the mist one leaf runs into another. like a its willow. but such as is. are of a livelier color. far . covers the ice of the ness as is Dec. In all woods is heard now. and the whole mass makes one contained impression. Now the sun Dec. Dec. 451 more uniformly red than leaves. 1840. and near. All colors are in white. The sound of the axes far in the horizon is like the dropping of the eaves. .

Near the island I saw a muskrat close by. fifteen rods off. tolerable skating. or dusky above. and his whole length visible. swimming in an open reach.452 sets AUTUMN. streaked with yellowish white or ash. only a faint rosy blush along the horizon. how soon river. 1854. and with scarcely any redness following. Most had a crimson crown or frontlet. white birch. as It is surprising how dry he back was never immersed in the water. which plainly they had distinguished so far. suddenly without a cloud. and more or less white or ash beneath. 19. This is p. I can go more than double the usual distance before dark. Off Clamshell. so pure is the atmos- phere. a great proportion of the head out of water. Dec. I heard and saw a large flock of Suddenly Fringilla linaria over the meadow. am sur- prised to find how rapidly and easily I get along. and then to foot of Fair the first Haven I Hill. He was always headed up stream. They were commonly brown. very handsome. I afterward saw many more in the Potter swamp up the river. Skated half mile up Assabet. and dash across that the river to a large. if tail is about level with looks. they turn aside in their flight. I am it at this brook. . m. and a few a crimson neck and breast. or that bend in the which or takes me so long to reach on the bank by water. though the root of the the water.

like a bag of nuts. white breasts. 1859. Common as they are now. The greater uncertainty of his fate seems to ally ings. and were winter before last. he earth. ing. picking the seeds out of the catkins. while about this. he knows not the men of this world. before he has arrived at mid- dle age.AUTUMN. 453 Some. for some unknown ing notes. to him to a nobler race of be- whom he in part belongs. and sustain themselves in all kinds of attitudes. He really . reason. He is interesting as a stranger from another sphere. the powers that be. Prompted by the reminiscence he is in communication. When a man is young. sometimes head downwards. of that other sphere arrived. They are busily clustered in the tops of the birches. his seniors. 19. is not an assured inhabitant of the and his compensation is that he is not quite earthy. had clean I suspect that these were young They keep up an incessant twittermales. or with whom The young man is a demigod. Dec. from which he has so are unintelligible lately actions to his He bathes in light. I saw none last winter. varied from time to time with some mewOccasionally. they will all suddenly dash away with that universal loud note (twitter). he is but half here. with a bright crimson crown. They know him not. that is. and his constitution and body have not acquired firmness.

and the clock ticked on the wall. to him forty years accommodate himself This is to the conditions of this world. then that only home. and share the repose and equanimity that reign around then are they my house. all the His plaint It capes through the flexure of his verses. Afterward he may way of be the president of a bank. Dec.454 AUTUMN. is truly mortal. To Fair Haven HiU and Saw a large hawk circling over a by their flight. 1851. as me in the much as if the fields. record it was admitted. and screaming. and go the all flesh. 20. I sympathize with the heats and colds. whose thoughts are few and hardened like his bones. I rarely read a sentence which speaks to my muse as nature does. of his verse. and his only resource is to say his prayers. ture as My home my is as my heart embraces. apparently that he might discover his prey Traveling ever by wider circles. 20. what a symbol pine wood below me. plain below. kettle sang and fagots crackled. It takes thinks and talks about a larger sphere of exist- ence than this world. Through the sweetness the sense. But a man of settled views. Dec. . is If I only much of nawarm my But if house. the age of poetry. 1840. the sounds and silence of nature. without regard to I es- have communion with Burns.

Without " Heave yo." it trims its sail.its inner wings or wingstraight as linings. against the sky its . How bravely he came round one of those parts of the wood which he had not surveyed. most gracefully thus surveying new scenes.! AUTUMN. taking in a new segment. It rises higher above where I stand. 455 now soaring. and revisiting the old. within the outer. a will-o'-the-wind. as with a wider sweep of thought But the majesty cling in the imagination of the beis holder. till you cannot divine which perchance it way it will incline. taking larger and larger smaller. It goes about without the creaking of That America. but enjoying each as long as possible. drives down an arrow to its mark. a courtier ! No is such noble progress How it comes round. like is bound. primaries and secondaries. and the rich tracery of the outline of the latter (?). for the bird intent on its prey. that never makes a tack. yacht of the air. though it rounds the globe itself takes in and shake out its reefs without a block. but advances by of the skies. It flies circles. . . Cir- and ever circling. now descending. like a great moth seen . not as preferring one place to another. annexing new territories. following the path through the vortices of the air poetry of motion. of the thoughts . and I see with beautiful distinctness its wings against the sky. or smaller and it not directly whither circles.

standing expectant on the edge of the plain. with their gray stems indistinctly seen. tion ! Flights ! of imagina- Coleridgean thoughts to rise in his thought ever to So a man is said fresh woods and pastures new. Eed. then holds up the other. no doubt a good lesson for the wood- chopper. Consult not far A clump of white pines seen is westward lit over the shrub-oak plain which now up by the setting sun.. a soft feathery grove. The red shrub oaks on the white ground of the plain beneath make a pretty scene. white. 456 a AUTUMN. Write the strain that interests you most. are pretty effectually shut It is Most walkers up by the snow. his long day in the woods. and green. inspires me with a mild . and in the distance dark brown. its sky-scrapers all control holds and sweeps off this way. and he gets more than his half-dollar a cord. are the colors of the winter landscape. I view it now from the cliffs. the popular taste. under its flutter. it is such a regatta as Southampton as if to admire. and sweeps If there are two concentrically off that way. waters never witnessed. Say the thing with which you merely. like human beings come to their cabin door. It is a in waste of time for the writer to use his talents Be faithful to your genius. up one wing. labor. circling.

" . or stay out that Christendom sunset. without a house or road or cultivated field in sight.AUTUMN. thing stands up more free from blame in this world than a pine-tree. that you moral a point from of view. for here within twenty miles of Boston I can stand in a clearing in the woods. as the criticism of men of thought. and look a mile or more over the shrub oaks to the distant pine copses and horizon of uncut woods. repent. the cry is. The dull and blundering behavior of clowns will as surely polish the writer at last. A like slight vaporous cloud high over them. The Christian world will not admit that a man has a just perception of any truth unless at the same time he cries. humanity. till Go mand out before sunrise. It is wonderful. wonderful. repent. Though you be a babe. " Lord. The trees indeed its The sun seems to send ceive farewell ray far and level over the copses to them. like a group of settlers with their children. The pines impress me floats as human. be merciful to me. 457 have hearts. a sinspeak ner. the unceasing de- makes on you. and they silently reit with gratitude. while in the west the sun goes down No- apace behind glowing pines and golden clouds which mountains skirt the horizon. Our country is broad and rich.

their ears walking fast to keep warm. the dry snow squeaking under their feet. They will be warmer after they have been at work an hour. 20. of he had mounted by his spiral path into the 9 a. now at sunrise on the clouds high over the eastern horizon. To Hill. Where was water last night. before the sun has risen above the low in the east. 1854. Skated to Fair Haven with C. before the sun has and hands well covered. with the green tint of a large mass of glass. snow which has blown upon the in ice has taken the form of regular star-shaped crystals an inch diameter. vitreous. m. gem-like appearif it ance which has at sundown. nil himself "What made the hawk mount? Did he not with air ? Before you were aware it. The river appears to be frozen everywhere. in the Sometimes these are arranged form of a spear three feet long. heavens. Said to be the coldest morning as yet. bank The sky it in the eastern horizon has that same greenish. The Dec.458 AUTUMN. and beside. p. and I hear a red squirrel's reproof. choppers are hastening to their work afar risen. is a firm bridge of ice this morning. M. he is cold . Here are some crows already seeking their breakfast in the orchard. as were of perfectly clear glass. C's skates are not the best. quite I see the mother-o'-pearl tints straight. The woodoff.

so killing he said. clear air. Time and again the perspiration head upon the dropped from his foreand it froze in long icicles on his beard. . the snow has a pinkish tinge. it was work for him. beautifully blue. the air is so beautifully still. AUTUMN. actually ice. the sun seems warmer on my back even than in summer. its elements so simple. far 459 that. not an insect in If there is a grub it. the white snow everywhere covering the earth. and the polished ice. Cold as it is. and in some places where the sun falls on it.. as from an easy skater. as I look back half a mile at them. as if And then its rays met with less obstruction. hardly a leaf to rustle. the sharp. out. Yet he kept up his spirits and It has been a glorious winter day his fun. you are sure to detect it on the snow or The shadows of the Clamshell hills are ice.

.

422. Ferns. Ball's Hill. Asclepias cornuti. 363. Bell. 70. Aspens. 318. 87. 206. Aster undulatus.. Arrowheads. 248. 191. 28. white. 29. black. 448. 234. 413. Bible. Ash. 41. 29. 135. 84. Bateman's Pond. 57. 182. 28. 408. 83. tints. 84. 44. 35. 117. 38. 86. 96. 137. 412. 179. 390. 70. 174. white. Aster tradescanti. Bays. Billerica. 120. Birch. 217. 394. leg 102. 445. 325. 344. 147. Alcott. 357. 310. 285. Andrewsii. Apples. 199. Ardea minor. Bee hunting. N. 68. 78. 167. 199. of. 79. 50. 345. 42. Bidens. 42. Academy of Natural Sciences. 324. 9. Aster multiflorus. 239. 212. 53. 391. Ash. 275. 196. Bark of trees. 97. 250. 46. white. 193. Birch groves. Beeches. of. Andromeda. . Acorn. 356. 452. 98. 181. 95. Anemone. works Arum berries. 147. 41. 434. 19. 373.226. Autumn afternoons. 41.. Bidens connata. 55. 362. 27. 353. 117. 43. Bigelow.380. 332. Bigelow's " Plants of Boston and vicinity. 39. 25. Alternate reproduction. Acquaintances. 173. Anursnack. 42. Aubreys. 29. 45. 89 . Authorship. 110. Andropogon scoparius. 45. 169. African seeds. Barrett's Mill. 239. 173. 47. 391. 210. 373. Autumn. 320. 312. Aspidium spinulosum. 248. Baywings. 43. 21. 228. 297. 89. Banks. JEschylus. Mr. Author. 240. 372. Autumnal Bacon. 198. 199. Aster. 302. 220. 290. 310. 198. Beomyces rosea. 211. 235. 376. Aspirations. Ants. 439. 186. 147. 370. Aspidium cristatum. 320. Andromeda Swamp. 59. Art. Apple blossoms. 21. Barn. Battle-ground. 307. 433. Antiquity. Advantages. 318. 370. 127. 180. 323. Birch. 136. Associates. Bare Hill. 164. 288. 51. 374. 114. 116. 39. Alder. Amherst. 267. Beggar Ash. 53." 386. 178. 24. 79. Assabet. 79. 136. 83. 107. 186. 172. Bees. Birches. 26. 154. 322. 200. 16. 449. 104. Bear Garden. 44. Beanfield. Barberries. Beech leaves. Beauty. 159. 58. 297. 190. Atmosphere. 186. Sir Joseph. 250. Ashes. See ticks.INDEX. 150. 108. 143. 134. 19. 216. Afternoon. 349. 41. Berries. 422. H. Amusements. 400. Birches. Andromeda Ponds. 70.

23. 4. Abel. James P. 328. 227. 328. 458. 362. 239. 436. 305. 377. Clark. 85. 355. 364. 110. 380. 447. Blackberry vines. 234. 277. 425. collection of. Book Book of : autumn "A leaves. 56. 234. 18. 68. 190. 140. 193. Bittern. 426. 94. 213. Boulder field. 401. 118. 229. Simon. 2. 239. 59. 260. 340. 426. 79. 314. 350. Broom Brown pods. 198. 281. 70. 23. Bones. 182. 204. 180. 233. 303. 144. Clethra. 290. Christendom. 335. Causeway. 340. 388. 278. 343. 342. Indian. 413. Boots. Blackfish. Cats. 95. 319. yellow. Bittern cliff. 28. Boulders. Boomer. 36. 304. 448. 46. 292. Bumblebees. 230. Cato. Carlisle road. 252. 253. meadow. Broker. British naturalists. 413. Clamshells. 413. W. 259." 163. 342. 324. 102-. 235. 228. 69. Bull-frog. 430. 174. E. 42. 37. 70. 28. Brook. Capt. 190. Cat-birds' nests. 7. 370. 250. 407. Chips. 119. Cardinal shore. Bunker Hill Monument. Bloom. 402. 257. colors of. Blood. Buttonwoods. 376. 187. 252. 198. Birds. 386. Buttercup. Character. 344. 247. 240. 378. Clergy.9. 217. 459. 127. . 442. Church. 211. 103. 265. 17. 454. Cedar Hill. 92. 400. Bleat of sheep. 95. 341. Lord. 422. Burns. 14. Birches. Birds. 404. 21. 382. 441. 191. 224. Cledonia. 35. 363. 146. 100. 355. 10. Birds' nests. reach. 281. Cerastium. 41. 383. Caddis-worms. 136. Birds. Church of England. 387. 157. 349. 274. 392. Butterflies. 137. Buttons. Cat. Boys and horse. Cape Ann. Cicindela. Body. Clam. Buds. 122. diet of. 398. Blueberry bushes. 318. 459. 123. 368. 88. 124. 340. 204. Chestnut-tree. 252. 377. 91. 52. 199. 7. 37. Blueberry buds. Pond. 385. 13. 156. 362. 351. Brown. the Concord and Merrimack Rivers. 69. Botany. 312. 18i Cistus. Chords. Boat. 321. 70. 380. 48. 70. 79. 114. 339. 134. 157.432. 17. 134. Birds. Blueberry twigs. 341. Button-bushes. Perez. 21. 148. 431. Canoe birch. Bullocks. - Brown. 317. 80. 199. 283. Christ. Cattle. 114. C. Christians. 457. 306. 286.. 71. 88. creeper. Business dealings. Clamshell Clamshell Clamshell Clamshell bank. 104. 214.409. 205. 121. 282. Brooks. 401. Cattle on Sundays. Cat-owl. Chickadees. Change.462 INDEX. Blake. 318. Cambridge. 278. Brooks. Blackberry leaves. Breams. 80. 449. Cerastium viscosum. Books. Cholmondeley. Box-trap. 197. 113. Clematis Virginiana. 318. Byron. 432. Brown's. 117. 376. 283. 382. Clamshell. 148. 54.. 360. 350. 402. Chickweed. 361. Week on Cheney's shore. 355. Bradford. 226. 130. 357. Hill. 12. 284. Circus. Bluets. 293. 5. 332. 352. Chestnuts. John. 192. 429. Chipbirds. 210. 335. 283. 180. Bluebirds. 265. Blackbirds. 42. 389. Botanists. motions of. 365.

38. Crowfoot. 107. 126. 197. Crows. 364. Evergreens. Conantum. Cows. 86. 403. 234. 255. W. 378. Clothes. 318. 27. Dennis's Hill. 55. 318. Communities. 72. Discourse with nature. Doves. 157. 34. Enjoyment. 97. Crickets. 132. 10. 33. 307. 37. 74. Country. 85. Cress. 410. 343. 52. 2. 30. 56. Concord woods. 90. R. 230. Comet. Desmodium paniculatum. 79. 366. 38. East India Marine Hall. Down on plants. 79. 442. Copan. 358. 409. 445. 264. 31. Cliffs. 147. 185.. 437. 457. 70. Eloquence. 398. 8. 300. Conantum Cliff. 256. 348. 335. Druids. 445. Dumb-bells. Great Northern. 420. 463 cut. 309. Color. 297. 279. 379. 258. Connecticut. 94. 383. 270. Crotalaria. 301. 48. 435. 31. 308. 314. English plants. Miss Mary. 161. Eye. Conant's grove. 108. 385. 9. 58. 457. 36. 265. 104. Descriptions. 193. 221. 333. Dreams. 101. 3. 170. 237. 17. 230. Country towns. 427. 359. Driftwood. Dandelion. 211. 450. Corydalis. 189. Cocoons. 77 109. 169. 292. 2. 444. Elms. 256. Days ripened like fruits. 184. De Quincey. 388. 189. 440. Cold. 136. 276. Dicksonia fern. 371. 17. Deep Clock. 8. 347. 21. 94. Euphorbia heptagona. Facts. 367. 327. Everlasting. 191. 16. Dudley Pond. 151. 81. ' Faces. 189. 290. Cricket-frog. Employment. 189. Clowns. \ Concord River. 309. Dreamland. 362. 427. Domestication. Emerson's Cliff. 269. 371. 328. 329. Crystallization. 251. 53. 30. 147. Emerson. 422. 372. Currency. 19. 290. Conant's meadow. 291. 55. 28. 169. 434. Easterbrook. 126. Cocoanut. Cobwebs. 22. Douglas. Discovery. 297. Cochituate.175. Dog. Elephant. 33. 429.INDEX. 125. Deer-mouse. 52. Cranberries. 117. 52. 239. 458. 343. 105. 83. 365. Cloud. Duty. Desmodium rotundifolium. Entertainment. 96. 359.337. 347. Cornus florida. Common-sense. 217. Cocks. 57. Desmodium. 66. Ducks. 19. 191. 246. 311. 316. 257. 41. Enthusiasm.150. Cottages. 258. 191. 413. 296. Country tavern. Encouragement. 96. 266. Ex-plenipotentiary. 183. 308. 409. Diver. 299. 38. Drawings. 183. 8. 10. 152. 428. Cowpath. 131. 38. 301. 66. 106. 190. 333. 51. Diet. 239. 59. Comfort. 192. 372. 441. 39. 198. 7. Conversation. 4. 66. 139. 154. Clover. Corner spring. 368. 99. Coincidences. 158. Creeds. 270. Eagle Head. 257. 294. 181. 252. Companion. 383. 362. Committee. 421. Dew. 425. 381. 181. . 319. 18. 183. 368. 456. 404. 419. 23. Desor. Emmonds. 203.176. 406. Colburn farm woodlot. Dipper. Emerson. 134. 222. 384. Donati. 449. 33. 285. 51. 308. 381. 235. Dogwood. 382.

207. 366. Furness. 427. 178. 442. 398. Gavel. Goldfinches. 220. Frost work. 108. Fringed gentian. 231. 141. Happiness. 383. 142. 152. 381. 375. 35. 222. 354. 93. 377. 112. 318. 342. 232. 46.. 454 Fair Haven lot. 62. Hat. 90. 60. 265. 314. 70. 444. 57.464 406. 427. 410. Fair Haven Pond. 119. 321. 212. Hardhack seeds. 320. Gerard. 17. 187. 186. Gold. 42. 58. Flies. Fitchburg Railroad. 58. 261. Fossil turtle. 277. 357. 413. 397. 318. Gentian. 79. Gossamer. 401. 312. 452. Growth. 200. 110. 69. Flint's Pond. 113.456. 39. 126. Granite. Fishermen. 308. 207. 442. 356. 249. 75. 322. 322. Flowers. 404. Gentlemen. Gentian Lane. 421. 321. 68. 223. 232. 242. 75. 453. 385. 54. 161. 133. 52. 280. 337. Furniture. sweet. 307. 183. Fern. Fall. 92. 222. Greeley. 80. 256. 100. 340. 290. 11. 276. 257. 16. Ferns. Fair Haven Bay. 139. 41. 5. 53. 30. Frogs. 142. 35. 289. 303. 426. Hawks. 447. 391. 190. Halo. 118. 358. Frost. Farmer. 71. 140. 318. Finches. 220. Flower cups. Flannery. 265. 185. 432. 119. 433. 217. Fire. 161. 441. 362. 206. 157. Farmer. Fields. 426. Feminine gender. 365. 139. Flint's Bridge. Great Meadows. Farmer's life. of landscape. Dr. 366. 182. 104. Gerardia purpurea. 189. 294. Fuel. 357. Farmer's pleasure. 125. Grisi. Fairies. . Genius. Grasshoppers. 386. 152. 57. Fishes. 108. 95. 70. 340. 154. Dicksonia. 257. ' Fungi. Harper's Magazine. 140. 309. 37. 94. 48. 452. Frost weed. 42. 76. Fine days precious. Fugitive slave. • 356 Fringilla hiemalis. 228. 303. Gerard's Herbal. 432. 211. Fox. 24. 35. Fern tree. Glow-worms. 415. Fragrance. 20. 70. 146. G-aeden of Eden. 335. 197. Margaret. Fair Haven. 215. 320. 91. John. Fishing. 61. 250. Cliff. 47. 162. 66. 141. 131. 246. 49. 295. Falcons. 316. 50. Goose Pond. Giant. Friendship. Grebe. 373. 336. Grist-mill. 192. 227. Gloucester. Friend. Goodwin. Farming. 269. 397. 29. 49. Fern. 67. Frame Grossbeak. 61. 184. 79. Jacob. 325. Grass. Ground nuts. Friends. 380. 377. 40. 179. 125. 20. 94. Gesta gallorum. 232. 216. Green mountains. 114. Fair Haven Hill. 192. 65. 295. 300. 16. Fragrant thoughts. 242. Flood. 294. climbing. Golden eggs. 241. Harris. 206. Geese. 338. Fringilla linaria. Fern. 239. Fruits. Fuller. 64. 255. Grackles. 294. 106. 406. Golden-rod. 191. 394. Grape 368. 68. Fungus. 189. 186. 222. 79. 197. 9. 101. 129. 400. 218. 226. 118. 35. INDEX. 16. 423. 109. 331. 328. 327.455. 206. Haden's. Forest. 389 419. 386. 38. 10. 182. 239. 102. Harvest time. 356. 332. Great Fields. Hard times. 295. 216. 141. 251. 302.

103. Ice foliage. Hubbard. 227. Hell. 256. 409. 98. Hermann.INDEX. 113. John. 448. 434. Light. 325. Hornets' nest. Hubbard's bridge. 391. 34. 197. 171. 349. 70. 159. John's-wort. Lecture. 200. 259. 191. Le Jeune. 159. Lee's hillside. Hoosac mountains. 8. Herons. 57. 465 Indian mind. 354. 345. 367. Houstonia. 286. 279. 37. Joy. 55. 198. 450. Hypericum. 411. 402. 312. 79.mta glauca. 412. 255. Lee's Cliff. Houses. 399. 7. 68. Horse. 309. 298. variously spent. 367. Hemlocks. Laurus sassafras. 276. Hills. Hornbeams. Ledum swamp. 391. Leisure. Indian summer. 371. 339. 295. Juniper repens. Leaves. 87. Life-everlasting. radical. 290. 319. Life in winter. Lichens. 83. Leaves. 458. 173. 316. Indian books. 338. Kirby and Spence. 117. 163. Ice crystals. 20. 344. 319. Life. 165. 381. 408. Edmund. 379. 213. 71. 217. 205. Hieracium Canadense. 268. Lily. Health. 317. 53. Howell. 100. 249. 403. 32. 298. Hickeses. 20. 185 Knowledge. Labor. 365. 229. 391. Leaves of trees. 242. 211. Hosmer's field. Lakes. 250. Homes. 210. 435. 240. 365. 307. 408. 65. 252. Last words. 283. Heywood's Peak. 210. 391. 403. Historical facts. 39. 146. 60. 199. 197. 380. 413. 350. Imagination. 195. Francis. 100. 169. 283. 164. 16. 323. 226. Honey. 124. 226. 423. 120. 131. Illusion. Imaginings. 362. 38. 37. 31. 297. 88. 279. 109. 364. 73. 246. Hylodes. 206. 226. Homer. 267. Lespedeza. 81. 86. Life. 312. 245. 307. Hill. Indian relics. Joseph. 384. Labaume. 396. Mr. 79. 245. 454. 181. 407. 211. 369. 108. Lake Superior Indians. Hubbard's Grove. 383. Hazel. 282. 115. Horse chestnuts. 285. 186. Keyes. 54. Hosmer. Lambkill. 347. 258. 364. 315. 68. 411. Home. 131. Ichthyolites. 289. Journal. 173. Hop hornbeam. 206. 219. 35. 170. 391. 184. 207. 371. Hypnum. 37. Mr. 144. 282. Holden swamp. 53. 57. 248. 458. 37. 196. Law. 148. 198. 364. 311. 288. 338. Hubbard's Close. 373. 80. 84. Lesson. Indian gouge. Leaves of oaks. 346. 85. 110. 330. Inspection. 197. Library. Cyrus. 388. 328. 394. Harry. 299. Hosmer. Huckleberries. 29. 286. 367. Horizon. 15. 233. 236. 295. 344. Hour 277. 298. Jenny's desert. Insane man. 246. Larks. 307. Irishman. 252. 275. Hubbard's woods. 34. Kat. 448. Heywood's Pond. 319. Lee's farm swamp. 400. Life a failure. 355. Holden wood. 314. Hoar frost. Hooper. 223. 451. 363. 390. Landscape. Ice. 280. springs of. Hickories. 402. 260. 324. 296. 449. 79. 286. Hosmer's meadow. Jay. Lecturer. 193. 433. Indians. 156. 193. 99. 102. 61. . 96. 391. Hubbardston. Lee's Bridge. 297.

433. 79. 256. 323. 348. 19. 157. 29. 276. 176. 131. Lygodium palmatum. 171. 9. Mouse-ear chickweed. 181. 282. Mint. 415. 273. Maiden-hair fern. 404. 169. 57. 148. 380. 4. 83. Moon. 380. Monadnock. Loring's Pond. 227. Lyceum lectures. 302. Memorial book. 174. cobweb drapery of. 275. changes in. 284. 69. Martial. 363. 79. 322. 213. 89. Meadows. Locust. Melvin's Preserve. 297. Min. 156. 407. 77. 448. 4. 303. 41. 28. 419. 375. 385. 304. 263. Miles Mill. 78. Hugh. Mountain ash. 57. 324. 315. Luxuries. J. 63. 136. 376. 418. 447. 292. Moods. 247. 116. Miller. 223. Maiden. 250. Linnaeus. Nature. Merrick's pasture. 84. 399. 134. 379. 255. Muskrats' houses. 411. 379. Moonlight. 281. Ministerial Swamp. Canada. 291. Mountain. Minott. 345. 309. 26. 423. 258. 25. 215. Marlboro' road. 274. 339. 445. 191. 251. 97. 285. 76. George. 260. Meadow grass. 136. Myrtle birds. & Co. Munroe. 3. 192. 314. Minott's house. 143. 153. Mus leucopus. Ludwigia. 135. 3. 454. 417. 306. 212. 187. 448. 239. Nature. 376. 163. 8. 26. Nature's pensioners. Migration. Medeola berries. 385. 438. 228. 111. Linnets. Moss. Melvin. 121. 346. 89. Musical sand. 22. Man. 39. 373. 148. 364. Names. New Bedford. Minott. Malthus. 61. Living. 128. Motion. Muskrats. 169. 224. home in. Nature. 53. 137. Miles. 119. 315. Nawshawtuck. 436. 234. 143. 180. Lycopodiums. Nashua river. Mussels. Mole crickets. 452. Mouse. 316. 294. 249. Migratory birds. Muskrats' diet. Moose. 117. Music. Marsh-hawk. 318. Martin. 117. Lincoln. Nature the only panacea. 240. 57. Lynx. 209. 13. C. 204. 217. 255. 293. Maples. 279. Manners. Manchester. 270. Man's nature. 192. Littorales. 169^170. 78. 232. 193. 130. Magazines. Linaria Canadensis. 35. Lynx. 36.' 265. Nature. Mountain peak. 275. 131. 210. 252. 77. Swamp. 372. Loon.466 INDEX. 266. 301. 32. Mulleins. 57. 9. Lover. 177. 174. Nature. 62. gradation in. Melody. 16. 335. 36. Lotus. Neighbors. 120. 449. 117. Meander. Machine work. 401. 214. 347. 266. Maynard's. Moses. Milkweed. 11. Nature genial to man. . 225. 234. 264. 372. 334. 250. 9. Lion. 118. Nature. 414. 297. 378. 21. 304. 354. 87. Love. 376.. Men. 129. success of. 251. 27. 169. phases of. Nature serene. Miles. Lincoln Bridge. 437. 219. 58. 25. 376. 439. 37. 273. 354. 21. 21. 193. 371. 298. 410. 218. 198. Musketaquid. 313. 102. 322 Mink. New England. 55. Mountains. Man's worth. 33. Merrimack. Moore's Swamp. 252. 355. 306. 226. 172. 333. Meadow-sweet. 35. 29. 25. Lincoln Hills. 65. Ministerial lot. 272. 402.

388. Presents. 195. 204. 114. 18. 437. 263. 413. 393. 442. 95. 158. Pilgrims. 433.INDEX. 300. 346. Osmundas. Poplars. 309. Poetry. 196. 108. 192. 156. 278. 315. 467 Night. Plymouth plantation. 109. white. 456. 265. 85. 330. Night-shade. 191. 229. 256. 344. Otters. Pond. Plants. 47. Pitcher plant. 369. 322. 369. 34. 284. 237. Pencils. roots and knots. 328. Porter. Partridge. Poet. Poetry. 457. Ploughman. 5. 196. 199. 146. Oaks. 338. 204. 212. 418. 399. 102. 48. Owls. Peabody. Picture-frame. Priest. 392. 239. Prayer. 302. 219. Poet's thoughts. 402. 297. 220. 169. 20. Out-doors. 226. Nut meadow. 52. 404. 64. 68. leaves. Peculiarity. 346. 448. 262. 111. Obstacles. 41. 401. 148. 193. Oak. 152. 23. 220. 212. Pelagii. 191. 268. 349. Passenger pigeon. 70. 267. 443. 205. 275. Pigweed. 409. 387. 239. Ploughing. 195. 364. October. 286. 84. Politics. 404. 59. 269. 275. Pratt. 307. 401. 147. 406. 321. 192. Pine Hill. tracks of. 146. 165. 357. 312. 63. 323. Pagoda. 364. 370. Polygonums. 189. 114. 201. 23. 437. Pestle. Oak. Pitch-pine cones. 279. 319. 37. 244. 96. November evening. Polygonum articulatum. English. Poplar Hill. 74. 366. Polygula sanguinea. 37. 383. black. 39. 143. log. 231. 360. Philadelphia. 405. 19S. 247. 114. 79. North America discovered. 314. 69. Oak wood. Potentilla argentea. 161. 261. 308. Panicum filiforme. 146. 284. Pliny. Oyster. Pelham's Pond. 110. 295. 436. 281. 159. Novelty. 30. 214. 138. 148. 283. 100. Poetry. Populus grandidentata. 114. 6. Oak 443 450 white. 215. 388. November in England. Phosphorescent wood. Pails. Party. Populus tremuloides. 139. scarlet. Pears. Preaching. 106. 304. 162. 159. 23. 139. 294. 109. Primrose. 409. 148. Oxen. 114. 6. 221. 353. 183. Philosophy. 438. 311. 243. ancient Scotch. 293. 220. 345. 109. Order or system. 37. 86. 352. Pines'. 346. 236. 444. Old shoes. 346. 386. 33. Oar. 115. 299. 58. Non-producers. 204. 240. Panicum crus-galli. 202. Preacher. Oak. November afternoon. 122. Oak. 398. 35. 233. Panicum sanguinale. 270. 194." Northeast storm. 354. 305. 314. New Pine Pine Pine Pine Pine 354. 290. 283. 399. 274. 168. Olive oil. 183. 405. " North American Review. 312. 389. 408. 384. Minott. Partridge berry leaves. 200. 419. 335. Partridge berries. 236. needles. 23. 401. 451. 297. 328. 201. Potentilla Canadensis. Owl's nest. 129. Polypody. 261. 356. 294. Potatoes. Pontederia. 244. 373. 318. Pickerel. 9gg 340 419 Pines^ pitch. 53. Pickerel fisher. Poverty. 346. 30. 396. Nuthatch. 167. 198. 66. 355. 57. Commodore. Peterboro' Hills. 287. 312. warblers. Polygonum aviculare. 128. . 87. November. New England winter sunsets. red. 148. 70. Poet's life. wood. Pines'. 396.306. 435. 166. 269. 18. 399. Pennyroyal.

Rising generation. 305. 158. 376. Skunk cabbage. Snow-fleas. 260. 13. 401. Snake. Shiners. 112. 228. 79. 397." -. 161. 391. 102. 254. 434. 25. 167. 159. 390. Saw Mill Brook. Sentences. 158. 325. 227. 212. 165. 407. 76. 105. 294. Shakespeare. 291. 308. Side view. 238. 74. 227. 441. 315. 400. Solidago csesia. Reflections. 53. Railway journeys. Redpolls. 446. 411. Roots. Skating. Quail. 366. 319. 426. 404. 283. 87. 285. Snow. 71. Rose. . Sin. 83. 166. Song-sparrow. 428. 46. 400. Snapdragon. buds on. Solomon's seal. 281. 157. 370. 347. Public opinion. 376. 7. 327. Ruskin. 369. Regrets. 1 83. 189. 383. 380. 407. Science. 249. 421. 458. 187. 395. Ranunculus repens. 452. Sounds. 59. 341. Small things. Spanish book. 168. 393. 323. Serenity. 11. Rana palustris. 180. 318. 243. 451. 413-416. 361. 102. 210. 434. 101. 309. Rana sylvatica. 61. Ranunculus bulbosus. 398. 98. 310. 324. 272. 79. 131. Rice. 182. 393. 403. 11. 33. 68. 33. 409. 183. 79. 389. 394. 17. 336. 380. 402. Self knowledge. Sight. 372. 324. 374. 413. changes of. ' ' Providence. 23. 82. dulcamara. 270. 285. Reminiscence. Richardson. 297. 136. 416. 340. 368. 103. 195. Skeleton. 445. 154. 113. Sanborn. Side-saddle flower. Shepherd's purse. 371. 94. 157. 60. 182. 24. 223. Snowbirds. 373. Selectmen. 154. Scott's " Lady of the Lake " quoted. 432. 398. 401. 190. 380. 412. 23. Sortes Virgilianae. 384. 85. Puffer. 113. Rabbit. 59. 435. Sabbath. 2. 24. Sarracenia purpurea. 394. 24. 424. a poor boy. Skinner. 289. 79. Snapping turtle's eggs. 83. 346. Prosperity. Rainbow. 211. Solanum. 58. 221. Shrub oak leaves. 160. 8. Sand. Science. Smith's Hill. 318. 5. Rhexia. 122. 303. INDEX.274. Shrubs. Pyramids. 254. Shattuck. 209. 144. Rocks. 162. 119. Safford. Skies. 257. 157. 72. Seasons. 153. Shrub oak plain. 443. Society. 221. Skins. 27. Routine. 409. Reflections in water. 260. 201. 87. 187. 22. 445 446 447. 354. Second Division Brook. Sky. 288. 317. Salamander. Sand banks. Snowstorm. 359. 419. 456.' 468 Prinos berries. Solidago speciosa. 404. 198. 161. 314. 111. 108. Silence. 429. Shells. Repentance. 456. 422. Ripe. man of. 86. 397. Shad frogs. 367. Prinos verticillata. 406. Space. 339. 374. Social virtues. 233. 363. 302. Canada. 202. 188. 147. 328. Screech-owl. 239. 259. 54. Redwings. 458. Robin. 388. 199. Seeds transported by birds. 293. 376. 345. Smoke. River scenery. Puffballs. 287. 301. Snow-buntings. River. 380. Shrubs reflected. 394. Shrub oak. 390. 440. 286. Snipes. 47. 183. 423. 355. 53. 318. Ruskin's "Modern Painters. Saffron-Walden. Questions. 86. 439. 374. 230. 25. Shad-bush.

413. 438. Turnips. 86. 438. Thoughts. Still water. Vice an aid to success.242. 250. a second. 229. 369. 33. Sudbury.INDEX. character of. 368. 20. Spring. 407. 365. 24. Virgin's Bower. 304. 181. 448. 232. 203. Walden. 20. 328. 187. SwaUow Swamp. Teeth. Theophrastus. 186. Spencer. 433. 260. 297. 354. 108. 203. 248. Twilight. Sweet fern. Tortoise. 90. 413. 79. 327. 354. Stream. 439. Speculations. 400. New England winter. 158. 314. 152. 436. Statements. 333. 262. 197. Viola lanceolata. 370. 228. 236. 223. 316. Swamp Bridge Brook. 394. Spiders. 458. Tarbell's. 65. 283. 33. 345. Vanessa Antiopa. 214. 140. 157. Truth. 57. Syriaca. 144. Trees. Viola ovata. 440. 259. 231. 340. 189. Tastes. 331. Spring. 330. 59. 279. 159. 419. 35. 192. 351. 103. Summer. Sun. 188. 289. 108. 428. 231. ascent and descent of. 316. 279. 159. 155. 110. 332. 144. Thoughts. 160. 210. 431. 408. 425. Travel. 212. 397. 425. 311. 274. 230. 399. 143. Star. 282. Visiting. Tree sparrows. 41. Swamp pink. 120. 185. Vestiges of creation. 298. 383. 318. 73. 17. Treetoads. 304. Tent. Touch-me-not seed vessels. holes. Tree. Tools. 319. 6. 74. Sudbury men. 360. Squirrel. Sun-sparkles. 61. 16. dead. 307. 189. 422. Violet. 447. 401. 4 Uncannoontjc. Violets. 372. 107. 289. Varro. 349. 202. 381. 469 124. 243. 385. 189. 284. 9. Trail.422. Stellaria media. 384. 388. Stillness. 213. 341. 126. 353. 342. 174. 412. 331. Trade. 12. Species. Trichostema dichotomum. 112. 233. Sunlight. 229. 79. 18. 394. 152. Swamp pyrus. 405. 268. 305. 429. 230. 228. Sunset. 107. Superstition. 215. 23. Thanksgiving afternoon. Therien. 57.243. Thinking. 149. Trees. 352. 233. Tiger. 169. 330. 22. Thistles. 211. Trees. 184. Undulations. 275. 230. 39. 374. 253. 441. 360. 237. 148. Values. 237. 280. 352. 343. 421. injury to. 367. 413. Tears. 35. 422. 158. 371. 377. Thimbleberry shoots. 68. Sumac. 429. 239. 383. 174. Tansy. 328. hood-leaved. 133. 338. 319. 399. 186. Stranger. Valparaiso squash. 412. Sweetbriar. 127. 334. 218. 240. 153. 222. 311. Squash. 299. Viola pedata. Sparrows. 91. 387. Sprengel. Tree fern. 70. 413. old ruts of. Valok. Telegraph harp. "Wachusett. 209. Spear-head. 199. reflected heat of. 314. Towns. 314. 53. 318. Brook. 308. 125. 35. Threshing. 216. Sunsets. 111. 287. 25. 357. Swallows' nests. 336. 321. 108. Ticks. 316. Tracks. 145. 3. Theme. 331. Sword. 241. 386. Toad-flax. 155. Turtle-dove. Vapor. 359. Stumps. 418. Tahatawan. . Summer duck. 294. 364. 224. Succory. 38. Spruce swamp. freedom of. Verses. Spine. 3. Tournefort. 379. Speech. Sprague. 371. 1. 131. 348. 327. Swallow.

332. 330. 324. Woods.. Water. 297. 293. Wasps. 326. 269. 417. Dell. Words. 373. Dr. 459. Woodpecker. 207. 317. 208. 451. 95. 71. Water. Wisdom. 456. Mr. 271. Wishes. 49. 83. 6. 388. 354. White mountains. Wyman. 253. 420. 406. 332. 437. Willows. 326. 358. 357. 182. love for. 329. Winter sky. Well Meadow Field. 102. Woodman. 314. 293. 444. 69. Well Meadow Brook. 359. Young men. 407. Winter. 253. Walnuts. 208. Winter walk. Witherel Glade. 405. Wood-lot. 85. Wooden trays. 277. 35. Willow catkins. 7. 173. 223. Henry. Women. 267. Winter eve. Wheeler's Owl wood. 328. Weather. 42. 235. Water the centre of landscape. 358. Winter weather. 42. 417. 70. Jr. Writer. 389. 340. Wood-choppers. 113. Wood-path. White Pond. 337. 117. 209. 305. Whale 193. 428. 336. 115. 358. 212.470 Walden in Essex. 294. self-registering. 313. 407. Williams. Winter scenes." 163. 409. 326. 454. Wise. 128. Oliver. Walden Pond. 418. 223. Ware. Wild-cat. 368. Weston. Woodbine. 366. 293. Wild Wild flowers. Wild apples. Wordsworth. Winter morning. 354. 397. Whippoorwill. 338. Winter day. Wormwood. the balloonist. 92. drama in. 71.343. 376. 93. pig. 244. . 389. 458. 395. 160. 310. Wolves. 214. 380.. 152. Walk. 415. White pine needles. 416. 307. Woods. 337. 158. 108. 29. Woodcock. 6. Youth. 148. Writing. 226. 329. 331. 453. 159. 456. 36. White-weed. 427. 129. 328. 318. 265. Wind. 396. 436. 37. INDEX. Waterloo. 249. 214. 432. Tabeow. 184. 108. 416. 379. Window. 443. 279. 125. Winter evening. World. Water bugs. beauty of. Walking. 283. 211.. Wind. 18. 346. " Week on the Concord and Merri- mack Weird Rivers. 314. 322. 437. 204. 225. Wheeler's pasture. 23< 268. Winter. Woodchuck. Weeds. 203. colors of. 311. 82. Williams. 358. 161. Willow Bay. John.

.

.

.

.

Bindery. FEB 6 ?900 r .

/v^: .... .:"::M^::/-:.: >^^-../^../r.: .. : . .