But never yet the man was found
Who could the mystery expound,
Though Adam, born when oaks were young,
Endured, the Bible says, as long;
But when at last the patriarch died
The Gordian noose was still untied.
He left, though goodly centuries old,
Meek Nature’s secret still untold.
Atom from atom yawns as far
As moon from earth, or star from star.
When all their blooms the meadows flaunt
To deck the morning of the year,
Why tinge thy lustres jubilant
With forecast or with fear?
Teach me your mood, O patient stars!
Who climb each night the ancient sky,
Leaving on space no shade, no scars,
No trace of age, no fear to die.
The sun athwart the cloud thought it no sin
To use my land to put his rainbows in.
For joy and beauty planted it,
With faerie gardens cheered,
And boding Fancy haunted it
With men and women weird.
What central flowing forces, say,
Make up thy splendor, matchless day?
Day by day for her darlings to her much she added
In her hundred-gated Thebes every chamber was a door,
A door to something grander,—loftier walls, and vaster floor.
She paints with white and red the moors
To draw the nations out of doors.
A score of airy miles will smooth
Rough Monadnoc to a gem.
Our eyeless bark sails free
Though with boom and spar
Andes, Alp or Himmalee,
Strikes never moon or star.
Wisp and meteor nightly falling,
But the Stars of God remain.
See yonder leafless trees against the sky,
How they diffuse themselves into the air,
And, ever subdividing, separate
Limbs into branches, branches into twigs.
As if they loved the element, and hasted
To dissipate their being into it.
Parks and ponds are good by day;
I do not delight
In black acres of the night,
Nor my unseasoned step disturbs
The sleeps of trees or dreams of herbs.
In Walden wood the chickadee
Runs round the pine and maple tree
Intent on insect slaughter:
O tufted entomologist!
Devour as many as you list,
Then drink in Walden water.
The low December vault in June be lifted high,
And largest clouds be flakes of down in that enormous sky.
Many things the garden shows,
And pleased I stray
From tree to tree
Watching the white pear-bloom,
Bee-infested quince or plum.
I could walk days, years, away
Till the slow ripening, secular tree
Had reached its fruiting-time,
Nor think it long.
Solar insect on the wing
In the garden murmuring,
Soothing with thy summer horn
Swains by winter pinched and worn.