Song of Nature

Mine are the night and morning, 

The pits of air, the gull of space, 

The sportive sun, the gibbous moon, 

The innumerable days. 

I hide in the solar glory, 

I am dumb in the pealing song, 

I rest on the pitch of the torrent, 

In slumber I am strong. 

No numbers have counted my tallies, 

No tribes my house can fill, 

I sit by the shining Fount of Life 

And pour the deluge still; 

And ever by delicate powers 

Gathering along the centuries 

From race on race the rarest flowers, 

My wreath shall nothing miss. 

And many a thousand summers 

My gardens ripened well, 

And light from meliorating stars 

With firmer glory fell. 

I wrote the past in characters 

Of rock and fire the scroll, 

The building in the coral sea, 

The planting of the coal. 

And thefts from satellites and rings 

And broken stars I drew, 

And out of spent and aged things 

I formed the world anew; 

What time the gods kept carnival, 

Tricked out in star and flower, 

And in cramp elf and saurian forms 

They swathed their too much power. 

Time and Thought were my surveyors, 

They laid their courses well, 

They boiled the sea, and piled the layers 

Of granite, marl and shell. 

But he, the man-child glorious, – 

Where tarries he the while? 

The rainbow shines his harbinger, 

The sunset gleams his smile. 

My boreal lights leap upward, 

Forthright my planets roll, 

And still the man-child is not born, 

The summit of the whole. 

Must time and tide forever run? 

Will never my winds go sleep in the west? 

Will never my wheels which whirl the sun 

And satellites have rest? 

Too much of donning and doffing, 

Too slow the rainbow fades, 

I weary of my robe of snow, 

My leaves and my cascades; 

I tire of globes and races, 

Too long the game is played; 

What without him is summer’s pomp, 

Or winter’s frozen shade? 

I travail in pain for him, 

My creatures travail and wait; 

His couriers come by squadrons, 

He comes not to the gate. 

Twice I have moulded an image, 

And thrice outstretched my hand, 

Made one of day and one of night 

And one of the salt sea-sand. 

One in a Judaean manger, 

And one by Avon stream, 

One over against the mouths of Nile, 

And one in the Academe. 

I moulded kings and saviors, 

And bards o’er kings to rule; – 

But fell the starry influence short, 

The cup was never full. 

Yet whirl the glowing wheels once more, 

And mix the bowl again; 

Seethe, Fate! the ancient elements, 

Heat, cold, wet, dry, and peace, and pain. 

Let war and trade and creeds and song 

Blend, ripen race on race, 

The sunburnt world a man shall breed 

Of all the zones and countless days. 

No ray is dimmed, no atom worn, 

My oldest force is good as new, 

And the fresh rose on yonder thorn 

Gives back the bending heavens in dew.

By Henry David Thoreau

 

Source: https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/song-of-nature-2/

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