The Inward Morning

By Henry D. Thoreau

Packed in my mind lie all the clothes
Which outward nature wears,
And in its fashion’s hourly change
It all things else repairs

In vain I look for change abroad,
And can no difference find,
Till some new ray of peace uncalled
Illumes my inmost mind.

What is it gilds the trees and clouds,
And paints the heavens so gay,
But yonder fast abiding light
With its unchanging ray?

Lo, when the sun streams through the wood
Upon a winter’s morn,
Where’er his silent beams intrude
The murky night is gone.

How could the patient pine have known
The morning breeze would come,
Or humble flowers anticipate
The insect’s noonday hum?

Till the new light with morning cheer
From far streamed through the aisles,
And nimbly told the forest trees
For many stretching miles.

I’ve heard within my inmost soul
Such cheerful news,
In the horizon of my mind
Have seen such orient hues,

As in the twilight of the dawn,
When the first awake,
Are heard within some silent wood,
Where they the small twigs break,

Or in the eastern skies are seen,
Before the sun appears,
The harbingers of summer heats
Which from afar he bears.

Source: The Dial (October 1842) pp. 198-199