Rivers, Ponds & Streams Quotations


A man at work on the Ledum Pool, draining it, says that, when they had ditched about six feet deep, or to the bottom, near the edge of this swamp, they came to old flags, and he thought that the whole swamp was ounce a pond and the flag grew by the edge of it.—Journal, 22 October 1858
Enough has been said in these days of the charm of fluent writing. We hear it complained of some works of genius, that they have fine thoughts, but are irregular and have no flow. But even the mountain peaks in the horizon are, to the eye of science, parts of one range. We should consider that the flow of thought is more like a tidal wave than a prone river, and is the result of a celestial influence, not of any declivity in its channel.—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
Every poet's muse is circumscribed in her wanderings, and may be well said to haunt some favorite spring or mountain.—Journal, 23 February 1842
Give me the old familiar walk, postoffice and all, with this ever new self, with this infinite expectation and faith, which does not know when it is beaten. We'll go nutting once more. We'll pluck the nut of the world, and crack it in the winter evenings. Theaters and all other sightseeing are puppet-shows in comparison. I will take another walk to the Cliff, another row on the river, another skate on the meadow, be out in the first snow, and associate with the winter birds. Here I am at home. In the bare and bleached crust of the earth I recognize my friend.—Journal, 1 November 1858
I sailed on the North River last night with my flute, and my music was a tinkling stream which meandered with the river, and fell from note to note as a brook from rock to rock.—Journal, 18 August 1841
If rivers come out of their icy prison thus bright and immortal, shall not I too resume my spring life with joy and hope?—Journal29 February 1852
If the meadows were untouched, I should no doubt see many more of the rare white and the beautiful smaller purple orchids there, as I now see a few along the shaded brooks and meadow's edge.—Journal29 July 1853
Instead of the white lily, which requires mud, or the common sweet flag, the blue flag (Iris versicolor) grows thinly in the pure water, rising from the stony bottom all around the shore, where it is visited by hummingbirds in June . . .—Walden
Most men have no inclination, no rapids, no cascades, but marshes, and alligators, and miasma instead.—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
On foot, however, we continued up along the bank, feeling our way with a stick through the showery and foggy day, and climbing over the slippery logs in our path with as much pleasure and buoyancy as in brightest sunshine; scenting the fragrance of the pines and the wet clay under our feet, and cheered by the tones of invisible waterfalls; with visions of toadstools, and wandering frogs, and festoons of moss hanging from the spruce trees, and thrushes flitting silent under the leaves . . .—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
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