Rivers, Ponds & Streams Quotations

 

The muskrat and the fresh water muscle are very native to our river. The Indian, their human compere, has departed. — Journal, 7 October 1851—Journal, 7 October 1851
There is many a book which ripples on like a freshet, and flows as glibly as a mill-stream sucking under a causeway; and when their authors are in the full tide of their discourse, Pythagoras and Plato and Jamblichus halt beside them. — A Week on the Concord and Merrimack RiversA Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
Thus a man shall lead his life away from here on the edge of the wilderness, in Indian Millinocket stream, in a new world, far in the dark of a continent, and have a flute to play at evening here, while his strains echo to the stars, amid the howling of wolves; shall live, as it were, in the primitive age of the world, a primitive man. — The Maine WoodsThe Maine Woods
Unpremeditated music is the true gauge which measures the current of our thoughts—the very undertow of our life's stream.—Journal, 18 August 1841
We rowed leisurely up the stream for several hours, until the sun had got high in the sky, our thoughts monotonously beating time to our oars. For outward variety there was only the river and the receding shores, a vista continually opening behind and closing before us, as we sat with our backs up-stream; and, for inward, such thoughts as the muses grudgingly lent us. — A Week on the Concord and Merrimack RiversA Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
What are the natural features which make a township handsome? A river, with its waterfalls and meadows, a lake, a hill, a cliff or individual rocks, a forest, and ancient trees standing singly. Such things are beautiful; they have a high use which dollars and cents never represent. If the inhabitants of a town were wise, they would seek to preserve these things, though at a considerable expense; for such things educate far more than any hired teachers or preachers, or any at present recognized system of school education.—Journal, 3 January 1861
When I was four years old, as well I remember, I was brought from Boston to this my native town, through these very woods and this field, to the pond. It is one of the oldest scenes stamped in my memory. And now to-night my flute has waked the echoes over that very water. — WaldenWalden
When it was proposed to me to go abroad, rub oft some rust, and better my condition in a worldly sense, I fear lest my life will lose some of its homeliness. If these fields and streams and woods, the phenomena of nature here, and the simple occupations of the inhabitants should cease to interest and inspire me, no culture or wealth would atone for the loss.—Journal, 11 March 1856
When the frogs dream, and the grass waves, and the buttercups toss their heads, and the heat disposes to bathe in the ponds and streams, then is summer begun. — Journal, 8 June 1850—Journal, 8 June 1850
Where is the literature which gives expression to Nature? He would be a poet who could impress the winds and streams into his service, to speak for him; who nailed words to their primitive senses, as farmers drive down stakes in the spring, which the frost has heaved; who derived his words as often as he used them,—transplanted them to his page with earth adhering to their roots; whose words were so true and fresh and natural that they would appear to expand like the buds at the approach of spring, though they lay half smothered between two musty leaves in a library,—aye, to bloom and bear fruit there, after their kind, annually, for the faithful reader, in sympathy with surrounding Nature. — Cape CodCape Cod
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