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About this Poem 

“The Thaw” was first published in Thoreau’s Poems of Nature (Houghton Mifflin & Co., 1895).

The Thaw

I saw the civil sun drying earth’s tears —
Her tears of joy that only faster flowed,

Fain would I stretch me by the highway side,
To thaw and trickle with the melting snow,
That mingled soul and body with the tide,
I too may through the pores of nature flow.

But I alas nor tinkle can nor fume,
One jot to forward the great work of Time,
‘Tis mine to hearken while these ply the loom,
So shall my silence with their music chime.

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

Although he thought of himself as a poet, Henry David Thoreau's most defining work was his book, Walden.

by this poet

poem

My life has been the poem I would have writ
But I could not both live and utter it.

poem

Low-anchored cloud,
Newfoundland air,
Fountain-head and source of rivers,
Dew-cloth, dream-drapery,
And napkin spread by fays;
Drifting meadow of the air,
Where bloom the daisied banks and violets,
And in whose fenny labyrinth
The bittern booms and heron wades;
Spirit of

poem
Great God, I ask for no meaner pelf
Than that I may not disappoint myself,
That in my action I may soar as high
As I can now discern with this clear eye.

And next in value, which thy kindness lends, 
That I may greatly disappoint my friends,
Howe'er they think or hope that it may be,
They may not dream how thou