Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Nature

O Nature! I do not aspire
To be the highest in thy quire,—
To be a meteor in the sky,
Or comet that may range on high;
Only a zephyr that may blow
Among the reeds by the river low;
Give me thy most privy place
Where to run my airy race.

In some withdrawn, unpublic mead
Let me sigh upon a reed,
Or in the woods, with leafy din,
Whisper the still evening in:
Some still work give me to do,—
Only—be it near to you!

For I’d rather be thy child
And pupil, in the forest wild,
Than be the king of men elsewhere,
And most sovereign slave of care:
To have one moment of thy dawn,
Than share the city’s year forlorn.

Credit


This poem is in the public domain.

Author


Henry David Thoreau

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

Date Published: 2019-07-11

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/nature-1