Henry David Thoreau
Sweet Chestnut, Blossom & Fruit
High Mountain Lake
The Wisdom of Thoreau
From the Journal of Henry David Thoreau
Thoreau and the Art of Life
Reflections on Nature and the Mystery of Existence
Walden Then & Now
An Alphabetical Tour of Henry Thoreau's Pond
Walden, or Life in the Woods
6" Display, U.S. & International Wireless
chestnuts on Pine Hill. A rather cold and wind, somewhat wintry
afternoon, the heavens overcast. The clouds have lifted in the
northwest, and I see the mountains in sunshine, all the more attractive
from the cold I feel here, with a tinge of purple on them, a cold but
memorable and glorious outline. This is an advantage of mountains in
the horizon: they show you fair weather from the midst of foul. The
small red Solomon's-seal berries spot the ground here and there amid
the dry leaves. The witch-hazel is bare of all but flowers.
Many a man, when I tell him that I have been on to a mountain, asks if I took a glass with me. No doubt, I could have seen further with a glass, and particular objects more distinctly -- could have counted more meeting-houses; but this has nothing to do with the peculiar beauty and grandeur of the view which an elevated position affords. It was not to see a few particular objects, as if they were near at hand, as I had been accustomed to see them, that I ascended the mountain, but to see an infinite variety far and near in their relation to each other, thus reduced to a single picture.
The facts of science, in comparison with poetry, are wont to be as vulgar as looking from the mountain with a telescope. It is a counting of meeting-houses . At the public house, the mountain-house, they keep a glass to let, and think the journey to the mountain-top is lost, that you have got but half the view, if you have not taken a glass with you.
October 20, 1852
follow Thoreau on Twitter