Out of the Past

Thoreau

October 31








         

That the brilliant leaves of autumn are not withered ones is proved by the fact that they wilt when gathered as soon as the green. But now, October 31st, they are all withered.

This has been the most perfect afternoon in the year. The air quite warm enough, perfectly still and dry and clear, and not a cloud in the sky. Scarcely the song of a cricket is heard to disturb the stillness. When they ceased their song I do not know.

I wonder that the impetus which our hearing had got did not hurry us into deafness over a precipitous silence.


There must have been a thick web of cobwebs on the grass this morning, promising this fair day, for I see them still through the afternoon, covering not only the grass but the bushes and the trees. They are stretched across the unfrequented roads from weed to weed, and broken by the legs of the horses.

I thought to-day that it would be pleasing to study the dead and withered plants, the ghosts of plants, which now remain in the fields, for they fill almost as large a space to the eye as the green have done. They live not in memory only, but to the fancy and imagination.

1850







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