Henry David Thoreau
Sunset at Walden Pond
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
The Portable Thoreau
Walden and Civil Disobedience
Walden, or Life in the Woods
Reading by Brett Barry.
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tragedy, at least some dwelling on, or even exaggeration of, the tragic
side of life is necessary for contrast or relief to the picture.
The genius of the writer may be such a colored glass as (William) Gilpin describes, the use of which is "to give a greater depth to the shades; by which the effect is shown with more force." The whole of life is seen by some through this darker medium - partakes of the tragic - and its bright and splendid lights become thus lurid.
4 P. M. -To Walden.
Paddling over it, I see large schools of perch only an inch long, yet easily distinguished by their transverse bars.
Great is the beauty of a wooded shore seen from the water, for the trees have ample room to expand on that side, and each puts forth its most vigorous bough to fringe and adorn the pond. It is rare that you see so natural an edge to the forest. Hence a pond like this, surrounded by hills wooded down to the edge of the water, is the best place to observe the tints of the autumnal foliage. Moreover, such as stand in or near to the water change earlier than elsewhere.
This is a very warm and serene evening, and the surface of the pond is perfectly smooth except where the skaters dimple it, for at equal intervals they are scattered over its whole extent, and, looking west, they make a fine sparkle in the sun.
We see things in the reflection which we do not see in the substance. In the reflected woods of Pine Hill there is a vista through which I see the sky, but I am indebted to the water for this advantage, for from this point the actual wood affords no such vista.
September 1, 1852
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