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  • Writer's pictureStephen Birchard

Nature, by Henry David Thoreau

Battenkill river, Manchester Vermont

O Nature! I do not aspire To be the highest in thy choir, - To be a meteor in thy 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In some withdrawn, unpublic mead Let me sigh upon a reed, Or in the woods, with leafy din, Whisper the still evening in: Some still work give me to do, - Only - be it near to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.

Battenkill river, Manchester Vermont

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