Thoreau's Journal: 31-Aug-1839

Made seven miles, and moored our boat on the west side of a little rising ground which in the spring forms and island in the river, the sun going down on one hand, and our eminence contributing its shadow to the night on the other…

From our tent here on the hillside, through that isosceles door, I see our lonely mast on the shore, it may be as an eternity fixture, to be seen in landscapes henceforth, or as the most temporary standstill of time, the boat just come to anchor, and the mast still rocking to find its balance.

No human life is in night,—the woods, the boat, the shore,—yet is it lifelike. The warm pulse of a young life beats steadily underneath all. This slight wind is where one artery approaches the surface and is skin deep.

We begin to have an interest in sun, moon, and stars. What time riseth Orion? Which side the pole gropeth the bear? East, West, North, and South,—where are they? What clock shall tell the hours for us?—Billerica, midnight.

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