the soldier’s morning thought
...Thoreau's Journal: 04-Jul-1840

4 o’clock A.M. The Townsend Light Infantry encamped last night in my neighbor’s inclosure.

The night still breathes slumberously over field and wood, when a few soldiers gather about one tent in the twilight, and their band plays an old Scotch air, with bugle and drum and fife attempered to the season. It seems like the morning hymn of creation. The first sounds of the awakening camp, mingled with the chastened strains which so sweetly salute the dawn, impress me as the morning prayer of an army.

And now the morning gun fires. The soldier awakening to creation and awakening it. I am sure none are cowards now. These strains are the roving dreams which steal from tent to tent, and break forth into distinct melody. They are the soldier’s morning thought. Each man awakes himself with lofty emotions, and would do some heroic deed. You need preach no homily to him; he is the stuff they are made of.

The whole course of our lives should be analogous to one day of the soldier’s. His Genius seems to whisper in his ear what demeanor is befitting, and in his bravery and his march he yields a blind and partial obedience.

1 comment:

michael jameson said...

life as a veteran soldier knows fear,he does his job because he was trained to do it and he wont let his comrades down!,,but the life of a young new soldier full of ambition and wants to show how brave he is!!excitement! he will learn soon enough the fear and horror of war!. a terrible thing man has created to show his civility?, killing and crippling so one side gets to say im right!,there is nothing honorable about killing !but we all kill for "our" justice!. i apologize michael