up a noble river
...Thoreau's Journal: 09-Jul-1851

Coming out of town,—willingly as usual,—when I saw that reach of Charles River just above the depot, the fair, still water this cloudy evening suggesting the way to eternal peace and beauty, whence it flows, the placid, lake-like fresh water, so unlike the salt brine, affected me not a little. I was reminded of the way in which Wordsworth so coldly speaks of some natural visions or scenes “giving him pleasure.” This is perhaps the first vision of Elysium on this route from Boston. And just then I saw an encampment of Penobscots, their wigwams appearing above the railroad fence, they, too, looking up the river as they sat on the ground, and enjoying the scene. What can be more impressive than to look up a noble river just at evening,—and behold its placid water, reflecting the woods and sky, lapsing inaudibly towards the ocean; to behold as a lake, but know it as a river, tempting the beholder to explore it and his own destiny at once? Haunt of waterfowl. This was above the factories,—all that I saw. That water could never have flowed under a factory. How then could it have reflected the sky?

1 comment:

michael jameson said...

an explorer traveling a river is exploring his own destiny as the paths we take or explore become our destiny!, the path of each life!, with the bends, twists, forks,, the path for some is calm and gentle!, yet for most turbulent and twisted, with fear of what is around the next bend!,,i have a vision of the river in the final leg of my journey!,as im sure we all do. michael jameson oldantiqueguy@hotmail.com