Thursday, July 05, 2012

Thoreau - Poetic Tribute

"Thoreau's Flute"

Thoreau says that while living in his cabin he taught a mouse to come to the sound of his flute. The flute is now in the Concord Museum, Thoreau's and his father's names carved into it. Louisa May Alcott's poetic tribute to Thoreau is called "Thoreau's Flute":

    We sighing said, "Our Pan is dead;
    His pipe hangs mute beside the river
    Around it wistful sunbeams quiver,
    But Music's airy voice is fled.
    Spring mourns as for untimely frost;
    The bluebird chants a requiem;
    The willow-blossom waits for him;
    The Genius of the wood is lost."
    Then from the flute, untouched by hands,
    There came a low, harmonious breath:
    "For such as he there is no death;
    His life the eternal life commands;
    Above man's aims his nature rose.
    The wisdom of a just content
    Made one small spot a continent
    And tuned to poetry life's prose....
    "To him no vain regrets belong
    Whose soul, that finer instrument,
    Gave to the world no poor lament,
    But wood-notes ever sweet and strong.
    O lonely friend! he still will be
    A potent presence, though unseen,
    Steadfast, sagacious, and serene;
    Seek not for him -- he is with thee." 

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