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QUOTATION: Walden is melting apace. There is a canal two rods wide along
the northerly and westerly sides, and wider still the east end. A great
field of ice has cracked off from the main body. I hear a song sparrow
singing from the bushes on the shore,olit, olit, olit,chip,
chip, chip, che char,che wiss, wiss, wiss. He too is helping to
crack it. How handsome the great sweeping curves in the edge of the ice,
answering somewhat to those of the shore, but more regular! It is unusually
hard, owing to the recent severe but transient cold, and all watered or
waved like a palace floor. But the wind slides eastward over its opaque
surface in vain, till it reaches the living surface beyond. It is glorious
to behold this ribbon of water sparkling in the sun, the bare face of
the pond full of glee and youth, as if it spoke the joy of the fishes
within it, and of the sands on its shore,a silvery sheen as from
the scales of a leuciscus, as it were all one active fish. Such is the
contrast between winter and spring. Walden is dead and is alive again.
But this spring it broke up more steadily, as I have said.
QUOTATION: Like the water, the Walden ice, seen near at hand, has a green
tint, but at a distance is beautifully blue, and you can easily tell it
from the white ice of the river, or the merely greenish ice of some ponds,
a quarter of a mile off.
QUOTATION: Many have believed that Walden reached quite through to the
other side of the globe.
QUOTATION: The scenery of Walden is on a humble scale, and, though very
beautiful, does not approach to grandeur, nor can it much concern one
who has not long frequented it or lived by its shore; yet this pond is
so remarkable for its depth and purity as to merit a particular description.
It is a clear and deep green well, half a mile long and a mile and three
quarters in circumference, and contains about sixty-one and a half acres;
a perennial spring in the midst of pine and oak woods, without any visible
inlet or outlet except by the clouds and evaporation. The surrounding
hills rise abruptly from the water to the height of forty to eighty feet,
though on the southeast and east they attain to about one hundred and
one hundred and fifty feet respectively, within a quarter and a third
of a mile. They are exclusively woodland.
QUOTATION: White Pond and Walden are great crystals on the surface of
the earth, Lakes of Light.... They are too pure to have a market value;
they contain no muck. How much more beautiful than our lives, how much
more transparent than our characters are they! We never learned meanness
QUOTATION: When I first paddled a boat on Walden, it was completely surrounded
by thick and lofty pine and oak woods, and in some of its coves grape-vines
had run over the trees next the water and formed bowers under which a
boat could pass. The hills which form its shores are so steep, and the
woods on them were then so high, that, as you looked down from the west
end, it had the appearance of an amphitheatre for some kind of sylvan
spectacle.... But since I left those shores the woodchoppers have still
further laid them waste, and now for many a year there will be no more
rambling through the aisles of the wood, with occasional vistas through
which you see the water. My Muse may be excused if she is silent henceforth.
How can you expect the birds to sing when their groves are cut down?
QUOTATION: But I can assure my readers that Walden has a reasonably tight
bottom at a not unreasonable, though at an unusual, depth. I fathomed
it easily with a cod-line and a stone weighing about a pound and a half,
and could tell accurately when the stone left the bottom, by having to
pull so much harder before the water got underneath to help me. The greatest
depth was exactly one hundred and two feet; to which may be added the
five feet which it has risen since, making one hundred and seven. This
is a remarkable depth for so small an area; yet not an inch of it can
be spared by the imagination.
QUOTATION: This is my lake country.
QUOTATION: In such a day, in September or October, Walden is a perfect
forest mirror, set round with stones as precious to my eye as if fewer
or rarer. Nothing so fair, so pure, and at the same time so large, as
a lake, perchance, lies on the surface of the earth. Sky water. It needs
no fence. Nations come and go without defiling it. It is a mirror which
no stone can crack, whose quicksilver will never wear off, whose gilding
Nature continually repairs; no storms, no dust, can dim its surface ever
fresh;Ma mirror in which all impurity presented to it sinks, swept and
dusted by the suns hazy brush,this the light-dust cloth,which
retains no breath that is breathed on it, but sends its own to float as
clouds high above its surface, and be reflected in its bosom still.