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Story of the week -Thoreau

by on January 29, 2012

A Winter Walk

Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)
From Thoreau: Collected Essays and Poems

The young writer takes a daylong stroll through the woods, observing life in the dead of winter.

. . . The wonderful purity of nature at this season is a most pleasing fact. Every decayed stump and moss-grown stone and rail, and the dead leaves of autumn, are concealed by a clean napkin of snow. In the bare fields and tinkling woods, see what virtue survives. In the coldest and bleakest places, the warmest charities still maintain a foot-hold. A cold and searching wind drives away all contagion, and nothing can withstand it but what has a virtue in it; and accordingly, whatever we meet with in cold and bleak places, as the tops of mountains, we respect for a sort of sturdy innocence, a Puritan toughness. All things beside seem to be called in for shelter, and what stays out must be part of the original frame of the universe, and of such valor as God himself. It is invigorating to breathe the the cleansed air . . .

Read the full essay

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