June 14, 1851

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Full moon last night….

An evening for poets to describe….All nature is in an expectant attitude..

Where my path crosses the brook in the meadow there is a singularly sweet scent in the heavy air where the brakes grow, the fragrance of the earth, as if the dew were a distillation of the fragrant essences of Nature.

As I ascended the hill, I found myself in a cool, fragrant, dewy, up-country, mountain, morning air. The moon was now seen rising over Fair Haven, and at the same time reflected in the river, pale and white, like a silvery cloud barred with a cloud…


How moderate, deliberate is Nature, how gradually the shades of night gather and deepen, giving man ample leisure to bid farewell to day, conclude his day’s affairs, and prepare for slumber…

Not much before ten o’clock does the moon-light night begin, when man is asleep and day fairly forgotten. Then is the beauty of moonlight seen upon lonely pastures where cattle are silently feeding. Then let me walk in a diversified country of hill and dale, with heavy woods on one side, and copses and scattered trees enough to give me shadows.

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