in Thoreau’s Journal:
What means this sense of lateness that so comes over one now––as if the rest of the year were down hill & we had not performed anything before––we should not now–– The season of flowers or of promise may be said to be over & now is the season of fruits; but where is our fruit? The night of the year is approaching, what have we done with our talent?
All nature prompts & reproves us–– How early in the year it begins to be late. The sound of the crickets even in the spring makes our hearts beat with its aweful reproof––while it encourages with its seasonable warning. It matters not by how little we have fallen behind––it seems irretrievably late. The year is full of warnings of its shortness––as is life–– The sound of so many insects & the sight of so many flowers affect us so–– The creak of the cricket & the sight of the Prunella & Autumnal dandelion. They say––for the night cometh in which no man may work.