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The change from storm and winter to serene and mild weather, from
dark and sluggish hours to bright and elastic ones, is a memorable
crisis which all things proclaim. It is seemingly instantaneous at last.
Suddenly an influx of light filled my house, though the evening was
at hand, and the clouds of winter still over-hung it, and the eaves
were dripping with sleety rain. I looked out the window, and lo!
where yesterday was cold gray ice there lay the transparent pond
already calm and full of hope as in a summer evening, reflecting a
summer evening sky in its bosom, though none was visible
overhead, as if it had intelligence with some remote horizon. I heard
a robin in the distance, the first I had heard for many a thousand
years, methought, whose note I shall not forget for many a thou-

sand more-the same sweet and powerful song as of yore. O the
evening robin, at the end of a New England summer day! If I could
ever find the twig he sits upon! I mean he; I mean the twig. This at
least is not the Turdus migratorius. The pitch pines and shrub oaks
about my house, which had so long drooped, suddenly resumed their
several characters, looked brighter, greener, and more erect and
alive, as if effectually cleansed and restored by the rain. I knew that
it would not rain any more. You may tell by looking at any twig of
the forest, ay, at your very wood-pile, whether its winter is past or
not. As it grew darker, I was startled by the honking of geese flying
low over the woods, like weary travellers getting in late from
Southern lakes, and indulging at last in unrestrained complaint and
mutual consolation. Standing at my door, I could hear the rush of
their wings; when, driving toward my house, they suddenly spied my
light, and with hushed clamor wheeled and settled in the pond. So I
came in, and shut the door, and passed my first spring night in the

In the morning I watched the geese from the door through the mist,
sailing in the middle of the pond, fifty rods off, so large and
tumultuous that Walden appeared like an artificial pond for their
amusement. But when I stood on the shore they at once rose up with
a great flapping of wings at the signal of their commander, and when
they had got into rank circled about over my head, twenty-nine of
them, and then steered straight to Canada, with a regular honk from
the leader at intervals, trusting to break their fast in muddier pools. A
"plump" of ducks rose at the same time and took the route to the
north in the wake of their noisier cousins.

For a week I heard the circling, groping clangor of some solitary
goose in the foggy mornings, seeking its companion, and still
peopling the woods with the sound of a larger life than they could
sustain. In April the pigeons were seen again flying express in small
flocks, and in due time I heard the martins twittering over my
clearing, though it had not seemed that the township contained so
many that it could afford me any, and I fancied that they were
peculiarly of the ancient race that dwelt in hollow trees ere white
men came. In almost all climes the tortoise and the frog are among
the precursors and heralds of this season, and birds fly with song and
glancing plumage, and plants spring and bloom, and winds blow, to
correct this slight oscillation of the poles and preserve the
equilibrium of nature.

As every season seems best to us in its turn, so the coming in of
spring is like the creation of Cosmos out of Chaos and the realization
of the Golden Age.

"Eurus ad Auroram Nabathaeaque regna recessit, Persidaque, et
radiis juga subdita matutinis."

"The East-Wind withdrew to Aurora and the Nabathean kingdom,
And the Persian, and the ridges placed under the morning rays.
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