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are strewn about. It looked as if this was the way these forms came
to be transferred to our furniture, to tables, chairs, and bedsteads-
because they once stood in their midst.

My house was on the side of a hill, immediately on the edge of the
larger wood, in the midst of a young forest of pitch pines and
hickories, and half a dozen rods from the pond, to which a narrow
footpath led down the hill. In my front yard grew the strawberry,
blackberry, and life-everlasting, johnswort and goldenrod, shrub
oaks and sand cherry, blueberry and groundnut. Near the end of
May, the sand cherry (Cerasus pumila) adorned the sides of the path
with its delicate flowers arranged in umbels cylindrically about its
short stems, which last, in the fall, weighed down with goodsized
and handsome cherries, fell over in wreaths like rays on every side. I
tasted them out of compliment to Nature, though they were scarcely
palatable. The sumach (Rhus glabra) grew luxuriantly about the
house, pushing up through the embankment which I had made, and
growing five or six feet the first season. Its broad pinnate tropical
leaf was pleasant though strange to look on. The large buds,
suddenly pushing out late in the spring from dry sticks which had
seemed to be dead, developed themselves as by magic into graceful
green and tender boughs, an inch in diameter; and sometimes, as I
sat at my window, so heedlessly did they grow and tax their weak
joints, I heard a fresh and tender bough suddenly fall like a fan to the
ground, when there was not a breath of air stirring, broken off by its
own weight. In August, the large masses of berries, which, when in
flower, had attracted many wild bees, gradually assumed their bright
velvety crimson hue, and by their weight again bent down and broke
the tender limbs.

As I sit at my window this summer afternoon, hawks are circling
about my clearing; the tantivy of wild pigeons, flying by two and
threes athwart my view, or perching restless on the white pine
boughs behind my house, gives a voice to the air; a fish hawk
dimples the glassy surface of the pond and brings up a fish; a mink
steals out of the marsh before my door and seizes a frog by the
shore; the sedge is bending under the weight of the reed-birds flitting
hither and thither; and for the last half-hour I have heard the rattle of
railroad cars, now dying away and then reviving like the beat of a
partridge, conveying travellers from Boston to the country. For I did
not live so out of the world as that boy who, as I hear, was put out to
a farmer in the east part of the town, but ere long ran away and came
home again, quite down at the heel and homesick. He had never seen
such a dull and out-of-the-way place; the folks were all gone off;
why, you couldn’t even hear the whistle! I doubt if there is such a
place in Massachusetts now:

"In truth, our village has become a butt For one of those fleet
railroad shafts, and o’er Our peaceful plain its soothing sound is-

The Fitchburg Railroad touches the pond about a hundred rods south
of where I dwell. I usually go to the village along its causeway, and
am, as it were, related to society by this link. The men on the freight
trains, who go over the whole length of the road, bow to me as to an
old acquaintance, they pass me so often, and apparently they take me
for an employee; and so I am. I too would fain be a track-repairer
somewhere in the orbit of the earth.

The whistle of the locomotive penetrates my woods summer and
winter, sounding like the scream of a hawk sailing over some
farmer’s yard, informing me that many restless city merchants are
arriving within the circle of the town, or adventurous country traders
from the other side. As they come under one horizon, they shout
their warning to get off the track to the other, heard sometimes
through the circles of two towns. Here come your groceries, country;
your rations, countrymen! Nor is there any man so independent on
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