Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
gruel sustains life here, I thought; so, shutting my eyes, and
excluding the motes by a skilfully directed undercurrent, I drank to
genuine hospitality the heartiest draught I could. I am not squeamish
in such cases when manners are concerned.
As I was leaving the Irishmanís roof after the rain, bending my steps
again to the pond, my haste to catch pickerel, wading in retired
meadows, in sloughs and bog-holes, in forlorn and savage places,
appeared for an instant trivial to me who had been sent to school and
college; but as I ran down the hill toward the reddening west, with
the rainbow over my shoulder, and some faint tinkling sounds borne
to my ear through the cleansed air, from I know not what quarter, my
Good Genius seemed to say-Go fish and hunt far and wide day by
day-farther and wider-and rest thee by many brooks and hearth-sides
without misgiving. Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth.
Rise free from care before the dawn, and seek adventures. Let the
noon find thee by other lakes, and the night overtake thee
everywhere at home. There are no larger fields than these, no
worthier games than may here be played. Grow wild according to
thy nature, like these sedges and brakes, which will never become
English bay. Let the thunder rumble; what if it threaten ruin to
farmersí crops? that is not its errand to thee. Take shelter under the
cloud, while they flee to carts and sheds. Let not to get a living be
thy trade, but thy sport. Enjoy the land, but own it not. Through want
of enterprise and faith men are where they are, buying and selling,
and spending their lives like serfs.
O Baker Farm!
"Landscape where the richest element Is a little sunshine
"No one runs to revel On thy rail-fenced lea."...
"Debate with no man hast thou, With questions art never perplexed,
As tame at the first sight as now, In thy plain russet gabardine
"Come ye who love, And ye who hate, Children of the Holy Dove,
And Guy Faux of the state, And hang conspiracies From the tough
rafters of the trees!"
Men come tamely home at night only from the next field or street,
where their household echoes haunt, and their life pines because it
breathes its own breath over again; their shadows, morning and
evening, reach farther than their daily steps. We should come home
from far, from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day,
with new experience and character.
Before I had reached the pond some fresh impulse had brought out
John Field, with altered mind, letting go "bogging" ere this sunset.
But he, poor man, disturbed only a couple of fins while I was
catching a fair string, and he said it was his luck; but when we
changed seats in the boat luck changed seats too. Poor John Field!- I
trust he does not read this, unless he will improve by it-thinking to
live by some derivative old-country mode in this primitive new
country-to catch perch with shiners. It is good bait sometimes, I
allow. With his horizon all his own, yet he a poor man, born to be
poor, with his inherited Irish poverty or poor life, his Adamís
grandmother and boggy ways, not to rise in this world, he nor his
posterity, till their wading webbed bog-trotting feet get talaria to
AS I CAME home through the woods with my string of fish, trailing
my pole, it being now quite dark, I caught a glimpse of a woodchuck
stealing across my path, and felt a strange thrill of savage delight,