Thoreau & Beyond


A Week

on the



Merrimack Rivers


Table of Contents

With slight modifications, the formatting for this table of contents follows that found in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, Vol. I — A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin & Co., 1906), where it is outlined that “The sub-titles under each division are of Thoreau’s poems and snatches of verse therein included.”


Introductory Note
— from the 1906 edition



Where’er thou sail’st who sailed with me


Chapter I:

Concord River

The respectable folks


Chapter II:


Ah, ’t is in vain the peaceful din

Here then an aged shepherd dwelt

On Ponkawtasset, since we took our way


Chapter III:


An early unconverted Saint

Low in the eastern sky

Dong, sounds the brass in the east

Greece, who am I that should remember thee

Some tumultuous little rill

I make ye an offer

Conscience is instinct bred in the house

Such water do the gods distill

That Phæton of our day


Chapter IV:


Though all the fates should prove unkind

With frontier strength ye stand your ground

The western wind came lumbering in

Then idle Time ran gadding by

Now chiefly is my natal hour

Rumors from an Aeolian Harp

Away! away! away! away!


Chapter V:


Ply the oars! away! away!

Since that first “Away! away!”

Low-anchored cloud

Man’s little acts are grand

The waves slowly beat

Woof of the sun, ethereal gauze

Where gleaming fields of haze

Translations from Anacreon

Thus, perchance, the Indian hunter


Chapter VI:


My life is like a stroll upon the beach

This is my Carnac, whose unmeasured dome

True kindness is a pure divine affinity

Lately, alas, I knew a gentle boy

The Atlantides

My love must be as free

The Good how can we trust

Nature doth have her dawn each day

Let such pure hate still underprop

The Inward Morning


Chapter VII:


My books I’d fain cast off, I cannot read


Chapter VIII:


The Poet’s Delay

I hearing get, who had but ears

Men dig and dive but cannot my wealth spend

Salmon Brook

Oft, as I turn me on my pillow o’er

I am the autumnal sun

A finer race and finer fed

I am a parcel of vain strivings tied

All things are current found


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