Why, who makes much of a miracle? As to me I know of nothing else but miracles, Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan, Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky, Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water, Or stand under trees in the woods, Or talk by day with any one I love, or sleep in the bed at night with any one I love, Or sit at table at dinner with the rest, Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car, Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer forenoon, Or animals feeding in the fields, Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air, Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so quiet and bright, Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring; These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles, The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.
To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle, Every cubic inch of space is a miracle, Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same, Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.
To me the sea is a continual miracle, The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion of the waves—the ships with men in them, What stranger miracles are there?
And I behold once more My old familiar haunts; here the blue river, The same blue wonder that my infant eye Admired, sage doubting whence the traveller came,— Whence brought his sunny bubbles ere he washed The fragrant flag-roots in my father’s fields, And where thereafter in the world he went. Look, here he is, unaltered, save that now He hath broke his banks and flooded all the vales With his redundant waves. Here is the rock where, yet a simple child, I caught with bended pin my earliest fish, Much triumphing, —and these the fields Over whose flowers I chased the butterfly, A blooming hunter of a fairy fine. And hark! where overhead the ancient crows Hold their sour conversation in the sky:— These are the same, but I am not the same, But wiser than I was, and wise enough Not to regret the changes, tho’ they cost Me many a sigh. Oh, call not Nature dumb; These trees and stones are audible to me, These idle flowers, that tremble in the wind, I understand their faery syllables, And all their sad significance. The wind, That rustles down the well-known forest road— It hath a sound more eloquent than speech. The stream, the trees, the grass, the sighing wind, All of them utter sounds of ’monishment And grave parental love. They are not of our race, they seem to say, And yet have knowledge of our moral race, And somewhat of majestic sympathy, Something of pity for the puny clay, That holds and boasts the immeasurable mind. I feel as I were welcome to these trees After long months of weary wandering, Acknowledged by their hospitable boughs; They know me as their son, for side by side, They were coeval with my ancestors, Adorned with them my country’s primitive times, And soon may give my dust their funeral shade.