A Week On The Concord And Merrimack Rivers By Henry David Thoreau

 -   In all woods the leaves were fast ripening for their
fall; for their full veins and lively gloss mark the - Page 360
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In All Woods The Leaves Were Fast Ripening For Their Fall; For Their Full Veins And Lively Gloss Mark The

Ripe leaf, and not the sered one of the poets; and we knew that the maples, stripped of their leaves

Among the earliest, would soon stand like a wreath of smoke along the edge of the meadow. Already the cattle were heard to low wildly in the pastures and along the highways, restlessly running to and fro, as if in apprehension of the withering of the grass and of the approach of winter. Our thoughts, too, began to rustle.

As I pass along the streets of our village of Concord on the day of our annual Cattle-Show, when it usually happens that the leaves of the elms and buttonwoods begin first to strew the ground under the breath of the October wind, the lively spirits in their sap seem to mount as high as any plough-boy's let loose that day; and they lead my thoughts away to the rustling woods, where the trees are preparing for their winter campaign. This autumnal festival, when men are gathered in crowds in the streets as regularly and by as natural a law as the leaves cluster and rustle by the wayside, is naturally associated in my mind with the fall of the year. The low of cattle in the streets sounds like a hoarse symphony or running bass to the rustling of the leaves. The wind goes hurrying down the country, gleaning every loose straw that is left in the fields, while every farmer lad too appears to scud before it, - having donned his best pea-jacket and pepper-and-salt waistcoat, his unbent trousers, outstanding rigging of duck or kerseymere or corduroy, and his furry hat withal, - to country fairs and cattle-shows, to that Rome among the villages where the treasures of the year are gathered.

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