Packed in my mind lie all the clothes Which outward nature wears, And in its fashion’s hourly change It all things else repairs.
In vain I look for change abroad, And can no difference find, Till some new ray of peace uncalled Illumes my inmost mind.
What is it gilds the trees and clouds, And paints the heavens so gay, But yonder fast-abiding light With its unchanging ray?
Lo, when the sun streams through the wood, Upon a winter’s morn, Where’er his silent beams intrude The murky night is gone.
How could the patient pine have known The morning breeze would come, Or humble flowers anticipate The insect’s noonday hum,—
Till the new light with morning cheer From far streamed through the aisles, And nimbly told the forest trees For many stretching miles?
I’ve heard within my inmost soul Such cheerful morning news, In the horizon of my mind Have seen such orient hues,
As in the twilight of the dawn, When the first birds awake, Are heard within some silent wood, Where they the small twigs break,
Or in the eastern skies are seen, Before the sun appears, The harbingers of summer heats Which from afar he bears.
This poem is in the public domain.
About This Poem
“The Inward Morning” was published in Poems of Nature (Houghton, Mifflin & Co, 1895).
Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts. His collections of poetry include Poems of Nature (Houghton, Mifflin & Co, 1895) and Collected Poems (Packard, 1943). He died on May 6, 1862.