Sunday Muse

The landscape covered with snow, seen by moonlight from these Cliffs, encased in snowy armor two feet thick, gleaming in the moon and of spotless white. Who can believe that this is the habitable globe? The scenery is wholly arctic… Man must have ascertained the limits of the winter before he ventured to withstand it and not migrate with the birds. No cultivated field, no house, no candle. All is as dreary as the shores of the Frozen Ocean. I can tell where there is wood and where open land for many miles in the horizon by the darkness of the former and whiteness of the latter. The trees, especially the young oaks covered with leaves, stand out distinctly in this bright light from contrast with the snow. It looks as if the snow and ice of the arctic world, traveling like a glacier, had crept down southward and overwhelmed and buried New England. And see if a man can think his summer thoughts now. But the evening star is preparing to set, and I will return. Floundering through snow, sometimes up to my middle
— Henry David Thoreau’s journal, 1852

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