“Go forth, under the open sky, and list/ To Nature’s teachings …”

To him who in the love of Nature holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language; for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty, and she glides
Into his darker musings, with a mild
And healing sympathy, that steals away
Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
Over thy spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart;—
Go forth, under the open sky, and list
To Nature’s teachings …

— from William Cullen Bryant’s “Thanatopsis”



800px-Asher_Durand_Kindred_Spirits

“Kindred Spirits,” Asher Durand, 1849, depicting William Cullen Bryant with Thomas Cole

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