A hint of wild nature

A hint of wild nature

As I was crossing the Delaware to-day
           I saw a large flock of wild geese
right overhead not very high up
           ranged in V-shape
in relief against the noon clouds
           of light smoke-colour

Had a capital
           though momentary
view of them
           and then of their course
on and on southeast
           till gradually fading

Strange thoughts
           melted into me
seeing these creatures
           cleaving the sky
the spacious airy realm
           even the prevailing
smoke-gray colour everywhere
           no sun shining
the waters below
           the rapid flight of the birds
appearing just for a minute
           revealing to me such a hint
of the whole spread of Nature
           with her eternal
unsophisticated freshness
           her never-visited recesses
of sea and sky
           and shore
and then disappearing
           in the distance

Walt Whitman


Adapted by John Lyons from Specimen Days (1882)

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