Tall Ambrosia

By Henry David Thoreau 1817–1862 Henry David Thoreau
Among the signs of autumn I perceive
The Roman wormwood (called by learned men
Ambrosia elatior, food for gods,—
For to impartial science the humblest weed
Is as immortal once as the proudest flower—)
Sprinkles its yellow dust over my shoes
As I cross the now neglected garden.
—We trample under foot the food of gods
And spill their nectar in each drop of dew—
My honest shoes, fast friends that never stray
Far from my couch, thus powdered, countryfied,
Bearing many a mile the marks of their adventure,
At the post-house disgrace the Gallic gloss
Of those well dressed ones who no morning dew
Nor Roman wormwood ever have been through,
Who never walk but are transported rather—
For what old crime of theirs I do not gather.



Source: Poets of the English Language (Viking Press, 1950)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Henry David Thoreau 1817–1862

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Nature, Trees & Flowers

 Henry  David Thoreau

Biography

Though not a professional philosopher, Henry David Thoreau is recognized as an important contributor to the American literary and philosophical movement known as New England Transcendentalism. His essays, books, and poems weave together two central themes over the course of his intellectual career: nature and the conduct of life. The continuing importance of these two themes is well illustrated by the fact that the last two . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Trees & Flowers

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.