Page:The poems of Emma Lazarus volume 1.djvu/27

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13
EMMA LAZARUS.


scrub-oak,—a pathetic, impossible creature, whose cranks and oddities were submitted to on account of an innate nobility of character. " Generally crabbed and reticent with strangers, he took a liking to me," says Emma Lazarus. "The bond of our sympathy was my admiration for Thoreau, whose memory he actually worships, having been his constant companion in his best days, and his daily attendant in the last years of illness and heroic suffering. I do not know whether I was most touched by the thought of the unique, lofty character that had inspired this depth and fervor of friendship, or by the pathetic constancy and pure affection of the poor, desolate old man be fore me, who tried to conceal his tenderness and sense of irremediable loss by a show of gruffness and philosophy. He never speaks of Thoreau’s death," she says, " but always Thoreau’s loss, or when I lost Mr. Thoreau, or when Mr. Thoreau went away from Concord; nor would he confess that he missed him, for there was not a day, an hour, a moment, when he did not feel that his friend was still with him and had never left him. And yet a day or two after," she goes on to say, " when I sat with him in the sunlit wood, looking at the gorgeous blue and silver summer sky, he turned to me and said: ’Just half of the world died for me when I lost Mr. Thoreau. None of it looks the same as when I looked at it with him.’ . . . He took me through