Page:Thoreau's flute, a poem.djvu/7

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I WENT to the woods because I wished to live deliberately to front only the essential facts of life & see if I could learn what it had to teach, & not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Sparta-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swathe and shave close, to drive life into a corner, & reduce it to its lowest terms, and if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the World; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience & be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. . .

Henry David Thoreau