Brother Where Dost Thou Dwell

by Henry David Thoreau

Brother, where dost thou dwell?
What sun shines for thee no?
Dost thou indeed fare well,
As we wished thee here below?

What season didst thou find?
'Twas winter here.
Are not the Fates more kind
Than they appear?

Is thy brow clear again
As in thy youthful years?
And was that ugly pain
The summit of thy fears?

Yet thou wast cheery still;
They could not quench thy fire;
Thou didst abide their will,
And then retire.

Where chiefly shall I look
To feel thy presence near?
Along the neighboring brook
May I thy voice still hear?

Dost thou still haunt the brink
Of yonder river's tide?
And may I ever think
That thou art by my side?

What bird wilt thou employ
To bring me word of thee?
For it would give them joy—
'Twould give them liberty—
To serve their former lord
With wing and minstrelsy.

A sadder strain mixed with their song,
They've slowlier built their nests;
Since thou art gone
Their lively labor rests.

Where is the finch, the thrush,
I used to hear?
Ah, they could well abide
The dying year.

Now they no more return,
I hear them not;
They have remained to mourn,
Or else forgot.

Monadnock Valley Press > Thoreau