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Excerpts tell story of ‘Woods’

- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 18, 2007

PORTLAND, Maine

Here are some excerpts from Henry David Thoreau's "The Maine Woods," about his travels in Maine.

Climbing Mount Katahdin, 1846: "There it was, the State of Maine, which we had seen on the map, but not much like that. Immeasurable forest for the sun to shine on, that eastern stuff we hear of in Massachusetts. No clearing, no house ... countless lakes ... and mountains also, whose names, for the most part, are known only to the Indians."

Pine Stream, 1853: "Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it."

Reflecting on his trip, 1853: "Why should not we ... have our national preserves, where no villages need be destroyed, in which the bear and panther ... may still exist, and not be 'civilized off the face of the earth,' — our forests ... to hold and preserve the ... lord of creation — not for idle sport or food, but for inspiration and our own true recreation? or shall we, like villains, grub them all up, poaching on our own national domains?"

ASSOCIATED PRESS