I knew a man by sight,
A blameless wight,
Who, for a year or more,
Had daily passed my door,
Yet converse none had had with him.
I met him in a lane,
Him and his cane,
About three miles from home,
Where I had chanced to roam,
And volumes stared at him, and he at me.

In a more distant place
I glimpsed his face,
And bowed instinctively;
Starting he bowed to me,
Bowed simultaneously, and passed along.

Next, in a foreign land
I grasped his hand,
And had a social chat,
About this thing and that,
As I had known him well a thousand years.

Late in a wilderness
I shared his mess,
For he had hardships seen,
And I a wanderer been;
He was my bosom friend, and I was his.

And as, methinks, shall all,
Both great and small,
That ever lived on earth,
Early or late their birth,
Stranger and foe, one day each other know.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Henry David Thoreau's poem I Knew A Man By Sight

1 Comment

  1. jerry says:

    thoreau has wonderful flow and ryhme in this piece. And the witty way he writes of the strugles in each of us is excellent………………jerry

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