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Poem by Henry David Thoreau

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.

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