The Noise of the City

If the noise of the city offend you, go afield, when you may, with the birds and the wild, free life that troubles not;

The growing grain and the placid sky have a kind of voice; and though you are alone, the boundlessness of the universe is with you.

The dream of imperishable passions in old history, the love of mothers for children, and the love of children, born and unborn, and all love, swarm in the soft air, speaking to the inner ear in the still language.

Go afield with the birds and the growing grain and the placid sky, and dream and forget; and you will see that you are changed when you awake and the gleams of the city peep in your twilight returning.

Max Ehrmann (1872-1945) was a scholar and poet, born in Terre Haute, Indiana. He was the youngest of five children of German immigrants who both emigrated from Bavaria in the 1840s. Ehrmann graduated from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana in 1894, and then studied law and philosophy at Harvard University.

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