The era of the Wild Apple will soon be past. It is a fruit which will probably become extinct in New England.... Since the temperance reform and the general introduction of grafted fruit, no native apple trees, such as I see everywhere in deserted pastures, and where the woods have grown up around them, are set out. I fear that he who walks over these fields a century hence will not know the pleasure of knocking off wild apples. Ah, poor man, there are many pleasures which he will not know!... Now that they have grafted trees, and pay a price for them, they collect them into a play by their houses, and fence them in,—and the end of it all will be that we shall be compelled to look for our apples in a barrel.
Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Wild Apples" (1862), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 321, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
Thoreau follows this lament with a long biblical quotation from the prophet Joel, thus denoting that this, the final passage in "Wild Apples," is a jeremiad-like denunciation of the decline of New England.