We, too, were but dwellers on the shore, like the bittern of the morning; and our pursuit, the wrecks of snails and cockles. Nevertheless, we were contented to know the better one fair particular shore.
Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 255, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
Thoreau's reference to John Milton's "Lycidas" ("dwellers on the shore") suggests that this passage is an elegaic allusion to the subsequent death of his own brother, John.