During an elegy (a poem to praise the dead) for Thoreau, Emerson characterized him as a hermit and stoic (unaffected by pleasure or pain), but added that he had a softer side that showed especially when he was with young people he liked. Furthermore, Thoreau was resourceful and ingenious—he had to be, to live the life he wanted. He was patient and had to be to get the most out of nature. He could have been a notable leader, given all of those qualities, but, Emerson remarked sadly, Thoreau chose a different path. Nevertheless, Thoreau was a remarkable man, and Emerson gave him the highest possible praise by calling him wise. "His soul," said Emerson in conclusion, "was made for the noblest society."