R[alph] W[aldo] Emerson


John Muir


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Song of NatureMine are the Night and Morning, The pits of air, the gulf of space, The sportive sun. the gibbous moon, The innumerable days.I hide in the solar glory, I am dumb in the pealing song, I rest on the pitch of the torrent,In slumber I am strong.No numbers have counted my tallies,No tribes my house can fill,I sit by the shining Fount of Life And pour the Deluge still;And ever by delicate powers,Gathering along the centuries From race to race the rarest flowers My wealth shall nothing miss.And many thousand summers My apples ripened well,And light from meteorating stars With firmer glory fell.I wrote the past in characters Of leaf and fire the scroll,The building of in the coral sea,The planting of the coal.And thefts from satellites and rings And broken stars I drew.And out of spent and aged things I formed the world anew;What time the gods kept carnival Tricked out in star and flower,And in cramp elf and saurian forms They swathed their too much power.Time and Thought were my surveyors,They laid their courses well,They boiled the sea, and baked the layers Of granite, marl, and shell.But he, the man child glorious,Where tarries he the while?The rainbow shines his harbinger,The sunset gleams his smile.My boreal lights leap upward,Forthright my planets roll,And still the man child is not born,The summit of the whole.Must time and tide forever run?Will never my winds go sleep in the west?Will never my wheels which whirl the sun And satellites have rest?Too much of donning and doffing,Too slow the rainbow fades,I weary of my robe of snow,My streams and my cascades.I tire of globes and races,Too long the game is played,What without him is summer's pomp Or winter's frozen shade?


Concord [Mass]

Date Original

1872 Feb 5


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0681

Copyright Statement

Some letters written to John Muir may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Owning Institution

University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

Page Number

Page 4


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