John Muir


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80 [sketch: Cross section W [west] Yo Sem [Yosemite] Fall; Top can [cañon] Yo [Yosemite] Fall]

Always [rounded] thus on side of cans [cañons] where began

Wh [which] formed the edge of the fall I could see the most delicate threads of its [fairy] [ ] tissue by having the moon behind it Wishing to look at the moon through the meshes of some of the denser portions of the fall I crept farther behind it while it was gently wind swayed without

81 taking thought about the consequences of its returning when the wind would change. The effect was enchanting [The] wild music above beneath around The moon apparently in the very midst of the wild waters flashing out in [openings] among the denser waters now darkened by a rush of comets as if in danger of being washed out of the what is a transit of the [turns] to this transit of wild comets I was in [fairy] land between the black wall & the wild illumined waters but suffered sudden disenchantment for for “in a moment all was dark” & I was stricken [down] by a hissing down rush of water that felt hard as [hailstones] shot from a gun actuated urged by that instinct that we call presence of mind I dropped on my knees laid hold of an angle of the rock rolled myself like a ball with my face against my bosom & submitted to [received] my terrible baptism. There was a confused sound in & around me of many waters (last page)

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist