John Muir


image preview


The mysterious gloom of this [lonely] glen carries the eye onward to where the sea & faraway isles lay bathed in [livid] [sunset] light Not a sound to break the deep stillness of the hour save cry of curlew etc.

The sea dotted with [ ] islands changing color with the varying play of light as showy cloud or gallery rainbow float over them transferring cool pearl greys to [living] opal toned here & there to richest purple reaches of pure white shell sand glittering liking jewels when wet with [spray] sea lay still & calm & [smiling ] The coloring is a marvel of beauty warm red & brown & richest maroon tones [prevail] but the whole gleams with green & gold [lichen]& seaweed while here & there a mosaic of pure white lime has [filtered] thro encrusting the pillars.

Ever & anon the innermost depths of the great channel gleam with a sudden flash as the clear green wave comes swelling in [over] & breaking in pure white foam. casting trembling reflected lights wh buckle & waver over every hidden crevice of [roof] or clustered column Quick as thunder follows the thunder-flash is that white gleam succeeded by a [booming ] sound louder than the thunder itself Yet mellow as the sweetest note of some huge organ The sea was like glass or oil or whatever you can think of that is most smooth & mellow Every pk & shapely outline of island or mainland lay before us in ethereal lilac Grand shadowy masses thin dainty cups Ind [Indian] grave innumerable wild flws lend their honeyed fragrance Lonely resting place A lonely silent resting place is this is this little island of the dead floating

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

Rights Management

To view additional information on copyright and related rights of this item, such as to purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish them, click here to view the Holt-Atherton Special Collections policies.


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