John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



fine spiry plush boughs for bedding we shall have tonight & a glorious [bed song] [sleep] lullaby from this cascading creek. Never was stream more fittingly named [for throughout its course from the Western rim of Yosemite Creek basin where it takes it’s rise, to the Yosemite Canon [Canyon] where it joins the Merced, with the exception of a few level stretches of meadow on its upper course] for so far as I have traced it above & below our camp it is one continuous bouncing dancing white bloom of [white] cascades [& falls] And at the very last, unwearied, it finishes its wild [exultant] course in a grand leap of 300 feet or more to the bottom of the main Yosemite Canon [Canyon] near the fall of Tamarac Creek a few miles below the foot of the Valley [making a where it] falls which almost rivals some of the far-famed Yosemite falls [of the Valley proper] Never shall I forget these Cascade songs. The low solemn booming & roaring & keen silvery clashing of the cool [crystal] water rushing [exulting with solemn awful enthusiasm] from form to form beneath [miles of] irised spray [while the sunbeams were are pouring through the tree spires along its bossy granite path] Or in the deep still night seen white in the darkness [canon] [canyon] & its


multitude of voices sounding still more impressively [intensely] sublime. [[no] the shadowy gloom] Here [I found our] the little water ouzel is as much at home as any linnet [finds its most congenial homes building its nest on the rocks in the spray] in a leafy grove seeming to take the greater delight the more boisterous the stream [water] [That’s a bird of such sweetness & gentleness should be born & dwell amid such roaring savage torrents calls to mind Samson’s [riddle] out of the eater [strong] cameth forth [sweetness]] meat as & out of the strong came forth sweetness. Judges 14:14] The dizzy precipices & the swift [dashing energy] & [the thunder tones are awe-inspiring but there is nothing awful about this little bird. His song a sweet fluty [melody] low & gentle [as falling dew & cheerful too] as that of any linnet in a [quiet sheltered] grove & all it’s gestures as it flits about amid the loud uproar bespeak strength & peace & quiet joy. Contemplating these sweet songful darlings of nature coming forth from spray sprinkled nests amid [savage] roaring & thunder savage streams [call] Samson’s riddle come to mind. [the utmost cheerfulness & confidence & simplicity] Bird & stream one & inseparable. What a pair. [Yet well related] A yet finer bloom is this little bird than the foamhell in eddying pool or their overleaning lilies [like a delicate flower growing ] on [the branches a tree] of a rugged mountain river [strength it grows on the booming waterfall Beautiful] interpreting Natures savage power [changed into a sweet word of love made plain & understandable to human hearts] as only another form of [divine] love. Gentle bird, a precious message you bring [me to me out of from the foam dashed gorges canon [canyon]]. We may miss the meaning

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook07 Img019.jpg

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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