R[ichard] W[atson] Gilder


John Muir



Tell you the news Prom Pour Brooks Parm? Well,
But there is news to tell!
As long as my arm.
"What, a new she-calf born To this world forlorn?"Few things are finer Than a fine heifer-calf,And most things are minor;.But it 's better by half -The news that I speak of;Besides now we reek of Such farm news as this:You were here, when, what bliss!Alpha dropped on our planet,And we all ran to scan it.How it staggered and swayed,Groped, puckered, sucked, prayed On its knees, or it seemed so;But its mother never dreamed so,For there! what fun! Wisht!
How the old cow it punished,With blows of its nose

Till she rocked on her toes!
-When its warm food it takes it -
Your word, Herr Professor,
Of "instinct" no less a
Mystery makes it;
And so, Dr. Baldwin,
Whatever it's called in
Your books,'t is as queer,
As -lots of things here;-
How the soft thing, with silk down,
Had learned to bring milk down
Without any teaching,
Example or preaching.
-But the old cows so quick went To breeding, that such news, Calves being frequent,
No longer is much news;
If the cows keep enthused up
We 'll soon be to Phi
And next summer will see All the Greek letters used up!
- No this is not the news

From Four Brooks Farm -
Nor the ice-pond built
Where Hermit Brook spilt;
Nor the great pine we found
Thunder-burst in the middle
And spread on the ground
Like the strings of a fiddle,
Not of this, not of that,-
Such news now were flat,
But something far racier!
Muir, of Alaska,
Path-finder, cliff-basker,
Known of bird, known of deer
(Grizzlies know him, won't harm),John Muir has been here,
And has hitched to the farm
A great blanket glacier!
Don't flout it! don't doubt it!
'T is as sure and as clear
As if on the rock
With chisel and knock,
A giant of eld
His message had spelled,
And ten thousand years after
We read it,- with laughter


And loyal acclaim,-His ancestry, name, The work he was doing, The place whence he came, And the journey pursuing."This giant of eld.
See his path," said John Muir,-"Here it held North-west to south-east Slow and sure Like a king at a feast Eating down through the list: Inch by inch, crunch by crunch; Long Mountain was his lunch, Of this valley - one gobble,-Then he dined upon Cobble! This big boulder, he bore it; Through eons uncounted That range there he mounted, He tore it.
Rock-grinding; strata bending; Always pausing;never ending; 0 what a grand rumpus! Now, down on your knees," Said Muir, "and you please,


And out with your compass!"
(By the way -'t was Thoreau's In the good long-agoes,) And then, in a trice, Where the quartz glistens white, Smooth as ice, In the clear slanting light The fine striae show,-Like arrows they go,-North-west to south-east Just as John Muir pleased!—And as he spoke I saw the huge creature glide With speed that scarcely lessened or increased Prom the far pole to ocean's melting tide. Through countless boreal hours It moved on its torn pathway deep and wide; Its gelid bulk I saw Crunching the mountain tops with monstrous maw;-
To make our Four Brooks Farm with all its flocks and flowers.

R. W. Gilder

Fall of 1898.


4 Brook Farm


Go rolling down to Rio Roll down roll down to [illegible] Editor of the India Rubber O Mon[illegible]s to the falls of Uruguay Smythe Channel - Straits Magellen Amazon begins to rise in Nov. increases in volume til June then falls until the end of October.
The Madeira rises & falls 2 mos earlier.
The Amazon stream N[illegible]ation Co English
[State?] of Para yields 35 [up?] of the Amazon Basin rubber.
The Cacao tree grows wild in great abundance
Probably not 25 sq ms of the Am. basin cultivated
[illegible]quitos 2300


New York

Date Original

1899 Nov 2


Original letter dimensions: 26.5 x 20.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 10, Image 1055

Collection Identifier

Online finding aid for the microform version of the John Muir Correspondence

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

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


6 pages


Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters



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