May Morgan


May Morgan


John Muir



a flying trip to Oklahoma where my people now live. It is a "beautiful land indeed, as its name indicates. Have you ever been in that part of the country? My father recently sold his land in N-[W?] Missouri and bought in O[illegible]. He has much better health from there. He bought me a quarter section while I was there; but the man who lived on it had not yet "[proved?] up", and


I had to file on it under the homestead law, and I presume I shall be obliged to reside on it after six months - for 8 mos. before I can get a deed to it. It is adjoining my father's land, so I shall be quite at home. We
are to build a new house this fall, and it will be enjoyable to be there. There are woods, and a creek, red walled canons [diacritic], all sorts of wild creatures

May Morgan

you enclosed. I should like to read every thing you have ever written.
The willows each day grow more golden and the robins sing or cheep in the vacant lotsouth of my room. I am obliged to move this week to another part of the city. The address I give below is a permanent one. I need not say how pleased I should be at any time to hear from you, but, knowing how much



enough for me to catch more than a glimpse of him, and I had no glass.) "Danny" was there and the yellow hammer, the red headed wood pecker, and a number of others; and how the red birds did sing! - and the blue birds, and creepers, and warblers were there, and wrens, and I know not how may other birds - & of course hawks and jays were plentiful and the meadow larks covered the fields. They



reminded me of the San Gabriel valley - where I spent a year of my life. You see the mountains of Cal. are not quite unfamiliar to me; but I [illegible]m only southern Cal. I want to see the King's River Canon [diacritic].
I hope you received my little [song?] about the ouzel. - and that you were pleased with it - as you were with the "song of the [Missouri".?]
Mr. Burroughs said I must send you the two


other poems I enclose because I told him reading your book brought back so vividly to me the summer I spent in the San Bernardino mts -at "River Oaks" - that I could see as plainly as I did then the squirrels playing in the forests.
Of course you have seen the March Atlantic, and enjoyed the flaying Mr. B gives the sham naturalists.
I thank you for the list of your writings


[Now?], the facts are I remember the hepatica best as coming in May, for here near Chicago the spring is some times late, and the most hepaticas I've ever seen at one time were blooming out at Glencoe about the 10th of May. But I thought after I had sent the verse - the hepatica belongs in most places to April, rather than to May, and I will write that again. I was busy and went away to Okla. without reviewing my hepatica verse. - While there I rec'd a letter from



writing you must have to do, I do not really expect you to keep up a correspondence with me. I am just beginning to send my little songs to the magazines. The Outlook recently sent me a check for one called "A May Song" I do not know whether it will come out in May, or not. Do you think the four I have sent you are true enough and artistic enough to



warrent me in giving them to the public? Tell me frankly. I am entirely free from the super sensitiveness to criticism that some writers have. I write because it pleases me to express myself in that way, - and I am very critical of myself, and appreciate kindly criticism from those who are qualified to give it. - now than I can say. Especially when I write on natural


subjects or objects I want to say nothing that is misleading. I want to picture real birds and squirrels, and tell the true history of rivers and mountains and glaciers, or my good friend John Burroughs, will flag me as he does Mr. Ling. A few days ago I sent him these lines -
To the Hepatica
Earth sleeps the winter hours away,
Then wakes from dreams of blue,
To find, above her, skies of May,
And on her bosom - you!



my good critic in which he says - "The Hepatica is a gem. There is but one thing in it I would have changed, - & that is "the skies of May", as April is the month of the hepatica. I rec'd his letter at El Reno, and as I had several hours to wait there in the "Hotel [Kerfoot?]" for a train, I rewrote the verse as follows
To the Hepatica
The earth all winter sleeping lies
Then wakes from dreams of blue
To find, above her, April skies,
And on her [bosom?] - you!


I've not yet heard whether that pleased him, or not.
I did not mean [to?] write you so long a letter. You will think me a veritable chatter box, I am not. I could walk thro' the forest with you all day, absorbed in the trees & birds, sky and clouds and say no word - yet tell you much. Believe me

Sincerely & gratefully yours,

May Morgan

American Conservatory of Music

Kimball Hall, Chicago.




Date Original

1903 Mar 14


Original letter dimensions: 20 x 25 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 13, Image 0272

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.


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