Saturday, June 27, 2009

More John Muir

When I walked, more than a hundred flowers touched my feet, at every step closing above them, as if wading in water. Go where I would, east or west, north or south, I still plashed and rippled in flower-gems; and at night I lay between two skies of silver and gold, spanned by a milky-way, and nestling deep in a goldy-way of vegetable suns. But all this beauty of life is fading year by year, - fading like the glow of a sunset, - foundering in the grossness of modern refinement. As larks are gathered in sackfuls, ruffled and blood-stained, to toy morbid appetite in barbarous towns, so is flower-gold gathered to slaughter-pens in misbegotten carcasses of oxen and sheep. So always perish the plant peoples of temperate regions, - feeble, unarmed, unconfederate, they are easily overthrown, leaving their lands to man and his few enslavable beasts and grasses.

—John Muir, from here. Image by Arnold Genthe from the Library of Congress.