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enough to show the shadow moving with me. Somehow I seem'd to get identity with each and every thing around me, in its condition. Nature was naked, and I was also. It was too lazy, soothing, and joyous-equable to speculate about. Yet I might have thought somehow in this vein: Perhaps the inner never-lost rapport we hold with earth, light, air, trees, &c., is not to be realized through eyes and mind only, but through the whole corporeal body, which I will not have blinded or bandaged any more than the eyes. Sweet, sane, still Nakedness in Nature ! — ah if poor, sick, prurient humanity in cities might really know you once more! Is not nakedness then indecent ? No, not inherently. It is your thought, your sophistication, your fear, your respectability, that is indecent. There come moods when these clothes of ours are not only too irksome to wear, but are themselves indecent. Perhaps indeed he or she to whom the free exhilarating ecstasy of nakedness in Nature has never been eligible (and how many thousands there are !) has not really known what purity is — nor what faith or art or health really is. (Probably the whole curriculum of first-class philosophy, beauty, heroism, form, illustrated by the old Hellenic race — the highest height and deepest depth known to civilization in those departments — came from their natural and religious idea of Nakedness.) Many such hours, from time to time, the last two summers -I attribute my partial rehabilitation largely to them. Some good people may think it a feeble or half-crack'd way of spending one's time and thinking. May-be it is. FEBRUARY DAYS

Feb. 9.After an hour's ramble, now retreating, resting, sitting close by the pond, in a warm nook, writing this, shelter'd from the breeze, just before noon. The emotional aspects and influences of Nature! I, too, like the rest, feel these modern tendencies (from all the prevailing intellections, literature and poems,) to turn everything to pathos, ennui, morbidity, dissatisfaction, death. Yet how clear it is to me that those are not the born results, influences of

Nature at all, but of one's own distorted, sick or silly soul. Here, amid this wild, free scene, how healthy, how joyous, how clean and vigorous and sweet! Mid-afternoon.One of my nooks is south of the barn, and here I am sitting now, on a log, still basking in the sun, shielded from the wind. Near me are the cattle, feeding on corn-stalks. Occasionally a cow or the young bull (how handsome and bold he is !) scratches and munches the far end of the log on which I sit. The fresh milky odor is quite perceptible, also the perfume of hay from the barn. The perpetual rustle of dry corn-stalks, the low sough of the wind round the barn gables, the grunting of pigs, the distant whistle of a locomotive, and occasional crowing of chanticleers, are the sounds. SUNDOWN LIGHTS

May 6, 5 P.M.—This is the hour for strange effects in light and shade — enough to make a colorist go delirious — long spokes of molten silver sent horizontally through the trees (now in their brightest tenderest green,) each leaf and branch of endless foliage a lit-up miracle, then lying all prone on the youthful-ripe, interminable grass, and giving the blades not only aggregate but individual splendor, in ways unknown to any other hour. I have particular spots where I get these effects in their perfection. One broad splash lies on the water, with many a rippling twinkle, offset by the rapidly deepening black-green murky-transparent shadows behind, and at intervals all along the banks. These, with great shafts of horizontal fire thrown among the trees and along the grass as the sun lowers, give effects more and more peculiar, more and more superb, unearthly, rich and dazzling. THREE OF US

July 14.—My two kingfishers still haunt the pond. In the bright sun and breeze and perfect temperature of to-day, noon, I am sitting here by one of the gurgling brooks, dipping a French water-pen in the limpid crystal, and using it to write these lines, again watching the feather'd twain, as they Ay and sport athwart the water, so close, almost touch

ing into its surface. Indeed there seem to be three of us. For nearly an hour I indolently look and join them while they dart and turn and take their airy gambols, sometimes far up the creek disappearing for a few moments, and then surely returning again, and performing most of their flight within sight of me, as if they knew I appreciated and absorb’d their vitality, spirituality, faithfulness, and the rapid, vanishing, delicate lines of moving yet quiet electricity they draw for me across the spread of the grass, the trees, and the blue sky. While the brook babbles, babbles, and the shadows of the boughs dapple in the sunshine around me, and the cool west-by-nor’-west wind faintly soughs in the thick bushes and tree tops. HOURS FOR THE SOUL

July 22d, 1878.—Living down in the country again. A wonderful conjunction of all that goes to make those sometime miracle-hours after sunset so near and yet so far. Perfect, or nearly perfect days, I notice, are not so very uncommon; but the combinations that make perfect nights are few, even in a life time. We have one of those perfections to-night. Sunset left things pretty clear; the larger stars were visible soon as the shades allow'd. A while after 8, three or four great black clouds suddenly rose, seemingly from different points, and sweeping with broad swirls of wind but no thunder, underspread the orbs from view everywhere, and indicated a violent heat-storm. But without storm, clouds, blackness and all, sped and vanish'd as suddenly as they had risen ; and from a little after 9 till 11 the atmosphere and the whole show above were in that state of exceptional clearness and glory just alluded to. In the northwest turned the Great Dipper with its pointers round the Cynosure. A little south of east the constellation of the Scorpion was fully up, with red Antares glowing in its neck; while dominating, majestic Jupiter swam, an hour and a half risen, in the east —(no moon till after 11.) A large part of the sky seem'd just laid in great splashes of phosphorus. You could look deeper in, farther through, than usual; the orbs thick as heads of

wheat in a field. Not that there was any special brilliancy
either — nothing near as sharp as I have seen of keen
winter nights, but a curious general luminousness through-
out to sight, sense, and soul. The latter had much to do
with it. (I am convinced there are hours of Nature,
especially of the atmosphere, mornings and evenings,
address'd to the soul. Night transcends, for that purpose,
what the proudest day can do.) Now, indeed, if never
before, the heavens declared the glory of God. It was to
the full sky of the Bible, of Arabia, of the prophets, and
of the oldest poems. There, in abstraction and stillness,
(I had gone off by myself to absorb the scene, to have the
spell unbroken,) the copiousness, the removedness, vitality,
loose-clear-crowdedness, of that stellar concave spreading
overhead, softly absorb’d into me, rising so free, intermi-
nably high, stretching east, west, north, south — and I,
though but a point in the centre below, embodying all.
As if for the first time, indeed, creation noiselessly sank
into and through me its placid and untellable lesson, beyond
-0, so infinitely beyond ! — anything from art, books,
sermons, or from science, old or new. The spirit's hour

– - religion's hour — the visible suggestion of God in space and time now once definitely indicated, if never again. The untold pointed at the heavens all paved with it. The Milky Way, as if some superhuman symphony, some ode of universal vagueness, disdaining syllable and sound

a flashing glance of Deity, address'd to the soul. All silently — the indescribable night and stars — far off and silently. The Dawn.-- July 23.—This morning, between one and two hours before sunrise, a spectacle wrought on the same background, yet of quite different beauty and meaning. The moon well up in the heavens, and past her half, is shining brightly — the air and sky of that cynical-clear, Minerva-like quality, virgin cool — not the weight of sentiment or mystery, or passion's ecstasy indefinable — not the religious sense, the varied All, distillid and sublimated into one, of the night just described. Every star now


clear-cut, showing for just what it is, there in the colorless ether. The character of the heralded morning, ineffably sweet and fresh and limpid, but for the esthetic sense alone, and for purity without sentiment. I have itemized the night — but dare I attempt the cloudless dawn? (What subtle tie is this between one's soul and the break of day? Alike, and yet no two nights or morning shows ever exactly alike.) Preceded by an immense star, almost unearthly in its effusion of white splendor, with two or three long unequal spoke-rays of diamond radiance, shedding down through the fresh morning air below — an hour of this, and then the sunrise. A NIGHT REMEMBRANCE

Aug. 25, 9-10 A.M.-I sit by the pond, everything quiet, the broad polish'd surface spread before me — the blue of the heavens and the white clouds reflected from it

and Aitting across, now and then, the reflection of some flying bird. Last night I was down here with a friend till after midnight ; everything a miracle of splendor — the giory of the stars, and the completely rounded moon the passing clouds, silver and luminous-tawny - now and then masses of vapory illuminated scud — and silently by my side my dear friend. The shades of the trees, and patches of moonlight on the grass — the softly blowing breeze, and just-palpable odor of the neighboring ripening corn -- the indolent and spiritual night, inexpressibly rich, tender, suggestive — something altogether to filter through one's soul, and nourish and feed and soothe the memory long afterwards. A JANUARY NIGHT

Fine trips across the wide Delaware to-night. Tide pretty high, and a strong ebb. River, a little after 8, full of ice, mostly broken, but some large cakes making our strong-timber'd steamboat hum and quiver as she strikes them. In the clear moonlight they spread, strange, unearthly, silvery, faintly glistening, as far as I can Bumping, trembling, sometimes hissing like a thousand snakes, the tide-procession, as we wend with or through it,


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