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John Muir

by Enos Mills

From Sierra Club Bulletin, John Muir Memorial Number, Vol. 10, No. 1 (January, 1916).

In December, 1914, John Muir vanished into that mysterious realm into which all trails inevitably lead. He rendered mankind a vast and heroic service. His triumphs were the very greatest. They were made in times of peace for the eternal cause of peace. We are yet too close to the deeds of this magnificent man to comprehend the helpfulness of his work to humanity. His books and his work are likely to be the most influential force in this century. The twentieth century promises to be for mankind the beautiful century of scenery.

The grandest character in national park history and nature literature is John Muir. He has written the great drama of the outdoors. On Nature's scenic stage he gave the wild life local habitation and character - did with the wild folk what Shakespeare did with man. He puts the woods in story, and in his story you are in the wilderness. His prose poems illuminate the forest, the storm, and all the fields of life. He has set Pan's melody to words. he sings of sun-tipped peaks and gloomy cañons, flowery fields and wooded wilds. He has immortalized the Big Trees. His memory is destined to be ever with the silent places, with the bird songs, with wild flowers, with the great glaciers, with snowy peaks, with dark forests, with white cascades that leap in glory, with sunlight and shadow, with the splendid national parks, and with every song that Nature sings in the wild gardens of the world.

Source: Sierra Club Bulletin, Vol. 10, No. 1 (1916 January)

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