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The Last Harvest

John Burroughs

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I had rather see Phœbe building her mud nest than the preacher writing his sermon. I had rather see the big moth emerge from her cocoon—fresh and untouched as a coin that moment from the die—than the most fashionable "coming out" that society ever knew. The first song sparrow or bluebird or robin in spring, or the first hepatica or arbutus or violet, or the first clover or pond-lily in summer—must we demand some mystic password of them? Must we not love them for their own sake, ere they will seem worthy of our love?

To convert natural facts into metaphysical values, or into moral or poetic values—in short, to make literature out of science—is a high achievement, and is worthy of Emerson at his best, but to claim that this is their sole or main use is to push idealism to the extreme. The poet, the artist, the nature writer not only mixes his colors with his brains, he mixes them with his heart's blood. Hence his pictures attrac. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is a difficult review to post, but the gist of it is simple: Read John Burroughs, but don't read this one unless you're doing scholarship on the man.

This is the second of the two posthumous essay collections that his girlfriend, Clara Barrus, put out after his death. Burroughs had a huge follow