Feb. 11.In the soft rose and pale gold of the declining light, this beautiful evening, I heard the first hum and preparation of awakening springvery faintwhether in the earth or roots, or starting of insects, I know notbut it was audible, as I leand on a rail (I am down in my country quarters awhile,) and lookd long at the western horizon. Turning to the east, Sirius, as the shadows deepend, came forth in dazzling splendor. And great Orion; and a little to the north-east the big Dipper, standing on end.
Feb. 20.A solitary and pleasant sundown hour at the pond, exercising arms, chest, my whole body, by a tough oak sapling thick as my wrist, twelve feet highpulling and pushing, inspiring the good air. After I wrestle with the tree awhile, I can feel its young sap and virtue welling up out of the ground and tingling through me from crown to toe, like healths wine. Then for addition and variety I launch forth in my vocalism; shout declamatory pieces, sentiments, sorrow, anger, &c., from the stock poets or playsor inflate my lungs and sing the wild tunes and refrains I heard of the blacks down south, or patriotic songs I learnd in the army. I make the echoes ring, I tell you! As the twilight fell, in a pause of these ebullitions, an owl somewhere the other side of the creek sounded too-oo-oo-oo-oo, soft and pensive (and I fancied a little sarcastic) repeated four or five times. Either to applaud the negro songsor perhaps an ironical comment on the sorrow, anger, or style of the stock poets.