“…in wildness is the preservation of the world . Life consists of wildness. The most alive is the wildest. Not yet subdued by man, its presence refreshes him. . . . When I would re-create myself, I seek the darkest wood, the thickest and most interminable and to the citizen, most dismal, swamp. I enter as a sacred place, a Sanctum sanctorum. There is the strength, the marrow, of Nature. In short, all good things are wild and free. There is something in a strain of music, whether produced by an instrument or by the human voice — take the sound of a bugle in a summer night, for instance, — which by its wildness, to speak without satire, reminds me of the cries emitted by wild beasts in their native forests. It is so much of their wildness as I can understand. Give me for my friends and neighbors wild men, not tame ones. The wildness of the savage is but a faint symbol of the awful ferity with which good men and lovers meet.
I love even to see the domestic animals reassert their native rights — any evidence that they have not wholly lost their original wild habits and vigor; as when my neighbor’s cow breaks out of her pasture early in the Spring and boldly swims the river, a cold grey tide, twenty-five or thirty rods wide,(31) swollen by the melted snow. It is the Buffalo crossing the Mississippi. This exploit confers some dignity on the herd in my eyes — already dignified. The seeds of instinct are preserved under the thick hides of cattle and horses, like seeds in the bowels of the earth, an indefinite period..”