Remembering Edgar Wayburn
By Harold Gilliam
The following reminiscence by Harold Gilliam, author and former columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, details events from Wayburn's successful struggle to create California's 75,000-acre Golden Gate National Recreation Area-one of the first urban national parks in the United States.
One afternoon in Washington in the spring of 1979, I was sitting in the inner office of San Francisco congressman Phillip Burton on Capitol Hill as he told me about his recent triumph in passing a bill that created an unprecedented expansion of the national park system.
His reception room was crowded with people waiting to see him, but here he was in his sanctuary, relaxing in an easy chair, with his shoes off and his collar unbuttoned, recalling how the great legislative victory had happened. He described how he had been inspired by "Ed" to put the bill together, how he had lined up support for the bill by providing national park units that "Ed" had recommended in various parts of the country, how he planned to check with "Ed" on further park needs.
"Ed is my guru," he said, grinning.
Baker Beach, a mile-long strand on the south shore of the Golden Gate, is one of those places, like the Grand Canyon, that seem to be pervaded by a sense of flowing time.
Strolling there as the breakers arch and boom offshore, I often envision the ancient river that carved this gorge in the Pleistocene. I think of the Ohlone Indians who used to pry shellfish from the nearby rocks at the tideline. I think of Juan Bautista de Anza, the founder of San Francisco, who walked here in 1776. But most of all, I think of Ed.
Wayburn Stands His Ground
Dr. Edgar Wayburn was hiking with a small group on a remote wilderness trail on the Alaskan island of West Chichagov when the leading member of the party came running back, yelling, "Bear! Bear!" and disappeared to the rear. But an old Alaska hand walking with Wayburn warned, "No, don't run. Stand your ground."
Ed recalled, "I saw the bear come around a bend in the trail, and he was so big I thought he was rearing up on his hind legs, but then I saw he was on all fours."
It was an Alaska grizzly, one of the biggest and fiercest land carnivores on Earth. Wayburn's companion began to yell, jump, and wave his arms. Wayburn did the same. In response, the giant mammal stopped in its tracks, reared up to its full height, and began to roar like a lion.
Peggy Wayburn came up from the rear and stared in horror at the two men confronting the raging animal. After an agonizingly long moment, the bear went down on all fours, turned, and lumbered back the way it had come. That confrontation symbolizes Wayburn's work of a lifetime. He made a career of facing down not bears but bulldozers (or their political equivalent)--and turning them back.
"Ed" is Dr. Edgar Wayburn, five-term past president of the Sierra Club and lifetime honorary president, who died March 5, 2010, at the age of 103. Until shortly before his death, he was still consulting on Club projects. On the sandy slopes behind these sand dunes is a mixed woodland of live oaks, Monterey cypresses, and pines. If it had not been for Wayburn, this forest undoubtedly would have been replaced by a row of private mansions along the beach.
I look across to the Marin County hills on the far side of the Golden Gate, where years ago a developer began the groundwork for a small city, to include high-rise buildings. Highway engineers also had plans to slice through those hills, for a freeway running from the Golden Gate Bridge northwestward up the coast.
Thanks to Ed Wayburn and his colleagues, most of the north and south shores of the strait visible from here are now protected as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), which might well be called Wayburn National Park.
Similar stories could be told of natural and historic places throughout the continent now preserved as a result of campaigns instigated or crucially supported by Wayburn: redwood groves, lakeshores, prairies, boreal forests, glacial valleys, mountain ranges, coastlines, and enclaves of nature in urban regions, all reflecting the natural diversity and beauty of the American earth. Millions of people who find physical and spiritual renewal in visiting these natural treasures are unaware of their debt to Wayburn and his lifetime of work on behalf of present and future generations. Even many who may know about John Muir, Ansel Adams, David Brower, and other conservation leaders are unlikely to have heard his name.
The reasons for his relative obscurity are tied to his 50-year career as a physician in San Francisco; he did his volunteer conservation work on nights and weekends. He never cared about publicity for himself and preferred to work quietly behind the scenes. Dealing either with patients or politicians, he spoke softly, listened carefully, and presented the facts with authority. His colleague Amy Meyer believes that his two careers--in medicine and conservation--complemented each other perfectly: "Ed is a healer, a healer of people, a healer of the Earth. He brings the same skill and compassion to both jobs."
Wayburn's concern with conservation began in the 1930s, when he moved to California from his native Georgia and began to hike in the Bay Area hills, including 2,600-foot Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County, north of the Golden Gate, a region of oak woodlands, redwood and Douglas fir forests, grassy meadows, creeks, and waterfalls. In 1939 he joined the Sierra Club and became a trip physician on Club summer outings.
After serving as a medical officer in the Army Air Corps during World War II, he returned to see subdivisions being built on the Tamalpais foothills. The dismal prospect of losing the mountain to urbanization pitched him into action.
Over a period of nearly a quarter century, he made repeated trips to Sacramento to persuade officials to buy more land for the small Mt. Tamalpais State Park. He became so well known to state park authorities and legislators that some of them reportedly headed for the back door when they saw him coming. In the long run, however, his persuasion and determination worked. When he started, the park consisted of 870 acres; 24 years later its acreage was 6,300.
He didn't do it alone, of course. Early in the game he shrewdly allied himself with local conservation groups and helped mobilize grassroots action. But that was only the beginning. He ultimately envisioned an eye-popping goal: a national park to preserve not only the extended Tamalpais region but also the Golden Gate itself and many miles of the spectacular California coastline north and south.
It was a grand vision--so grand that it sounded like pie in the sky. The hard reality was the postwar building boom, under the dominant gospel of growth as progress. The bulldozers were roaring everywhere, and those bins and that coastline seemed doomed to rapid urbanization.
There was another problem with Ed's vision. Traditionally, national parks existed to protect wild mountain areas, not populated places like the very urban San Francisco Bay Area.
However, there were two precedents for federal action in the region. One was the small Muir Woods National Monument, below Mt. Tamalpais, established by Theodore Roosevelt in 1908. The other was on a rural peninsula 30 miles north of San Francisco, where Ed, as Sierra Club president in the early 1960s, had helped create Point Reyes National Seashore. That effort had been spearheaded by Congressman Clem Miller, who died in a plane crash shortly after the Point Reyes bill was signed by President Kennedy in 1962.
Miller's death was a serious loss to the conservation cause, but Wayburn went on to cultivate other legislators and officials in Washington, as he bad done for decades in Sacramento. In 1964, on one of his regular trips to D.C., he ran into Representative Phillip Burton in a hotel dining room. Burton, a young San Franciscan who had recently been elected to the House. He pulled his chair over to the Wayburn table and asked Ed about his work. That fortuitous encounter turned out to be the beginning of a highly improbable partnership that made conservation history.
Previously, as a member of the California legislature, Burton bad earned a reputation as a profane, brass-knuckled, hard-drinking master of the legislative process. Yet he now found a friend he could respect in the quiet older gentleman from Georgia. He saw Wayburn's vision of a national park at the Golden Gate as a political cause of immense potential. Likewise, Wayburn was impressed by Burton's legislative skill and his energy. In time, the two developed a close friendship.
Before this meeting with Burton, Ed had been laying the groundwork in the Bay Area. He formed an alliance with Amy Meyer, a San Francisco neighborhood activist, and the two organized a grassroots organization they called People for a Golden Gate National Recreation Area (which formed the unfortunate acronym PFGGNRA). While Ed frequently rode the red-eye to Washington, Meyer energetically charged into action, garnering support for the idea from Bay Area chambers of commerce, environmental and neighborhood groups, and luncheon clubs.
When Ed later showed up in Burton's office with a map of his proposed national recreation area at the Golden Gate, the new congressman asked, "Is this what you want?" Wayburn's response was equivocal. "Well, we really want something bigger, but we didn't think it would be feasible in Congress."
Burton bellowed, "Don't worry about what's feasible! Bring in a map of everything you want. I'll handle Congress."
Coming from a young Congressman, that remark sounded like braggadocio. But Ed was duly pleased and later returned with a map proposing a much larger park. With his characteristic go-for-broke attitude, Burton wrote the unlikely plan into a series of bills he blithely tossed into the hopper.
Wayburn, meantime, zeroed in on the administration. The key official in this case was the new secretary of the interior, Rogers Morton. But Morton refused to see him. The secretary did not have a high opinion of the Sierra Club, which had opposed his nomination for the job by President Richard Nixon.
Like many an official before him, however, Morton found that the Sierra Club president was not easily discouraged. Ed kept returning to Washington and finally got into Morton's office on the third try.
The cabinet member, who expected to be presented with some impossible environmental demands, was disarmed by Wayburn's cordial approach and reasonable manner. The meeting turned out to be the first of several over a period of years.
Ed was even able to persuade Morton to take a helicopter tour of the Bay Area and see the potential park for himself. Meantime, the National Park Service had submitted plans for a pip-squeak park at the Golden Gate, including only Alcatraz and some decommissioned military lands in Marin.
"The park service wants me to support their plan, Morton later testified to the Senate Interior Committee. "But I went out there to the site with my friend Dr. Wayburn, and he convinced me." The secretary endorsed the much larger PFGGNRA plan embodied in Burton's bill.
Morton quietly passed along the word to the White House. When President Nixon arrived in the Bay Area on the campaign trail in 1972, he told Ed, "You get Congress to pass that bill, and I'll sign it."
Congress, of course, was Burton's department. His tactics included some intricate Machiavellian maneuvering. He crafted some omnibus bills that not only established and later enlarged the Golden Gate National Recreation Area but also shrewdly provided for new national park units (including historic sites) in the districts of most congressmen and senators who were up for reelection, providing them with tangible goodies to impress the voters. Critics called them Burton's "park barrel" bills. One congressman labeled them "political chutzpah."
Chutzpah or not, Burton's legislative legerdemain--combined with California senator Alan Cranston's work in the upper house--had finally brought to fruition decades of efforts by Wayburn and allied environmentalists. When it was over, Bay Area coastal parklands--federal, state and local--totaled almost 200,000 acres, an area six times the size of San Francisco.
Among the scores of other parks coming out of Burton's barrel were such Wayburn recommendations as Mineral King Valley (an addition to Sequoia National Park), Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota, and the Pine Barrens Reserve in New Jersey, plus Burton-added historical and cultural sites honoring Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr., and Georgia O'Keeffe, a women's rights park, and a Holocaust memorial. Burton's reach was immoderately colossal, but his grasp proved equal. Politically, he left no congressman behind.
Even while the GGNRA battles were raging, Ed Wayburn was moving ahead on other fronts. For years he had been looking 200 miles north of the Golden Gate, to where the world's tallest trees grow.
His coworker in all his endeavors was his wife, Peggy, author of several Sierra Club books. In 1961, at a Club banquet, she sat next to the featured speaker, President Kennedy's new secretary of the interior, Stewart Udall, and told him that there should be a national park in the redwoods.
She explained that although the Save-the-Redwoods League had done valiant work in creating state parks, hundreds of the giant trees in the parks had been destroyed by floods from logged-over areas upstream. A national park could avoid that kind of disaster by embracing complete watersheds.
Udall warmed to the idea and later ordered the National Park Service to develop a park plan for the region. The resulting report by planners Paul Fritz and Chet Brown named several alternative areas for a park and sparked an unprecedented tiff among conservationists as to which area should be chosen.
Guided by Martin Litton, who was on the Sierra Club's board of directors and aware of the National Park Service report, and who knew the redwood region intimately, the Wayburns explored an untouched old-growth forest on Redwood Creek, one of the report's alternative locations. A National Geographic and National Park Service expedition later discovered there the tallest tree then on record, at 367 feet, more than three times the height of the Capitol dome in Washington, D.C.
On Ed's recommendation, the Sierra Club chose Redwood Creek as the site for the park. But the venerable Newton Drury, head of the Save-the-Redwoods League and former director of the National Park Service, favored another old-growth forest on Mill Creek, near the California-Oregon border. To complicate the picture, the politically powerful California lumber industry, profitably "harvesting" the redwoods, marshaled its forces against any national park.
The resulting three-way duel raged for several years. When the Wayburns were not flying on lobbying trips to Washington, they were exploring on foot the little-known basin of Redwood Creek to determine possible park boundaries. Their hikes, often with local activists, took place in spite of the lumber companies' refusal to grant access.
"As we walked along the logging roads," Ed remembered, "we listened for the sound of engines. When we heard one, we would hide in the forest. Once we failed to hear a truck that was coming, and when it rounded a bend, we dove into a ditch on the side of the road. We survived."
On another occasion, on a Redwood Creek tributary named for the aromatic skunk cabbage plant, they were suddenly engulfed in a chilling fog and lost their bearings as darkness fell. Unable to find their way back through the forest, like Jack London's fictional Alaskan, they kindled a campfire with their last match.
"It was impossible to sleep on that cold winter night," Ed recalled, "and we kept circling the fire to keep warm. We told stories and sang every song we knew."
When morning came, they found their way back to civilization, with a very intimate knowledge of Skunk Cabbage Creek.
While the dispute continued, the Sierra Club published full-page ads in major newspapers denouncing the loggers who continued to mow down the ancient trees. Lumber companies retaliated with their own ad barrage, accusing park proponents of trying to "lock up" valuable resources for the sake of a few elitist hikers. Each side threatened to sue the other for libel.
A surprising windfall for the redwood park forces occurred when Ronald Reagan became governor of California. In a speech to lumber interests during his election campaign, Reagan had been famously quoted as saying, "When you've seen one redwood, you've seen 'em all."
The Wayburns were dismayed, since the governor's opposition could jeopardize any park proposal. Luckily for the Sierra Club, Reagan chose Norman "Ike" Livermore, a Republican conservationist and former Sierra Club director, as his secretary of resources. Livermore, who had rafted down Redwood Creek with the Wayburns, arranged for the governor to meet with a Sierra Club delegation. While they waited in Reagan's office, they helped themselves to his omnipresent jelly beans from a jar on his desk.
Reagan came in smiling. "Oh, that legislature," he said. "They'll be the death of me!" He offered his hand to Ed, saying, "Dr. Wayburn, I want you to know I never said it."
The conversation continued in the same cordial vein. The governor made no specific commitment, but the Wayburns left encouraged to believe--correctly as it turned out--that Reagan would not oppose the park.
However, the Club and the Save-the-Redwoods League were still feuding over the location. Backing the league's choice of Mill Creek was Laurance Rockefeller Jr., who had bankrolled many of the league's projects, who took his cues from Drury, and who always had access to the White House under any administration. Seven years after Peggy Wayburn's talk with Udall, Congress finally passed compromise legislation that included both Redwood Creek and Mill Creek forests, but far less than the complete watershed the Sierra Club wanted.
Logging continued on upper Redwood Creek, outside the tight park boundaries, and the Sierra Club effort to include the watershed went on for another 10 years. Working closely with Ed in pressuring Congress during that crucial decade was Sierra Club executive director Michael McCloskey, who contacted all 535 members of the House and Senate.
Finally, in 1978, Phil Burton was able to include an item in his "park barrel" bill that doubled the preserved area to include nearly all of the Redwood Creek basin.
The cost of buying lumber-company land--and providing compensation for displaced loggers--was so high that it required all of Burton's political skill to persuade his colleagues. He did it with the same 1978 omnibus bill that expanded GGNRA, containing park goodies for nearly everybody up for reelection that year.
California senator Alan Cranston carried the equivalent of Burton's bill in the Senate. Kansas senator Bob Dole, who was not running that year, remarked sardonically, "Is there any state other than Kansas that did not end up with a park?"
The Wayburns and their colleagues were finally able to enjoy victory after 17 years of effort. But they were not ready to quit. By this time, their eyes were on another prize--the wildlands of Alaska.
The Wayburns had a perpetual urge to explore all the remaining wild places on the continent. For the summer of 1961, Ed planned a canoe trip on a river in northern Ontario. But Peggy had read several books on Alaska, including John Muir's account of his travels there, and persuaded her husband instead to head north to the biggest state. "My wife generally gets her way," Ed commented. He did not suspect then that the decision would lead to the longest and toughest battle of his life.
Beginning at the overwhelming mountain the natives call Denali, they traveled hundreds of miles and were totally mesmerized by the display of forests, fjords, glaciers, and North America's highest mountain ranges.
Ed recalled, "This was the last great wilderness on the continent. We were so overwhelmed by the magnificence of those mountains that when we came back, I harangued the Club's directors for an hour about making that wilderness a Club project. Alaska was being sliced up by the lumber companies, the pulp-and-paper corporations, and the oil companies. The board agreed."
The Wayburns continued to explore the wildlands there every summer. They saw innumerable bears (most of them not as aggressive as the one on West Chichagov; see sidebar); watched great flocks of waterbirds by the thousands rising from the wetlands; crawled into abandoned wolves' dens; ran whitewater rivers by raft, kayak, and canoe; and flew over wilderness areas with bushwhacking pilots in small planes that were sometimes buffeted by violent storms.
On one occasion Peggy slipped while fording a fast-running creek and was immersed in the icy water before she was rescued. She had to be treated by her husband for hypothermia but was back on the trail later the same day.
As John Muir said about Yosemite and the sequoias, "only the federal government can stop the destruction." But the Wayburns discovered that the feds were sometimes in cahoots with the destroyers. Local U.S. Forest Service officials shared the view of many Alaskans that economic development took precedence over wildland preservation. Ed decided that the Sierra Club should sue the Forest Service, a move that was ultimately successful.
For six years, under the Wayburn leadership, momentum for the Alaska campaign continued to build. Nearly 300 volunteers rallied to the cause throughout the United States. The club published an Alaska newsletter, sold Alaska posters, sponsored slide-show tours, and produced a documentary film Alaska in the Balance, shown to the public and eventually to Congress. Peggy coauthored a Sierra Club book, Alaska the Great Land, with spectacular color photographs of green landscapes and wildlife--a volume countering the popular notion of Alaska as simply a mass of ice and snow at the top of the continent.
At the same time, opposition grew among Alaskans, including most of their representatives in Washington. They resented any possible federal action that would interfere with all-out economic development. In Anchorage and Juneau, bumper stickers proclaimed "Alaska for Alaskans" and "Sierra Club Go Home." Some Alaskans even talked about seceding from the United States.
The bicentennial year of 1976 brought high hope to environmentalists when Jimmy Carter and a new Congress were elected. Arizona representative Morris Udall, usually friendly to conservation, became chairman of the House Interior Committee, and Phil Burton headed the House Subcommittee on National Parks. Together with 25 other House members, Udall and Burton introduced a bill to protect 115 million Alaskan acres, including national parks and wildlife refuges. To back the bill, 50 volunteer lobbyists filled the Sierra Club's Washington office and fanned out over Capitol Hill.
One invaluable ally was Laurance Rockefeller, who formed "Americans for Alaska," a counterpoint to "Alaska for Alaskans." The organization sponsored a full-page ad for the bill in all major U.S. newspapers. Two weeks later the Udall-Burton bill easily passed the House.
The Senate was another matter. Alaska's senators threatened to filibuster, claiming that the legislation would stymie the state's economic development by "locking up" large areas in protected reserves.
There were two more years of further pulling and hauling on Capitol Hill--endless lobbying, testifying, negotiating, publicizing. Like John Muir, Wayburn was a wilderness buff who had become an expert in political strategy.
Sierra Club staffer Douglas Scott watched him in admiration: "I remember during the fight on the Alaska lands bill when Mike McCloskey and I were in the Senate reception room buttonholing any senator who happened to walk in. We would simply introduce the senators to Ed, who would take them into a corner and give them the Sierra Club's message on the bill. They listened to him respectfully. He speaks softly and courteously but with great authority. I watched him with a big grin. This was a grand master at work."
By this time all the major U.S. environmental organizations had joined the battle for Alaska, following the lead of Wayburn and the Sierra Club. Hundreds of young backpacking activists from Alaska and across the country converged on Washington to work for the cause, many of them bedding down in the Sierra Club's cramped quarters on lower Pennsylvania Avenue.
The battle reached a climax at the end of 1980. In the November election, President Carter was defeated for reelection by Ronald Reagan, who would be supported by a change of the guard in Congress, with a Republican majority taking over in January. Ike Livermore was no longer with Reagan to guide his environmental policy, and Wayburn feared the worst.
Ed recalled, "We had to get the bill through quickly. We had little faith that a new president and Congress would be favorable."
After a burst of frenzied lobbying by both sides, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act was pushed through the Senate and survived, with a few compromises, through hectic sessions of a conference committee with the House.
In a triumphant but ironic ceremony, President Carter, who had strongly backed the bill from the beginning, signed it into law shortly before he left the White House. As leader of the unprecedented Alaska coalition, Ed watched the president sign the bill in the historic East Room. "It was a bittersweet experience," Wayburn recalled. "Carter stands out in my mind as one of the country's greatest presidents."
The Alaska Act protected 104 million acres of wilderness and wildlife habitat in all parts of the big state-from mountains and forests of southeast Alaska to the tundra of the North Slope on the Arctic Sea. Thirteen years of unremitting struggle had paid off. It was the biggest land conservation act in American history.
After the victory celebration, some of Ed's colleagues thought that at 74 he finally would hang up his hat and rest on his laurels. They underestimated his tenacity. "I knew it wasn't over," he said. "I knew the interests trying to log Alaska's forests and drill for oil would find loopholes in the act. I knew government agencies favorable to them would be lenient in their enforcement of the law."
Which is exactly what happened under the Reagan administration. As chair of the Sierra Club's Alaska Task Force, Wayburn again helped mobilize conservationists to battle commercial invasions. One major success came in 1990, when Congress acted to restrict logging in Tongass National Forest, a measure signed by the first President Bush.
They have had no such luck during the Bush II regime, which is determined to permit more logging and oil drilling in protected areas, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge--a bid that was narrowly defeated in the Senate in 2003 after determined lobbying by Wayburn and company.
"But we know they'll be back," he said. "And we'll be ready for them. There are no permanent victories in conservation, in Alaska or anywhere else."
At 97, Ed was still traveling to Washington on Sierra Club business and to Alaska to monitor the action there. He was sidelined with grief after Peggy died in 2002, but he went on to complete his memoirs, Your Land and Mine: The Evolution of a Conservationist, published by the Sierra Club and the University of California Press in 2004.
He made no claim that he alone was responsible for the conservation achievements in which he was involved. His role was to conceive of the grand plans and exert personal pressure at crucial times, but he gave full credit to his co-leaders in each campaign, the colleagues who concentrated on the details and the foot soldiers on the battlefront.
Michael McCloskey, his close coworker over the years, offered this appraisal: "No one ever worked harder than Wayburn or more steadfastly. And he kept at it--in one campaign after another. In each campaign he learned things and got more and more skillful. There has never been anyone else like him."
Wayburn received recognition in high places. Among his 31 local, national, and international citations are the Albert Schweitzer Award for Humanitarianism and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Clinton. His reputation as Mr. Persistence carried its own message: He was amazingly immune to burnout, a malady that takes a high toll among people devoted to the environment or other consuming causes. Innumerable defeats only renewed his determination to hang in there after most others dropped out from fatigue or discouragement.
The results speak for themselves: preservation of vast regions of natural America, from urban and regional parks enjoyed by millions of people to remote wilderness areas where life goes on as it has for thousands of years.
As was his habit, he always looked far into the future. "Everything that has been done for the environment in the past 50 years," he said, "is a prologue to the much greater work of preserving the earth. We have to stop plundering the planet and learn to live in a sustainable way. This is a job not only for us but for generations to come."
Some years ago I was asked to write a profile on Ed Wayburn for a national magazine. The editor had some specific instructions: "I don't want a puff piece. Everybody has some dark areas. Let's hear the whole story, warts and all."
I was well aware that recent trends in biography required at least a dose of scandal, so my job would presumably include finding some skeleton in the Wayburn closet. In a deranged moment one night at 3 a.m., I even dreamed up a title for the article: "Dr. Wayburn and Mr. Hyde."
For months I dug into the archives, queried scores of people who had been associated with Ed, and consulted the usual anonymous sources. I did learn that, during his time as Club president, some members of the board felt that he had been too tolerant of Dave Brower when Dave launched major projects without the board's approval. Others thought that he should have backed Brower all the way. And some members of the Club staff felt that he consistently made too many demands on them. (Although far fewer than he made on himself.)
But I never found Mr. Hyde. I turned the results over to the magazine editor, but the article was never published. At the risk of my journalistic reputation as a member of a cynical profession, I am going to end with my summary conclusions about Ed, as expressed in some lines by Stephen Spender:
"I think continually of those who were truly great . . .
The names of those who in their lives fought for life,
Who wore at their hearts the fire's center.
Born of the sun, they traveled a short while towards the sun,
And left the vivid air signed with their honor."