“I began to occupy my house on the 4th of July, as soon as it was boarded and roofed…”
—from Walden , by Henry David Thoreau
“Noiseless as a flower opening, a rocket burst above the hills. She sat up, watching the white stars curve and fall. Then BOOM! All the night air between her and the town, two and a half miles of it, trembled with the delayed report.
“…Another rocket seared across the sky at an angle and bloomed with hanging green balls. Another went up through the green shower and burst into an umbrella of red. Then three together, all white. Then one that winked hotly but did not flower. BOOM! Went the cushioning air. BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
“…Above the town, streaks of smoke were lighted by the rocket bursts. Under the sodden booming she heard a continuous musketry of firecrackers, big and little. She could imagine the boys and drunken men who would be darting around through the crowds on the Capitol grounds throwing cannon crackers under the feet of tied horses and dressed-up girls, and into the buggies of the dignified.
“…And yet from a distance how beautiful! There was a colored mist all above the unseen city, as if the smoke of the explosions were now lighted by fires from below.”
—from Angle of Repose , by Wallace Stegner