Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

moon reddened by the veil of misty cloud, rising behind a ship on the horizon, and looking like a dull lurid flame over the deck and between the masts and sails.

6. It was the half-moon, of huge apparent size, rising point upwards out of the eastern leaden-gray part of the

She had a dull, scowling visage, as though angry with the sun for cheating her of her nocturnal supremacy. The form of the moon was curiously distorted by the unequally refractive power of the strata of air through which her different parts were seen, the lower limb being unusually lifted and flattened upwards, as though it were soft, and had been dubbed against the hard metallic horizon.— Through Norway with a Knapsack.

sea.

bulwarks, ship's sides.
horizon, the circular line which

bounds the view of the sky and
the earth, formed by their ap-

parent meeting. sabterranean, under the earth.

obvious, evident.
languid, faint.
starboard, right side of a ship.
nocturnal, nightly.
supremacy, superior brightness.
distorted, out of shape.

Describe the distant hills in the north after the sun has set. What is the appearance of the sky in the north? Describe the appearance of the sky in the east and south. Give an account of the rising of the moon. Why did the moon appear so curiously distorted ?

ICE MOUNTAINS IN GREENLAND.

'Tis sunset: to the firmament serene
The Atlantic wave reflects a gorgeous scene;
Broad in the cloudless west, a belt of gold
Girds the blue hemisphere; above unrolld,

The keen clear air grows palpable to sight,
Embodied in a flush of crimson light,
Through which the evening star, with milder gleam,
Descends to meet her image in the stream.

[graphic]

Far in the east, what spectacle unknown
Allures the eye to gaze on it alone?

-Amidst black rocks that lift in either hand
Their countless peaks, and mark receding land;
Amidst a tortuous labyrinth of seas
That shine around the arctic Cyclades;

Amidst a coast of dreariest continent,
In many a shapeless promontory rent;

O'er rocks, seas, islands, promontories spread,
The iceberg rears its undulated head;
On which the sun, beyond the horizon shrined,
Hath left his richest garniture behind;
Piled on a hundred arches, ridge by ridge,
O'er fixed and fluid strides the Alpine bridge,
Whose blocks of sapphire seem to mortal eye
Hewn from cerulean quarries of the sky;
With glacier battlements that crowd the spheres,
The slow creation of six thousand years,
Amidst immensity in towers sublime,
Winter's eternal palace, built by Time.
All human structures by his touch are borne
Down to the dust; mountains themselves are worn
With his light footstep; here for ever grows,
Amid the region of unmelting snows,
A monument, where every flake that falls
Gives adamantine firmness to the walls.
The sun beholds no mirror, in his race,
That shows a brighter image of his face;
The stars, in their nocturnal vigils, rest
Like signal fires on its illumined crest;
The gliding moon around the rampart wheels,
And all its magic lights and shades reveals;
Beneath, the tide with idle fury raves
To undermine it through a thousand caves,
Rent from its roof though thundering fragments oft
Plunge to the gulf, immovable aloft,
From age to age, in air, o'er sea, on land,
Its turrets heighten, and its piers expand.

--James Montgomery.

firmament, the sky.

Cyclades, a cluster of islands. gorgeous, splendid.

garniture, ornament. palpable, evident.

sapphire, a blue gem. allures, entices.

cerulean, sky coloured. receding, retreating.

adamantine, extremely hard. tortuous, winding.

nocturnal, nightly. labyrinth, a place full of windings. vigils, watches.

FALLS OF THE ZAMBESI.

1. Of the African rivers that flow into the Indian Ocean, the largest, so far as is yet known, is the Zambesi, which appears to drain a vast extent of inland country. Its celebrated falls are thus described by Dr. Livingstone:

2. “Have you smoke that sounds in your country?" This is one of the first questions put to the traveller on the shores of the Upper Zambesi, in reference to the Falls of Victoria. The natives do not go near enough to examine these falls; but, viewing them with awe, at a distance, said to Dr. Livingstone, “Smoke sounds there.” “Being persuaded,” says the adventurous and distinguished doctor, “ that Mr. Oswell and myself were the very first Europeans who ever visited the Zambesi in the centre of the country, and that this cataract is the connecting link between the known and unknown portions of that river, I decided to give it the name of Victoria.”

3. "After twenty minutes' sail from Kalai,” Dr. Livingstone continues, we came in sight for the first time of the columns of vapour appropriately called “smoke, rising at a distance of five or six miles, exactly as when large tracts of grass are burned in Africa. Five columns now arose, and, bending in the direction of the wind, they seemed placed against a low ridge covered with

[ocr errors]

5.

trees; the tops of the columns at this distance appeared to mingle with the clouds. They were white below, and higher up became dark, so as to simulate smoke very closely.

4. "The whole scene was extremely beautiful; the banks and islands dotted over the river are adorned with sylvan vegetation of great variety of colour and form. Each tree has its own physiognomy. There, towering over all, stands the great burly baobab, each of whose enormous arms would form the trunk of a large tree; besides groups of graceful palms, which, with their featheryshaped leaves depicted on the sky, lend their beauty to the scene.

As a hieroglyphic, they always mean far froin home; for one can never get over their foreign air in a picture or landscape.

“ The silver mohonono, which in the tropics is in form like the cedar of Lebanon, stands in pleasing contrast with the dark colour of the motsouri, whose cypress form is dotted over with its pleasant scarlet fruit. Some trees resemble the great spreading oak, others assume the character of our own elms and chestnuts; but no one can imagine the beauty of the view from any scenery witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes. The falls are bounded on three sides by ridges 300 or 400 feet in height. The only want felt is that of mountains in the back-ground.

" When about half a mile from the falls I left the canoe by which we had come down thus far, and embarked in a lighter one with men well acquainted with the rapids, who, by passing down the centre of the stream in the eddies and still places caused by many jutting rocks, brought me to an island situated in the middle of the river, and on the edge of the lip over which the water rolls.

6.

« PředchozíPokračovat »