THE SETTING OUT
THOUGH sluggards deem it but a foolish chase.
And marvel men should quit their easy chair, The toilsome way and long, long league to trace, Oh! There is sweetness in the mountain air, And life, that bloated ease can never hope to share.
AND long the way appears, which seemed so short
To the less practised eye of sanguine youth, And high the mountain tops in cloudy air, The mountain tops where is the throne of Truth.
LIKE unto these immeasurable mountains, So is my painful life the burden of ire; For Hie be they, and Hie is my desire, And I of teares, and they are full of fountains.
YOUTH AND NATURE
LATER we know more, we understand more, we understand more, we may even come to love more; but the first vision of a young man's love is surpassed by no future splendour, and the first glory of a mountain view never comes again.
POETICAL impressions can be received only among natural scenes... The mountains are natural, therefore we will live in the mountains.
THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK.
I LOOK fondly back on those early journeys north, for it was there that I learnt the love of mountains, which time has but confirmed, and which has become one of the most precious gifts of life.
L. J. OPPENHEIMER.
THE NEW VISION
THE revolution in our modern attitude towards natural beauty was accomplished by poets and painters. Rousseau, and after him Wordsworth and the Lake poets were leaders in this change. "Calm in the bosom of Helvellyn," such descriptive words could not have been uttered or understood before the coming of the romantic age. It was the romantic soul in man that first saw itself reflected in nature. The mountains have always been the same: it was a new eye that saw them.
I CANNOT explain why even the sight of mountains, near or distant, has always filled me with joy. They might be the totally bare and barren cliffs near the coast below Loanda in central Africa, where rain never falls; or the deep valleys of the Caucasus between Tiflis and the savage Lesghian ranges; or the lines of hills beyond the broken bogs of Ireland; or just the rocky grassy mountains of the Lake country, where "my people" once lived with their sheep. It does not make much difference, so long as they are mountains.
HENRY W. NEVINSON.
AFRICA AND RUENZORI
WHAT had seemed the night before to be a mere gap in the low hills was seen to be a noble mountain valley with steep grass-covered slopes and wooded ridges. Above was a bold buttress of sheer black crags, and beyond these towered a snow peak. Poised almost upon the topmost pinnacle was the setting moon, a few days past the full. Whilst we looked, the moon sank out of sight, and a rosy flush spread over the ice and snow. A few moments more, and the snow had vanished like a puff of smoke; a flood of sunlight turned the black crags to a flaming orange, and the grass in the valley glittered with a million drops of dew.
A. F. R. WOLLASTON
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