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alternately cheered by the rays of the sun, or darkened by clouds, but towards evening every impure vapour had disappeared from the clear azure of heaven, and suffered the departing glory of the sun to shoot his last beams over the varied scenes of reposing nature, ere the broad mantle of night shrouded them in darkness.
As I have before mentioned, the spray which is produced by the fall, rises high above the woody precipice surrounding it, and again falls to the earth. The oblique rays of the setting sun caught those minute particles of water which were dancing in the air, and produced by reflection the appearances of innumerable rainbows, mingled together in the most fantastic confusion, exhibiting tints the most various and brilliant that can be con. ceived.
This beautiful and singular phenomenon, united to the rich colouring of the rocks, the variegated foliage of the trees, the tremendous roaring of the cataract, and some detached columns of illuminated spray, that were playing over the tops
trees more distant, formed a scene grand, beautiful, and impres.. sive in the highest degree, and I could not repress a sensation of regret, that I was obliged to quit the interesting spot so soon. . But most of the pleasures of man are transitory and fleeting as the silvery clouds that roll over him, and he cannot command their con. tinuance.
Leaving this scene, which I can never forget, I approached a range of mountains which appeared to be entirely covered by thick woods of oak and bcach-trees. My road appeared to wind amongst them, and at their feet, the river before mentioned, glided onwards in a gentle murmuring, and beautifully meandering stream, uninterrupted by any of those rude impediments, which in my former views of it, had so frequently disturbed the tranquillity of its course.
As I penetrated the woody recesses of these rocks, a secret awe, arising from the influence of the sublime objects which every where arose to my view, and a solemn silence that reigned throughout, crept insensibly over my mind. I appeared to be the only human being then disturbing the native sanctity of the spot. All was calm and serene, as though the creation slept, and not a sound vibrated on the still air, save the hollow tramps of my steed, which were returned in soft responses from the secret echoes that were listening nigh.
The road turned with many windings amongst this wild scenery, and as I was slowly ascenda ing the first rocky eminence I again looked back on the prospect I had quitted, perhaps, for ever. The scene was indeed impressive; the sun had nearly finished his daily course, and his radiant car which had now descended very near the horizon, was just discernable over the bold summits of distant mountains, whose lofty brows were tinged by his golden rays, while his fainter beams had scarcely strength sufficient to cast the lengthened shadows of the neighbouring trees across the road upon which I stood. Part of the lake, which was now left far behind, faintly gleamed through an opening in the remote mountains, and was scarcely distinguishable from the blue mist of evening, that forbade the pensive sight from embracing more distant objects, and threw a veil of softness over the scenery not to be described; whilst the hoarsely roaring of Foyers, now rendered a tremulous murmur by distance, was borne along on the evening breeze, which now began to sigh amongst the trees, and warble wild her sweetest strains of untaught melody. My soul, absorbed in pensive thought, received a kind of divine placidity from the influence of these enchanting notes, played by the invisible minstrels of olus, who were now chanting forth their heavenly music in harmonious consonance with the beau. teous scenery, and which could only be felt.
« In broken air, tremb'ling, the wild music doats,
“ 'Till by degrees, remote and small,
“ In a dying, dying fall."
Such exquisite imagery as I there beheld, might indeed have inspired Scotia's ancient bards with the most sublime conceptions in their poetical effusions, in which are sung the tender tales of love, or the great atchievements of their mightiest chiefs. Here, indeed it was, where the favoured bards of Ossian dwelt and sung amongst the rocks, and shades
woody Morven.” Obliged to proceed, I again pursued my way, and leaving this picturesque and placid
scenery, I entered upon a wilder range of mountains, far more barren than any of those I had yet seen; and as the shades of evening began to darken the prospect, and render every object of one obscure tint, these rude barriers of Nature became of an unusually gloomy appearance, and rose horrific to the view.
The sky, which had hitherto been clear and beatiful, gradually became overspread by heavy clouds, whose sombre hues, nearly hid the pale face of the moon, as she was rising in solemn majesty to her distinguished station in the heavens, and by their encreasing dark. ness, portended a dismal and cheerless night, if not attended with those storms and whirlwinds that sometimes drive along through the northern mountains, and rend their massy heights.
I proceeded as rapidly as my peculiar circumstances would allow, and after a dreary ride I found myself in the middle of a vast black moor. I looked around with painful anxiety, and was not a little delighted when I perceived a
man and a little boy, who were driving some small, meagre, black cattle, across the barren waste, towards a peat-built