Mountain: A Novel (Classic Reprint)by Clement Wood
High places have always held for a man a spell and a mystery. He could not traverse the windy ways of air, the spacious trails of the birds; but he could climb these rocky steeps, as hard-won steps toward the billowing mountains of clouds, and the beaconing stars, and the sky-homed mystery of mysteries. The hills were a fastness to
Excerpt from Mountain: A Novel
High places have always held for a man a spell and a mystery. He could not traverse the windy ways of air, the spacious trails of the birds; but he could climb these rocky steeps, as hard-won steps toward the billowing mountains of clouds, and the beaconing stars, and the sky-homed mystery of mysteries. The hills were a fastness to daring souls, yielding far vistas of shrunken valleys. They were a menace to the low-dwellers: out of the heights fierce warriors darted, like plunging eagles or swooping hawks, to plunder the placid wealth below. Men were their bone-whitened victims, and their lengthened, pliable arms.
The chill mantle of snow, the provocative veiling of clouds, rested upon them; their streams were arteries to the valleys below, offering life to tree and beast and man, and later an easy path to the shore and the sea. They were size made tangible, power made visible. From their crests the lightning flamed, the hoarse tongue of the thunder spoke. The mountain in labor sometimes brought forth a mouse; sometimes, a rain of fiery death to the Herculaneums cowering at its foot. Ararat and Nebo, Popocatapetl, Pelion and Pele, Olivet and Calvary, were hills. It is no wonder that men sought them: Mahomet in the end went to the mountain. It was on Olympus that Jupiter held his home; it was from storming Sinai that Jehovah thundered.
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