From the land where our masters no longer can task us,
1 shall see the rich forest that waves o'er Damascus ;
From the peaks of high Lebanon, sacred and hoary,
I shall look o'er that country, and think of its glory.
Sir J. Hanmer.
Day dawned upon our rocky couch in a couple of hours. We
had been sleeping under our horses, and they had never stirred a
limb for fear of hurting us.* The evening before, our path had
lain among bosomy hills, and quiet-looking, drab-coloured val-
leys. This scenery, if not attractive, was at least inoffensive;
and when daylight came, and found where we had wandered to,
the change was great indeed. It seemed as if some great battle
of the elements had taken place during the night; the rocks been
rent asunder in the struggle, and Nature ghastily wounded in the
fray. Wildly distorted as the scenery seemed when the sun
shone over it, there was a fearful silence and want of stir that
enhanced its effect. Cliffs nodded over us as if they had been
awake all night and could stand it no longer; precipices and
dark ravines yawned beneath us, fixed, as it were, in some spasm
of the nightmare. Not a living thing was to be seen around, no
drop of water, no leaf of tree—nothing but a calm, terrible sun-
shine above, and blackened rocks and burnt soil below.
We emerged from these savage gorges into a wide, dishearten-
ing plain, bounded by an amphitheatre of dreary mountains. Our
horses had had no water for twenty-four hours, and we no re-
* The " de;v of Hermon" fell so heavily during the night, that it ran off
our capotes in rivulets, when wo shook them ;—one of the thousand instances
»f the faithful reflection of the past in the present.