My Place Upon This Dividing Barrier Was As A Man's
Puzzling Station In Eternity, Between The Birthless Past And The
Future That Has No End.
Behind me I left an old, decrepit world;
religions dead and dying; calm tyrannies expiring in silence; women
hushed and swathed, and turned into waxen dolls; love flown, and in
its stead mere royal and "paradise" pleasures.
Before me there
waited glad bustle and strife; love itself, an emulous game;
religion, a cause and a controversy, well smitten and well
defended; men governed by reasons and suasion of speech; wheels
going, steam buzzing - a mortal race, and a slashing pace, and the
devil taking the hindmost - taking ME, by Jove (for that was my
inner care), if I lingered too long upon the difficult pass that
leads from thought to action.
I descended and went towards the west.
The group of cedars remaining on this part of the Lebanon is held
sacred by the Greek Church on account of a prevailing notion that
the trees were standing at a time when the temple of Jerusalem was
built. They occupy three or four acres on the mountain's side, and
many of them are gnarled in a way that implies great age, but
except these signs I saw nothing in their appearance or conduct
that tended to prove them contemporaries of the cedars employed in
Solomon's Temple. The final cause to which these aged survivors
owed their preservation was explained to me in the evening by a
glorious old fellow (a Christian chief), who made me welcome in the
valley of Eden.
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