Essays Of Travel, By Robert Louis Stevenson


































































































 -   Our noisy years did indeed
seem moments in the being of the eternal silence; and the wind, in
the face - Page 260
Essays Of Travel, By Robert Louis Stevenson - Page 260 of 262 - First - Home

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Our Noisy Years Did Indeed Seem Moments In The Being Of The Eternal Silence; And The Wind, In The Face Of That Great Field Of Stationary Blue, Was As The Wind Of A Butterfly's Wing.

The placidity of the sea was a thing likewise to be remembered.

Shelley speaks of the sea as 'hungering for calm,' and in this place one learned to understand the phrase. Looking down into these green waters from the broken edge of the rock, or swimming leisurely in the sunshine, it seemed to me that they were enjoying their own tranquillity; and when now and again it was disturbed by a wind ripple on the surface, or the quick black passage of a fish far below, they settled back again (one could fancy) with relief.

On shore too, in the little nook of shelter, everything was so subdued and still that the least particular struck in me a pleasurable surprise. The desultory crackling of the whin-pods in the afternoon sun usurped the ear. The hot, sweet breath of the bank, that had been saturated all day long with sunshine, and now exhaled it into my face, was like the breath of a fellow-creature. I remember that I was haunted by two lines of French verse; in some dumb way they seemed to fit my surroundings and give expression to the contentment that was in me, and I kept repeating to myself -

'Mon coeur est un luth suspendu, Sitot qu'on le touche, il resonne.'

I can give no reason why these lines came to me at this time; and for that very cause I repeat them here.

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