A Multitude Of Little Birds
Kept Sweeping And Twittering About My Path; They Perched On The Stone
Pillars, They Pecked And Strutted On The Turf, And I Saw Them Circle In
Volleys In The Blue Air, And Show, From Time To Time, Translucent
Flickering Wings Between The Sun And Me.
Almost from the first moment of my march, a faint large noise, like a
distant surf, had filled my ears.
Sometimes I was tempted to think it
the voice of a neighbouring waterfall, and sometimes a subjective result
of the utter stillness of the hill. But as I continued to advance, the
noise increased, and became like the hissing of an enormous tea-urn, and
at the same time breaths of cool air began to reach me from the direction
of the summit. At length I understood. It was blowing stiffly from the
south upon the other slope of the Lozere, and every step that I took I
was drawing nearer to the wind.
Although it had been long desired, it was quite unexpectedly at last that
my eyes rose above the summit. A step that seemed no way more decisive
than many other steps that had preceded it - and, 'like stout Cortez when,
with eagle eyes, he stared on the Pacific,' I took possession, in my own
name, of a new quarter of the world. For behold, instead of the gross
turf rampart I had been mounting for so long, a view into the hazy air of
heaven, and a land of intricate blue hills below my feet.
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