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There's a midnight blackness changing
Men of thought, and men of action,
Clear the way!
2. Once the welcome light has broken,
Who shall say
Of the day?
In its ray ?
Clear the way!
3. Lo! a cloud's about to vanish
From the day;
Clear the way!
For their prey;
Clear the way!
1. There are no large trees in Iceland, a few low bushes and stunted pines alone adorning the ground. Corn will not ripen in its short summer, nor on its sterile soil. It is a land of vast snow-plains and huge icebergs. In the latter ships often get frozen up for the long winter of these regions.
2. The people live chiefly on butter, milk, fish, and porridge made of Iceland moss, with a little fresh meat occasionally,— but the latter and rye bread are considered holiday fare. Yet they are very happy and contented; and they will tell you that “ Iceland is the best country that the sun shines on.”
3. One day a traveler was rambling among the rocks admiring the wild scenery before him, when he heard some children singing. On looking, he saw a party of little folks with baskets on their arms. They were gathering the moss which grew among the rocks and hardened lava. The following lines were the burden of
4. “Over slippery rocks we climb,
Or through lonely valleys go;
Those of chill and frozen snow :
5. No lonely birds need guard their nest
When our hasty steps they hear;
For search like ours ye need not fear;
6. Steep the rock and straight the path;
Sure the death that waits below!
For the power of God we know;
7. Those who dwell on the coast are employed in fishing, while those in the interior guide their flocks, and range over the hills in search of moss, repair their little huts, get in turf for fuel, take the wool from the sheep, dry meat and fish for winter food, gather down from the nests of the eider-duck, and prepare articles to export to Denmark.
8. Iceland is a little world of ice-mountains, volcanoes, and geysers, or boiling springs. The “Great Geyser” is a mound of stones, at the top of which is a basin formed by the action of the water. At the bottom of the basin is a kind of deep pit, like a pipe, through which the water is forced. This basin gradually fills with water. There is a noise like distant artillery, and the ground trembles under feet.
9. In a short time there is another shock, when the earth around the basin begins to heave and sink and the water boils violently and overflows. Loud reports now follow one another rapidly, increasing to a perfect roar, and in a few moments the boiling water rushes upward through volumes of steam, column rising above column, as if each were bent on outstripping the other, and throwing up stones to a considerable height. This is repeated at intervals of some hours, and when the water is spent, columns of steam continue to rush up with a deafening Jökul, is still more fearful and destructive. In 1783, three fire-spouts broke out on this mountain, which rose to a great height, and sent forth a torrent of red-hot lava, which flowed for six weeks, and dried up rivers, destroyed valleys, villages, cattle, and more than two hundred people. This terrible eruption was followed by a famine and pestilence which lasted for two years.
10. Mount Hecla, in Iceland, is celebrated on account of its frequent eruptions; but another mount, called Skaptar
Picture Gallery of Nations.
XXX.-LIFE IN RUSSIA. Extract from an address by Hon. Marshall Jewell, formerly Minister
of the United States at the Court of the Czar. 1. “I have experienced much greater cold in my home in Hartford than in Russia. But the average winter temperature is certainly very low there. Frosts begin in September; by the first of October all the leaves have fallen; by the 10th and 12th ice is abundant, and by November every thing is hermetically sealed up for the next eight months.
2. “The sun's rays fall so nearly horizontally in midwinter that they impart but little warmth during the short days of four or five hours; consequently the temperature at noonday is but few degrees higher than at night.
3. “After winter sets in the houses are carefully closed up to keep out the cold, and, as the ventilation is very defective, nearly all the women who are confined at home have a sallow, unhealthy complexion, but the men are generally a fine stalwart race.
4. “ The fruit buds do not begin to swell before May, but, by the accumulation of heat in the long days and short nights of summer, fruit and grass are ripened in an incredibly short period, as they have to be if at all, to avoid the early frosts; but of course fruit grown and harvested in the space of sixty or seventy days can not be of remarkable quality.
5. “Although there is plenty of snow, I have never seen a snow-storm during my residence in Russia. The explanation is as follows: St. Petersburg is built on very low, flat land at the mouth of the Neva, and the atmosphere is saturated with moisture arising from the soil and the bodies of water adjacent.
6. A slight reduction of temperature is sufficient to congeal this moisture, and it is deposited in the form of snow, or rather ice-crystals, at the rate of two inches every night, until it attains the depth of several feet; and yet no one has seen it fall.
7. “As there is no such thing as a hill any where near St. Petersburg, artificial ones are made, so as to provide the means for the amusement of coasting on steel-shod sledges, of which the Russians are very fond. As an illustration of the soil in St. Petersburg, it is said the piles upon which the principal church is built cost as much as some of the finest churches in this country, and yet it has settled some.”
1. Such beautiful, beautiful hands!
They're neither white nor small,
That they were fair at all.
2. I've looked on hands whose form and hue
A sculptor's dream might be,
Most beautiful to me.