The Illustrated London Reading Book eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 275 pages of information about The Illustrated London Reading Book.

    He who hath bent him o’er the dead
    Ere the first day of death is fled;
    The first dark day of nothingness. 
    The last of danger and distress: 
    Before Decay’s effacing fingers,
    Have swept the lines where beauty lingers,
    And mark’d the mild, angelic air,
    The rapture of repose that’s there;
    The fix’d, yet tender traits that streak
    The languor of the placid cheek.

    And, but for that sad shrouded eye,
      That fires not—­wins not—­weeps not—­now;
      And, but for that chill, changeless brow,
    Whose touch thrills with mortality,
    And curdles to the gazer’s heart,
    As if to him it could impart
    The doom he dreads, yet dwells upon: 
    Yes, but for these, and these alone
    Some moments—­ay, one treacherous hour—­
    He still might doubt the tyrant’s power;
    So fair, so calm, so softly seal’d,
    The first, last look by death reveal’d.

      Such is the aspect of this shore;
    ’Tis Greece, but living Greece no more! 
      So coldly sweet—­so deadly fair—­
      We start, for soul is wanting there: 
      Hers is the loveliness in death
      That parts not quite with parting breath;
      But beauty, with that fearful bloom,
      That hue which haunts it to the tomb: 
      Expression’s last receding ray,
      A gilded halo hovering round decay,
      The farewell beam of feeling past away! 
    Spark of that flame—­perchance of Heavenly birth,
    Which gleams, but warms no more its cherish’d earth!

    BYRON.

[Illustration:  SUBTERRANEAN CHAPEL, GREECE.]

* * * * *

THE FORT OF ATTOCK.

[Illustration:  Letter A.]

Attock is a fort and small town in the Punjaub, on the left or east bank of the Indus, 942 miles from the sea, and close below the place where it receives the water of the Khabool river, and first becomes navigable.  The name, signifying obstacle, is supposed to have been given to it under the presumption that no scrupulous Hindoo would proceed westward of it; but this strict principle, like many others of similar nature, is little acted on.  Some state that the name was given by the Emperor Akbar, because he here found much difficulty in crossing the river.  The river itself is at this place frequently by the natives called Attock.  Here is a bridge, formed usually of from twenty to thirty boats, across the stream, at a spot where it is 537 feet wide.  In summer, when the melting of the snows in the lofty mountains to the north raises the stream so that the bridge becomes endangered, it is withdrawn, and the communication is then effected by means of a ferry.

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The Illustrated London Reading Book from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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