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.
an hour.  The crest of the mountain is table-land, 600 or 700 yards in height from north to south, and about half as much across, and a flat field of about an acre occurs at a level of some 20 or 25 feet lower than the eastern brow.  There are remains of several small ruined tanks on the crest, which still catch the rain water dripping through the crevices of the rock, and preserve it cool and clear, it is said, throughout the year.

[Illustration:  MOUNT TABOR.]

The tops of this range of mountains are barren, but the slopes and valleys afford pasturage, and are capable of cultivation, from the numerous springs which are met with in all directions.  Cultivation is, however, chiefly found on the seaward slopes; there many flourishing villages exist, and every inch of ground is turned to account by the industrious natives.

[Illustration:  FIG TREE.]

[Illustration:  SYCAMORE.]

Here, amidst the crags of the rocks, are to be seen the remains of the renowned cedars with which Lebanon once abounded; but a much larger proportion of firs, sycamores, mulberry trees, fig trees, and vines now exist.

* * * * *

UNA AND THE LION.

[Illustration:  Letter S.]

      She, that most faithful lady, all this while,
        Forsaken, woful, solitary maid,
      Far from the people’s throng, as in exile,
        In wilderness and wasteful deserts stray’d
      To seek her knight; who, subtlely betray’d
        By that false vision which th’ enchanter wrought,
      Had her abandon’d.  She, of nought afraid,
        Him through the woods and wide wastes daily sought,
    Yet wish’d for tidings of him—­none unto her brought.

      One day, nigh weary of the irksome way,
        From her unhasty beast she did alight;
      And on the grass her dainty limbs did lay
        In secret shadow, far from all men’s sight: 
      From her fair head her fillet she undight,
        And laid her stole aside; her angel face,
      As the great eye that lights the earth, shone bright,
        And made a sunshine in that shady place,
    That never mortal eye beheld such heavenly grace.

      It fortun’d that, from out the thicket wood
        A ramping lion rushed suddenly,
      And hunting greedy after savage blood,
        The royal virgin helpless did espy;
      At whom, with gaping mouth full greedily
        To seize and to devour her tender corse,
      When he did run, he stopp’d ere he drew nigh,
        And loosing all his rage in quick remorse,
    As with the sight amazed, forgot his furious force.

      Then coming near, he kiss’d her weary feet,
        And lick’d her lily hand with fawning tongue,
      As he her wronged innocence did meet: 
        Oh! how can beauty master the most strong,

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