Saturday, October 25, 2014

QotD: "A cold, pale, yellow light lay upon the landscape; the towers of Upsala Cathedral ... rose dark against the sky"

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"A cold, pale, yellow light lay upon the landscape; the towers of Upsala Cathedral, and the massive front of the palace, rose dark against the sky, in the south-west; a chill autumnal wind blew over the plains, and the yellowing foliage of the birch drifted across the mysterious mounds, like those few golden leaves of poetry, which the modern bards of the North have cast upon the grave of the grand, muscular religion of the earlier race. There was no melodious wailing in the wind, like that which proclaimed "Pan is dead!" through the groves of Greece and Ionia; but a cold rustling hiss, as if the serpent of Midgard were exulting over the ruin of Walhalla. But in the stinging, aromatic flood of the amber-coloured mead, I drank to Odin, to Balder, and to Freja". Northern Travel Summer and Winter Pictures of Sweden, Denmark and Lapland (1869) by Bayard Taylor 
A few years earlier (and again in the 1870s), Bayard Taylor (1825-1878) was an American poet, literary critic, translator, and travel author. He published a couple of books on Egypt which is where I'd first heard of him when writing my book on Egyptian travel accounts, Nile Notes of a Howadji (1992).

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