Italian Byways

Italian Byways

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Italian Byways

Italian Byways

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Italiam Petimus! We left our upland home before daybreak on a clear October morning. There had been a hard frost, spangling the meadows with rime-crystals, which twinkled where the sun's rays touched them. Men and women were mowing the frozen grass with thin short Alpine scythes; and as the swathes fell, they gave a crisp, an almost tinkling sound. Down into the gorge, surnamed of Avalanche, our horses plunged; and there we lost the sunshine till we reached the Bear's Walk, opening upon the vales of Albula, and Julier, and Schyn. But up above, shone morning light upon fresh snow, and steep torrent-cloven slopes reddening with a hundred fading plants; now and then it caught the gray-green icicles that hung from cliffs where summer streams had dripped. There is no color lovelier than the blue of an autumn sky in the high Alps, defining ridges powdered with light snow, and melting imperceptibly downward into the warm yellow of the larches and the crimson of the bilberry. Wiesen was radiantly beautiful: those aërial ranges o the hills that separate Albula from Julier soared crystal- clear above their forests; and for a foreground, on the green fields starred with lilac crocuses, careered a group of children on their sledges. Then came the row of giant peaks--Pitz d'Aela, Tinzenhorn, and Michelhorn, above the deep ravine of Albula--all seen across wide undulating golden swards, close-shaven and awaiting . . .

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