Glorious Morning on the Mountains

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter XIX (7) | Start of Chapter

I paid a shilling for this rare treat, and hurried to catch the first gleaming of light upon these towering heath-topped mountains. The sea again broke upon my view, the road was made upon a mountain so steep, that a stone wall was necessary to keep the traveller safe, and the look down into the sea in many places was truly terrific. A solitary star was here and there twinkling in the west, a mountain-top behind me was white with snow, and as the morning advanced, the rays of the sun shot athwart it, and rested upon the smooth surface of the sea, leaving a heavy shadow from the mountain beneath, giving a picture of light and shade which the painter could alone delineate. The varied color of the purple, grey, and brown of the mountain, the wildness, the song of the morning bird, the "Alps on Alps" rising to view, the cascades of the most sparkling crystal gurgling from their sides, transported me beyond loneliness, hunger, or pain of blistered feet, and at short intervals I was fixed to the spot as when looking on the moonlight view the preceding night. I occasionally mixed my rude voice with the song of the bird and music of the mountain waterfall, and with a heart full of thanksgiving, did I bless the God of love, that he had made this isle of the sea. Persecuted and hated as it is, it has riches of scenery, riches of minerals, and riches of mind, which all others might covet.

Ireland’s Welome to the Stranger is one of the best accounts of Irish social conditions, customs, quirks and habits that you could wish for. The author, Mrs Asenath Nicholson, was an American widow who travelled extensively in Ireland on the eve of the Great Famine and meticulously observed the Irish peasantry at work and play, as well as noting their living conditions and diet. The book is also available from Kindle.