Page:Syria, the land of Lebanon (1914).djvu/27

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THE WHITE MOUNTAIN


and resplendent in the orient hues painted by the Syrian sun. The lower slopes of Lebanon are soft with vineyards and groves of olive, fig and mulberry. Above the green orchards and white villages are dark pine forests, and somber gorges cut deep between smooth, swelling moorlands. Higher still the desolate, lonely slopes are quite bare of vegetation; yet, in the clear atmosphere, they seem as soft as if they were overlaid with bright velvets and shimmering silks. Last of all, the eye is drawn up to the summits of Keneiseh and Sunnin, tinged with orange and purple in the summer sunset, and in winter covered with vast sheets of snow.

From the tropics to the chill barrenness of the arctics — it is all comprehended in one glorious panorama. What an Arabic poet wrote of yonder towering Sunnin is true of the whole range —

"He bears winter upon his head,
 Spring upon his shoulders,
 Autumn in his bosom,
 While summer lies slumbering at his feet."

But Lebanon is more than a splendid spectacle. There would be no Syria, no fertile mother of the olive and orange, no land of the long martial history, no tale of ancient culture or modern enterprise, save for the Mountain, whose lofty peaks break the rain-clouds borne hither by the west winds and drop their precious moisture on the thirsty soil below.

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