From A Diary of ...
Was it Clouds? Or a mirage? A dream? Or a vision of that paradise to which all good people are hastening? Ah! Let me gaze it before it melts away! That anything so lovely could be real, never came into my head!
Across the sparkling sea, come twenty miles ahead, the island of Sicily rises before me, purple and blue, and opaline, shaded in tints no human hand can paint, a stupendous mass of piled up mountains, sweeping down in heavenly lines to meet the azure sea. Nothing but mountains, not a span of level land, with Etna throned in the blue sky, a dome of dazzling snow, towering above all.
Along the golden sand just tipped with creamy surf, town after town, village, burg, and tower, bluff, cape, and castle-topped headland, rocky promontory, bay, and bight – come gradually into view like a procession. To each curve of the beauteous coast answers an echoing curve of beauteous sea, spread over with masses of flitting light and shade, soft morning mist and purple mysteries lingering from night.
The clearness of the air, the brilliancy of hues, the ever-changing form of that Neptunian chain – Poseidon’s mountains, with their mysteries of rift and fissure Cyclops-haunted cave, and Nereid-dwelling grotto, the great volcano opposite with its familiar memories of Ulysses and his fleets, Aeneas, Empedocles, the Giant Enceladus – Ah! Who can paint it?From A Diary of an Idle Woman by Frances Elliot.