Excerpt from Atala
The two shores of the Mississippi present the most extraordinary picture. On the western border vast savannahs spread away farther than the eye can reach, and their waves of Verdure, as they recede, appear to rise gradually into the azure sky, where they fa... de away. In these limitless meadows herds of three or four thousand wild buffaloes wander at random. Sometimes, cleaving the waters as it swims, a bison, laden with years, comes to repose among the high grass on an island of the Mississippi, its forehead ornamented with two crescents, and its ancient and slimy beard' giving it the appearance of a god of the river throwing an. Eye of satisfaction upon the grandeur of its waters, and the wild abundance of its shores.
Such is the scene upon'the western border; but it Changes on the opposite side, which forms an admirable Contrast with the other shore. Suspended along the course of the waters, grouped upon the rocks and upon the mountains, and dispersed in the valleys, trees of every form, of every color, and of every perfume, throng and grow together, stretching up into the air to heights that weary the eye to follow. Wild vines, bignonias, coloquintidas, intertwine each other at the feet of these trees, escalade their trunks, and creep along to the extremity of their branches, stretching from the maple to the tulip-tree, from the tulip-tree to the holly-hock, and thus forming thousands of grottoes, arches and porticoes. Often, in their wanderings from tree to tree, these creepers cross the arm of a river, over which they throw a bridge of flowers. Out of the midst of these masses, the magnolia, raising its motionless cone, surmounted by large white buds, commands all the forest, where it has no other rival than the palm-tree, which gently waves, close by, its fans of verdure.
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