Thursday, August 28, 2003

Through the desert flows the river—a thread of blue silk drawn across an enormous brown drugget*; and even this thread is brown for half the year. Where the water laps the sand and soaks into the banks there grows an avenue of vegetation which seems very beautiful and luxuriant by contrast with what lies beyond. The Nile, through all the three thousand miles of its course vital to everything that lives beside it, is never so precious as here. The traveler clings to the strong river as to an old friend, staunch in the hour of need. All the world blazes, but here in shade. The deserts are hot, but the Nile is cool. The land is parched, but here is abundant water. The picture painted in burnt sienna is relieved by a grateful flash of green.

Winston Churchill describing the Nile in The River War.

*Drugget – a rug made of a coarse fabric having a cotton warp and a wool filling.

No comments:

Post a Comment