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Desolation   Listen
noun
Desolation  n.  
1.
The act of desolating or laying waste; destruction of inhabitants; depopulation. "Unto the end of the war desolations are determined."
2.
The state of being desolated or laid waste; ruin; solitariness; destitution; gloominess. "You would have sold your king to slaughter,... And his whole kingdom into desolation."
3.
A place or country wasted and forsaken. "How is Babylon become a desolation!"
Synonyms: Waste; ruin; destruction; havoc; devastation; ravage; sadness; destitution; melancholy; gloom; gloominess.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Desolation" Quotes from Famous Books



... mind, however, that a really clever and sensible woman is able to do many things excellently. Was Mrs. Fry less a good wife and able mother, because she visited prisons, and saved many of her sex from desolation and death? She had eight children, and no one doubts that each one had every care that a devoted mother could bestow upon him. Was Grace Darling less loving and obedient as a daughter, because she ...
— Grace Darling - Heroine of the Farne Islands • Eva Hope

... of these interests, the sense of loneliness and desolation is always present. Her few letters give us occasional flashes of the old spirit, but the burden of them is inexpressibly sad. Her sympathies and associations led her toward a mild form of Jansenism, and as the evening shadows darkened, her thoughts turned to fresh speculations upon the ...
— The Women of the French Salons • Amelia Gere Mason

... or atmosphere of its own, quite perceptible, however difficult to describe. The effect of this atmosphere is marked with unusual strength in Macbeth. It is due to a variety of influences which combine with those just noticed, so that, acting and reacting, they form a whole; and the desolation of the blasted heath, the design of the Witches, the guilt in the hero's soul, the darkness of the night, seem to emanate from one and the same source. This effect is strengthened by a multitude of small touches, which at the moment may be little noticed but still leave their mark on ...
— Shakespearean Tragedy - Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth • A. C. Bradley

... behind overgrown rose bushes and heliotrope. The chateau was before them, the windows still reflecting the sunlight; but this borrowed glitter was all the brightness it had. Once beautiful, the old battlemented house had an air of proud desolation, as if scorning pity, since it ...
— The Castle Of The Shadows • Alice Muriel Williamson

... the desolation of having no one to grope with her, discovered that her Friend came now less frequently to see her. She was even beginning to wonder whether he had ever really come at all. She had perhaps imagined him just as on occasion she would imagine her doll, Jane, the Queen of England, or her ...
— The Golden Scarecrow • Hugh Walpole

... this characteristic of my condition which enlisted the sympathy of Lowell, who, even in his desolation, had a heart for any form of devotion, and who, with the love of nature which was one of his own most marked traits, had a side to which my enthusiasm appealed directly. The mere artist is, unless his nature is a radically religious one, an egotist, and his art necessarily ...
— The Autobiography of a Journalist, Volume I • Stillman, William James

... escape the ominous thought, which her woman's perception had sown in her, that he too chafed at a marriage no marriage: was true in fidelity, not true through infidelity, as she had come to be. The thought implied misery for both. She entered a black desolation, with the prayer that he might not be involved, for his own sake: partly also on behalf of the sustaining picture the young schoolmaster at his task, merry among his dear boys, to trim and point them body and mind for their business in the world, painted for her a weariful prospect of the ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... to him then, when the influence of the wilderness and its immensity and desolation were so strong, that he might have lived in some such time himself, ages and ages ago. It might have been the stories of Paul or it might have been some dim heritage from a dimmer past that made him, as he lay there under the ...
— The Keepers of the Trail - A Story of the Great Woods • Joseph A. Altsheler

... Save the Famous Ferry Station, the Chief Inlet to and Egress from San Francisco—Fire Tugs and Vessels in the Bay Aid in Heroic Fight—Fort Mason, General Funston's Temporary Headquarters, has Narrow Escape—A Survey of the Scene of Desolation 69 ...
— Complete Story of the San Francisco Horror • Richard Linthicum

... left the Sts. of Magellan in the middle of winter; she found her road out by a wild unfrequented channel; well might Sir J. Narborough call the west coast South Desolation, "because it is so desolate a land to behold." We were driven into Chiloe by some very bad weather. An Englishman gave me three specimens of that very fine Lucanoidal insect which is described in the "Camb. ...
— More Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume I (of II) • Charles Darwin

... solitude, we came, almost in the dark, to the sea-side, weary and dejected, having met with nothing but waters falling from the mountains that could raise any image of delight.' Piozzi Letters, i. 170. 'It is natural, in traversing this gloom of desolation, to inquire, whether something may not be done to give nature a more cheerful face.' Johnson's Works, ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 5 • Boswell

... Byrne, of Trinity College, Dublin, in his lecture on 'The Influence of National Character on English Literature', remarks of Spenser: "After that dark period which separated him from Chaucer, after all the desolation of the Wars of the Roses, and all the deep trials of the Reformation, he rose on England as if, to use ...
— Introduction to Robert Browning • Hiram Corson

... accumulated by the people was marvellous. And, though it is held that slavery enriched the few at the general expense, Georgia and Carolina were the richest States, per capita, in the Union in 1800, saving Rhode Island. Some idea of the desolation of the war may be had from the fact that, in spite of their late remarkable recuperation, they are now, excepting Idaho, the poorest States, per capita, in the Union. So rich was the South in 1860, that Mr. Lincoln spoke but common sentiment when he ...
— Southern Literature From 1579-1895 • Louise Manly

... voracious, and easily caught, as it is neither cunning nor shy. As it lives in desolation, and has little to do with men, it knows nothing of trickery, nor dreams of the plots laid against its royal freedom. An interesting account is given of the capture of an albatross by an officer of a French ...
— Harper's Young People, April 20, 1880 - An Illustrated Weekly • Various

... natural one of making more visible the shadows which enveloped his path, as well as stimulating his instinctive efforts to pierce through them. After the rapturous joy which succeeded confession and absolution, a period of desolation and dryness heavier than he had ever known at once set in. Perhaps he had expected the very reverse of this. At all events, it was not many days before it drew from him the complaint that in leaving Concord he had also left behind him the great interior ...
— Life of Father Hecker • Walter Elliott

... which took hold of him then—smothered him. He went down before the vision of those unlived days, the grim vision of those relentless, inevitable days, standing there waiting to be lived. It was desolation. The surrender of a strong man who had tried to ...
— The Glory Of The Conquered • Susan Glaspell

... climate, and single river. It was a narrow strip, inclosed between the Mediterranean Sea and the river Jordan, which runs due south down a steep wooded cleft into the Dead Sea, the lowest water in the world, in a sort of pit of its own, with barren desolation all round it, so as to keep in memory the ruin of the cities of the plain. In the north, rise the high mountains of Libanus, a spur from which goes the whole length of the land, and forms two slopes, whence the rivers flow, either westward into the Great Sea, or ...
— The Chosen People - A Compendium Of Sacred And Church History For School-Children • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... Whose bed?" Was he an Aladdin with a magic lamp, that could summon comfort in that desolation? "Monsieur," I choked, "I owe you a thousand apologies. I came near killing one of your nine decoys. I mistook ...
— A Village of Vagabonds • F. Berkeley Smith

... before my eyes. In the next stall was an American gentleman, who knew me. "Good heavens, sir," I thought, "is it decreed that you and I are to be authorized to murder each other next week; that my people shall be bombarding your cities, destroying your navies, making a hideous desolation of your coast; that our peaceful frontier shall be subject to fire, rapine, and murder?" "They will never give up the men," said the Englishman. "They will never give up the men," said the American. And the Christmas piece which the actors ...
— Roundabout Papers • William Makepeace Thackeray

... French Government allow a considerable portion of their own population actually to starve, or be obliged to emigrate to other parts of France, there to live the life of nomads at the expense of England, while the deserted provinces are given over to desolation? ...
— New York Times Current History: The European War, Vol 2, No. 1, April, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... been so all through his childhood and youth. There was no trace in his memory of days when he of a time had been free. Not the faintest recollection existed of the time when he might have swung in the branches of equatorial forests. To him life was a desolation and a despair, and the poignancy of it all was sharpened by the clouds of dust which ...
— The Ape, the Idiot & Other People • W. C. Morrow

... with this ignoble fever, this war-madness which degrades the combatants far more than it exalts them, which senselessly destroys valuable property, scatters ruin broadcast, paralyses industry, robs the poor of all the bread of life, fills the land with mourning and desolation, with widows and orphans?—war, which we learnt from wild beasts, our ancestors, which cannot therefore determine a question of justice, which makes the wrong triumph as often as the right, which degrades all that touch it by isolating them for months, for years perhaps, from civilised life, ...
— Morality as a Religion - An exposition of some first principles • W. R. Washington Sullivan

... I, too, wearied of the scene of desolation. My errant steps took me in the direction of the sea. As I approached, I was aware of a figure standing in the moonlight, gazing silently out over the waters. Beside ...
— Love Among the Chickens • P. G. Wodehouse

... knelt and prayed. Every now and then we could not help starting up, as a more fearful crash than usual sounded in our ears. Still the wished-for daylight did not appear. The truth was, that since the commencement of the storm but a short time only had elapsed, though in our desolation and solitude it had ...
— Mary Liddiard - The Missionary's Daughter • W.H.G. Kingston

... haue not: (but I pardon you for that, for simply your hauing in beard, is a yonger brothers reuennew) then your hose should be vngarter'd, your bonnet vnbanded, your sleeue vnbutton'd, your shoo vnti'de, and euerie thing about you, demonstrating a carelesse desolation: but you are no such man; you are rather point deuice in your accoustrements, as louing your selfe, then seeming the ...
— The First Folio [35 Plays] • William Shakespeare

... present structure, appertains to a building which was consecrated in 1126, by the Archbishop of Rouen, in the presence of Henry Ist, but which was almost entirely destroyed by the cannonade in the fifteenth century. An inscription in gothic letters, near the entrance, relates, that after this desolation, a beginning was made towards the re-building of the church, "in 1438, a year of war, and death, and plague, and famine;" but it is certain that not much of the part now standing can be referred even to that period. The choir was not completed till the middle ...
— Account of a Tour in Normandy, Vol. II. (of 2) • Dawson Turner

... touching—but they were also rather deliciously amusing—as they concentrated all their resources of solemnity and of worldly experience on the tragic case of the woman whom life had defeated. Hilda's memory rushed strangely to Victor Hugo. She was experiencing the same utter desolation—but somehow less noble—as had gripped her when she first realized the eternal picture, in Oceana Nox, of the pale-fronted widows who, tired of waiting for those whose barque had never returned out of the tempest, talked quietly among themselves of the lost—stirring the cinders in ...
— Hilda Lessways • Arnold Bennett

... his congener of the woods, has as yet been but partially able to substitute gunpowder for the bow. The advantage he has in the protection afforded him by the desolation of his waterless mesas and sage-covered hills is thus in great measure neutralized. What, when he does possess the modern firearm, he is capable of doing with it, the achievements of the Modocs in their volcanic stronghold will attest. But these were few, and ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Vol. XV., No. 85. January, 1875. • Various

... people in England to realize the condition of Northern France at the present time. Although the papers are full of accounts of desolation and destruction caused by the German invasion, it is only by an actual experience that a full realization of the horror comes. To return to England after visiting the French war zone is to come back to a land of perfect peace, where everything is normal and where it is not easy to believe ...
— The Crime Against Europe - A Possible Outcome of the War of 1914 • Roger Casement

... industries to such a pitch of development that she had the experience, as well as the initiative and the means, to do something for the Dalmatians who, and especially in the interior, knew no other trade than that of arms. Terrible was the desolation of those days; over large areas there was no drinking-water; the land was merely used to pasture the herds of almost wild cattle; instead of the superb forests were hundreds of miles of naked rock; and nowhere had the Venetian families, to whom ...
— The Birth of Yugoslavia, Volume 1 • Henry Baerlein

... voice of the priest vibrated under the hammer-beam roof, and a loneliness unfelt before swamped their hearts, as they searched for places in the unfamiliar Church of England service. The Lord's Prayer "Our Father, which art"—set the seal on that desolation. Sophie found herself thinking how in other lands their purchase would long ere this have been discussed from every point of view in a dozen prints, forgetting that George for months had not been allowed to glance at those black and bellowing head-lines. ...
— Actions and Reactions • Rudyard Kipling

... centered in the picturesque old building, originally built for a bank, which stands near the entrance of the Cooper Grounds in Cooperstown. The Cooper Grounds themselves were rescued from a condition of desolation in which they had lain for many years after the death of Fenimore Cooper, and are maintained by the Clark estates for the benefit of the public. The Village Club and Library across the way is a creation of the Clark estates. On the hills east and west of the village, and along the ...
— The Story of Cooperstown • Ralph Birdsall

... insurgent States were conquered provinces to be shaped into a paradise for the freedman and a hell for the rebel. His eye shot over the blackened southern land; he saw the carnage, the desolation, the starvation, and the shame; and like a battered old warhorse, he flung up his frontlet, sniffed the tainted breeze, and snorted ...
— Fifty Years of Public Service • Shelby M. Cullom

... both are brought to hopeless desolation, Till wolves troop round the cottage door in one and t'other nation, Till, worn and broken down, the South shall prove no more refractory, And rust eats up the silent ...
— War Poetry of the South • Various

... the Counts Egmont and Horn, organized a party to resist him, and a revolution was commenced which lasted for forty years, affording one of the blackest chapters in the history of Europe. The name of Alva stands at the head of the list of men who have wrought desolation and suffering in the name of religion. The other European states protested, and Elizabeth, in hot indignation, gave ...
— A Short History of Spain • Mary Platt Parmele

... like a map of the world with a haze on its edge. Lastly, whatever animal remains the moon may contain would probably be rather in the form of fossils than of skeletons. The skeleton is of course intended as an image of death and desolation. It is a matter of taste: but a skeleton, it seems to me, speaks too recently of life to be as appallingly weird and desolate as a blank stone or ice landscape, unshaded by atmosphere or by any trace of animal or ...
— Pioneers of Science • Oliver Lodge

... without fear or precaution; and courteously discoursed with the patriarch concerning its religious antiquities. [81] Sophronius bowed before his new master, and secretly muttered, in the words of Daniel, "The abomination of desolation is in the holy place." [82] At the hour of prayer they stood together in the church of the resurrection; but the caliph refused to perform his devotions, and contented himself with praying on the steps of the church of Constantine. To the patriarch he disclosed his prudent and ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 5 • Edward Gibbon

... surface, there was utter blackness. Also there was horrible frigidity. Elsewhere it was blindingly bright. The men were specks of humanity standing on a shining metal hull, and all about them there was the desolation of nothingness. ...
— Space Tug • Murray Leinster

... serve as the sacristia, or vestry. In the worm-eaten wardrobe within hung a few vestments, adorned with cheap finery, and heavily laden with dust, over which scampered vermin of many varieties. An air of desolation and abandon hung over the whole church, and to Jose seemed to symbolize the ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... carried and bestowed upon the Gentile nations because Israel was scattered, how much, and what are the blessings in store for those nations when Israel and Judah be restored? Paul compares it to a resurrection—like as when the barrenness and desolation of a Winter is supplanted by the fruits and beauties of Summer. "If the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?" ...
— The Lost Ten Tribes, and 1882 • Joseph Wild

... from modern Europeans) are the Arabs. This is particularly the case in East Africa, where the systematic slave raids organized by them and carried out with the assistance of various warlike tribes reduced vast regions to a state of desolation. In the north and west of Africa, however, the Arab has had a less destructive but more extensive and permanent influence in spreading the Mahommedan religion throughout the ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... permeating the atmosphere caused a shimmering in the air, the tremulous effect of which was trying to the eyes, and deceptive almost like a mirage. It was a relief even when a tall awkward necked camel came between one and the line of vision. A characteristic scene emphasized the surrounding desolation, on a neighboring sand-hill, where a flock of vultures were feeding upon the carcass of a mule. Disturbed for a moment they rose lazily, and circling about the spot settled again to their carrion feast. Though ...
— Due West - or Round the World in Ten Months • Maturin Murray Ballou

... Old Town closed the war. Jackson, feeling that the Indians had been thoroughly beaten, withdrew from Florida, leaving fire and desolation in his track. ...
— Four American Indians - King Philip, Pontiac, Tecumseh, Osceola • Edson L. Whitney

... makes war. But in this war of hers she is wholly implacable. She has little notion of converting criminals. There is no faculty of mercy in her when she has been resisted. Her word is only, "I will mock when your fear cometh." Note the words that follow: "when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction as a whirlwind;" for her wrath is of irresistible tempest: once roused, it is blind and deaf,—rabies—madness of anger— darkness of the ...
— The Queen of the Air • John Ruskin

... paddles had to be cleared of corpses, caught by the floats during the night. For scores of miles the entire population of the valley was swept away by this scourge Mariano, who is again, as he was before, the great Portuguese slave-agent. It made the heart ache to see the widespread desolation; the river-banks, once so populous, all silent; the villages burned down, and an oppressive stillness reigning where formerly crowds of eager sellers appeared with the various products of their industry. Here and there might be seen on the bank a small dreary ...
— A Popular Account of Dr. Livingstone's Expedition to the Zambesi and Its Tributaries • David Livingstone

... pumice, and ashes lay thick on everything around, and only a few blackened and twisted stumps of the larger trees remained to tell that an umbrageous forest had once flourished there. The whole scene might be fittingly described in the two words—grey desolation. ...
— Blown to Bits - The Lonely Man of Rakata, the Malay Archipelago • R.M. Ballantyne

... YOUR MAJESTY, "I am at a loss whether I shall congratulate or condole with you on your late victory; since the same success that has covered you with laurels has overspread the Couutry of MecklenburgH with desolation. I know, Sire, that it seems unbecoming my sex, in this age of vicious refinement, to feel for one's Country, to lament the horrors of war, or wish for the return of peace. I know you may think it ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XX. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... which had almost been a defeat and which left both armies so exhausted that months passed before either was in condition to resume the war. It was the month of June before the armies were again put in motion. Now the wintry desolation was replaced by a scene of green woodland, shining lakes and attractive villages, the conditions being far ...
— A History of The Nations and Empires Involved and a Study - of the Events Culminating in The Great Conflict • Logan Marshall

... lower country, and increased the general terror. In this state of things, he endeavoured to collect and arm the men who had abandoned their houses, and to remove their wives and children to a distance from this scene of desolation and carnage. Pressing orders were at the same time despatched to the newly appointed officers, to forward their recruits; and to the county lieutenants, east of the Blue Ridge, to hasten their militia to Winchester: but before these orders could ...
— The Life of George Washington, Vol. 2 (of 5) • John Marshall

... fierce excitement. The storm which burst with all its fury on the Continent, wrapping nations in the flames of civil war, prostrating, withering, and overwhelming civil institutions, and marking its path with desolation did but exert a salutary influence in England. The lightning was seen flashing in the distant horizon, the rolling thunder could be heard afar off, but the fury of the storm fell at a distance; the atmosphere was purified and the soil refreshed, and the rainbow ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 1-20 • Various

... this silent road, without houses or lights, it seemed to him he was wandering amid the desolation of some lunar region. This part of Normandy recalled to him the least cultivated parts of Brittany. It was rustic and savage, with its dense shrubbery, tufted grass, ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... almost cowed. But on the following morning he determined to make a still further effort, so that he might, if possible, return to the ways of the world, which were already becoming strange to him from the desolation of the life which he had been leading. He went out, and, taking the road by the church, up the creek, he came at about a distance of two miles from his own house to Coed, the farmstead of John Griffith, the farmer who held the largest number of acres on the property. ...
— Cousin Henry • Anthony Trollope

... was suddenly a terrific explosion, which threw him completely out of the machine! The car, without a driver, its engines whirring madly, dashed into a helpless corner fruit stand, scattering oranges, bananas, apples and desolation in its wake, as it vainly endeavored to climb to the second story with super-mechanical intelligence! Shirley, stunned and bruised, fell to the pavement where he lay until an excited ...
— The Voice on the Wire • Eustace Hale Ball

... in these parts are so far from what I could wish them and myself to be, that I cannot but cry out, 'Lord, how long wilt Thou give Thine heritage to desolation and barrenness? How long shall the heathen say, Where is now their indwelling God?' I hope it is better with you in the north. What are your heart, your pen, your tongue doing? Are they receiving, sealing, spreading the truth everywhere within your ...
— Fletcher of Madeley • Brigadier Margaret Allen

... scolding, and of all scolds the pulpit scold is the most objectionable. Without a pitiful heart his exposure of human nature will become mere fault-finding, and a fault-finding ministry is a ministry of desolation. Again, without a pitiful heart the preacher's utterance of the divine judgment will be but more or less terrifying threats, and the pulpit is not set up to threaten but to pronounce. We have heard preaching of this order. ...
— The Message and the Man: - Some Essentials of Effective Preaching • J. Dodd Jackson

... nearly so nice as American realities. We lament not so much what Babbitt is as what he is trying to be. What he is is a simple and kindly man . . . what he's trying to be is the abomination of desolation; the Man who made Salesmanship an Art; the Man Who Would Not Stay Down; the Man Who Got the Million Dollar Post After Taking Our Correspondence Course; the Man Who Learned Social Charm in ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... our age, and this dread spectacle of human nature red in tooth and claw brings it impressively before us. Is the work of God restricted to counting the hairs of the head, and not enlarged to check the murderous thoughts in the human brain? Nay, when we survey those horrid stretches of desolation in Belgium and Poland and Serbia, where the mutilated bodies of the innocent, of women and children, lie amidst the ashes of their homes; when we think of those peaceful sailors of our mercantile marine at the bottom ...
— The War and the Churches • Joseph McCabe

... fear isn't easy to conquer. No man or woman can conquer it alone. Historians tell us that when the first passenger rocket started out for Mars, Space Fear took men by surprise in the same way your fear gripped you. The loneliness, the utter desolation of space, was too much for ...
— The Man from Time • Frank Belknap Long

... with this wonderful extension of steel ways through our wildness there is loss as well as gain. Nearly all railroads are bordered by belts of desolation. The finest wilderness perishes as if stricken with pestilence. Bird and beast people, if not the dryads, are frightened from the groves. Too often the groves also vanish, leaving nothing but ashes. Fortunately, ...
— Steep Trails • John Muir

... drenched With rain, made pale a misty place,— From which, as from a ghost, he blenched; He walking with averted face, And lips in desolation clenched. ...
— Poems • Madison Cawein

... heart-shaped citadel of Doulens and a jagged wood suggestive of a lion rampant, we followed the straight road to Arras. Arrived there, the leader turned south, for we were not yet high enough. As we moved along the brown band of shell-pocked desolation we continued to climb. Patches of smoke from the guns hovered over the ground at intervals. A score of lazy-looking kite ...
— Cavalry of the Clouds • Alan Bott

... hut on the heath was the very picture of abject poverty and dreary desolation. The earthen floor was broken and rough; the sunlight came sifting through the chinks in the broken walls. A smoky fire of wet driftwood smoldered, under a pot on the crook. There was neither table nor chairs. A straw pallet with a wretched coverlet lay in one ...
— The Baronet's Bride • May Agnes Fleming

... ceased to harp upon the string of his desolation. Somehow Jan contrived to show him that she didn't believe in it, and yet she never said one word to which he ...
— Jan and Her Job • L. Allen Harker

... the evil. Thou seest no longer Jerusalem trodden by the heathen, nor the abomination of desolation set up in the sanctuary ...
— Hebrew Heroes - A Tale Founded on Jewish History • AKA A.L.O.E. A.L.O.E., Charlotte Maria Tucker

... Adirondacks, seen from the St. Regis mountain. It has been more equally paired with the line of the distant Alps seen from the platform at Berne. I may parallel it, too, again in Switzerland, with the view of the Valais peaks which bursts on one when, winding upward past the Daubensee and its desolation, he comes out suddenly upon the brink of the great wall of the Gemmi. But here there is a warmth in the view beyond that of Switzerland. Some one has said that "snow is regarded as the type of purity not because it is cold but because it is ...
— A Midsummer Drive Through The Pyrenees • Edwin Asa Dix

... Grenada, despite the dilapidation of her capital and the seeming desolation of its environs, is not the least prosperous of the Antilles. Other islands have been less fortunate: the era of depression has almost passed for Grenada; through the rapid development of her secondary cultures—coffee ...
— Two Years in the French West Indies • Lafcadio Hearn

... is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head ...
— History of the United States, Volume 6 (of 6) • E. Benjamin Andrews

... game, and that in which its disjointed, horrible surfaces were being turned into abstractions, into ideas, poetry, rhetoric—was this middle ground through which we were now tramping, where one saw only its silence and ruin and desolation. ...
— Antwerp to Gallipoli - A Year of the War on Many Fronts—and Behind Them • Arthur Ruhl

... Death, and at last Agnes opened her languid eyes upon us, and was pronounced out of immediate danger. The sickening pallor that overspread her face an instant after her returning consciousness, I well understood; the thought of her heart's desolation came to her memory, and I fear life was any thing but a blessing to her then. Her health continued delicate; and at last it was deemed advisable to take her to a more genial climate—that change of scene and air ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII. No. 5. May 1848 • Various

... preceding chapter, form a singular feature in the physical aspect of the island of Sardinia. There are few travellers, I think, of much experience who, in traversing such tracts of country, have not been struck at one time by the desolation of their depths of solitude, or been pleased, at another, by the glimpses of nomade life, their occasional accompaniments; and who would not be willing to admit that, in their general impressions on the imagination, they sometimes rival even mountain scenery. For if grandeur be one main ingredient ...
— Rambles in the Islands of Corsica and Sardinia - with Notices of their History, Antiquities, and Present Condition. • Thomas Forester

... France, M. Janssen takes these instantaneous photographs of the sun, thirty inches in diameter, and afterward enlarges them to ten feet; showing scenes of fiery desolation that appalls the human imagination. (See address of Vice President Langley, A. A. A. S., Proceedings Saratoga Meeting, p. 56.) This huge photograph can be viewed in detail with a small telescope and micrometer, and the crests of solar waves ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 288 - July 9, 1881 • Various

... grave composure, which said touchingly, that hope had long ago clasped hands with submission. And, perhaps, that if hope's anchor had not been well placed, ay, even where it could not be moved, the storms of life might have beaten even hope from her ground, and made a clean sweep of desolation over all she had left. Not the storms of the last few weeks. Mr. Carleton saw and understood their work in the perfectly colourless and thin cheek. But these other finer drawn characters had taken longer to write. He did not know the instrument, ...
— Queechy, Volume II • Elizabeth Wetherell

... and because the servant of God would not accept of peace, unless with safety to the honour of God, and the character of the Church, they departed in discord from each other. At length the supreme Pontiff, pitying the desolation of the Anglican Church, with difficulty at the last extorted by threatening measures, that peace should be restored to the Church. The realms indeed rejoiced, that the King had been reconciled to the Archbishop, whilst some believed that the affair was carried on ...
— Primitive Christian Worship • James Endell Tyler

... in the life of Solomon which the writer of Ecclesiastes took as the scene and subject of his story. With marvellous penetration and consummate power he penetrates the mind of Solomon and paints the blackness of desolation, the misery of satiety, the dreadful darkness of a soul which has given itself to this world as ...
— Ten Great Religions - An Essay in Comparative Theology • James Freeman Clarke

... some shopman with "savings," had delivered his soul to the local builders and built himself a house, and there it stood, ill-designed, mean-looking, isolated, ill-placed on a cheaply fenced plot, athwart which his domestic washing fluttered in the breeze amidst a bleak desolation of enterprise. Then presently our railway crossed a high road, and a row of mean yellow brick houses—workmen's cottages, and the filthy black sheds that made the "allotments" of that time a universal eyesore, ...
— In the Days of the Comet • H. G. Wells

... engravings gave tone to the walls; the piano lay open, as if saying, "Come, touch me"; the books, shining in gold and red and blue and purple, winked in the firelight; and, altogether, it was a picture of delight accentuated by the desolation outside. ...
— My New Curate • P.A. Sheehan

... proud Sevilla triumphs unsubdued: Yet is she free—the spoiler's wished-for prey! Soon, soon shall Conquest's fiery foot intrude, Blackening her lovely domes with traces rude. Inevitable hour! 'Gainst fate to strive Where Desolation plants her famished brood Is vain, or Ilion, Tyre, might yet survive, And Virtue vanquish all, and Murder ...
— Childe Harold's Pilgrimage • Lord Byron

... there is nothing but desolation in graveyards, the churches are crowded instead, and the bereaved survivors commend to God their departed friends and their own stricken hearts in the dim and perfumed aisles of temples made with hands. A taint of gloom thus rests upon the recollection and the prayer, far different from the ...
— Castilian Days • John Hay

... acres that ended in the hard black line of the lake, the vast blocks of open land to the south, which would go to make some new subdivision of the sprawling city. Absorbed, charmed, grimly content with the abominable desolation of it all, he stood and gazed. No evidence of any plan, of any continuity in building, appeared upon the waste: mere sporadic eruptions of dwellings, mere heaps of brick and mortar dumped at random ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... sea-bird claims that solitary spot, And around, loud screaming, wheels In undisturbed possession: other sounds, Save those of shrieking winds and battling cliffs. Are seldom heard in that deserted isle. The spirit of desolation seems to dwell Within it; and although the sun is high, And Nature is at holy peace, it has An aspect wild and dreary. But in the wint'ry storm, when all that sea— The terrible Atlantic—breasts its rocks In thund'ring conflict, the unearthly howl ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 472 - Vol. XVII. No. 472., Saturday, January 22, 1831 • Various

... which remained all through his life firmly fixed in David's memory, and which he never thought of without a sense of desolation, a shiver of sick dismay, such as belonged to no other association whatever. It was the sound of a long sigh, brought up, as it seemed, from the very depths of being, and often, often repeated. The thought of it brought with it a vision of a small bare room at night, with two iron bedsteads, one ...
— The History of David Grieve • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... instinctively glanced toward the window. The rain was still falling, changing the City of the Sun into a city of desolation. It looked as though it would never see the sun again—and her life ...
— Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise • David Graham Phillips

... window and a balcony with a rusty iron balustrade—the one upon which Rienzi came out at the last, with the standard in his hand. The castle itself not high, but strong, brown and battered. Beyond it, the gallows, and the place of death. Below it, a desolation of tumbling rock and ruin, where wild flowers struggled for a holding in spring, and the sharp cactus sent out ever-green points between the stones. Far down, a confusion of low, brown houses, with many dark towers standing straight ...
— Ave Roma Immortalis, Vol. 2 - Studies from the Chronicles of Rome • Francis Marion Crawford

... believed, to say; and there was in fact a strange short interlude after this in which he scarce knew what had become of any one or of anything; in which he only seemed to himself to stand alone in a desolate place where even its desolation didn't save him from having to stare at the greyest of printed pages. Nothing here helped anything else, since the stamped greyness didn't even in itself make it impossible his eyes should follow such sentences as: "The loveliness ...
— The Finer Grain • Henry James

... cherished desolation the supper was so inviting that he was tempted to partake of it heartily. Then incasing himself in his ample dressing-gown he placed his slippered feet on the fender before a cheery fire, lighted a choice Havana, and ...
— Opening a Chestnut Burr • Edward Payson Roe

... and the yeomen who had risen at the first alarm hung on the flanks of Lord Howe's army, cutting off stragglers and scouting-parties, and confining the belt of desolation ...
— The Tory Maid • Herbert Baird Stimpson

... Molyneux," said the other and graver personage; "thou canst not even let the elements escape thy gibes. I marvel how far we are from our cousin Ireland's at Lydiate. My fears mislead me, or we have missed our way. This flat bosom of desolation hath no vantage-ground whence we may discern our path; and we have been winding about this interminable lake these ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 2 (of 2) • John Roby

... on their taking it. There have been instances where the delicate hand of woman hath kindled a young man's taste for strong drink, who after many years, when the attractions of that holiday scene were all forgotten, crouched in her rags, and her desolation, and her woe under the uplifted hand of the drunken monster who, on that Christmas morning so long ago, took the glass from her hand. And so, the woman stands on the abutment of the bridge, on the moon-lit ...
— The Abominations of Modern Society • Rev. T. De Witt Talmage

... country, benefited by its healing balm, flourished, revived, invigorated and prosperous, Portsmouth and Gosport, and such like sea-ports, were almost deserted, and the active bustle and variety which but now reigned among their inhabitants had given way to desolation and abandonment: at least such was the account I had received from recent visitors. I was, therefore, anxious from observation to compare the present with the past; and, with this view, readily met the invitation of my friend Horace Eglantine. The voyage from ...
— The English Spy • Bernard Blackmantle

... assured me, that having satisfied his curiosity, no earthly consideration should tempt him to undertake a second journey by land to the capital; for that he believed the whole world could not furnish a like picture of desolation and misery. What a contrast is here exhibited to the ease and convenience with which our journey was made! But the whole treatment of the Dutch embassy seems to have been proportioned to the degree of importance ...
— Travels in China, Containing Descriptions, Observations, and Comparisons, Made and Collected in the Course of a Short Residence at the Imperial Palace of Yuen-Min-Yuen, and on a Subsequent Journey thr • John Barrow

... that the earth's crust has undergone directly conflict with our author's theory, and afford the strongest presumption, that an extraneous cause has frequently interfered, at different periods, to repair the desolation produced by the unassisted working of natural laws, to bring order out of chaos, and to people the desert earth anew with animated tribes. The only general fact of much moment, which our author has drawn from the discoveries of geologists, for the confirmation of his ...
— A Theory of Creation: A Review of 'Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation' • Francis Bowen

... cannon shot and grape of all sizes from a 32-pounder downward, and looked like the old battle-field of some infernal region—rocks glowing with heat, not a vestige of vegetation, barren, withering desolation. The slow rocking step of the camels was most irksome, and, despite the heat, I dismounted to examine the Satanic bombs and cannon shot. Many of them were as perfectly round as though cast in a mould, ...
— In the Heart of Africa • Samuel White Baker

... midst of a wild and tenantless landscape, Lost Cedars wore that air of lovely, though utter, desolation which might easily have suggested ...
— Cape Cod Folks • Sarah P. McLean Greene

... lay. A light wind blowing down from the mountains moaned through the thin forest. Clouds came up from the west, blotting out the horizon and making the sky a curving dome of blackness. Young William Clarke felt that it was good to have comrades in the immense desolation, and it strengthened his spirit to see the soldiers rolled in their blankets, their feet ...
— The Great Sioux Trail - A Story of Mountain and Plain • Joseph Altsheler

... refuge did the inaccessible shore present. Again and again the lieutenant asked himself what would become of him and his comrades, even if they should survive the peril of shipwreck, and gain a footing upon the cliff. What resources could they expect to find upon that scene of desolation? What hope could they entertain that any portion of the old continent still existed beyond that ...
— Off on a Comet • Jules Verne

... the war spirit of the Nez Perces, and prompt them to retaliation, was ardently seconded by Kosato. For several days he was incessantly devising schemes of vengeance, and endeavoring to set on foot an expedition that should carry dismay and desolation into the Blackfeet town. All his art was exerted to touch upon those springs of human action with which he was most familiar. He drew the listening savages round him by his nervous eloquence; taunted them with recitals of past wrongs and insults; drew glowing ...
— The Adventures of Captain Bonneville - Digested From His Journal • Washington Irving

... her forlorn, unprotected youth, the more forlorn that in her father's lifetime it was under a certain hollow sham of protection; the total desolation afterward, exposed to every insult of the bitter world, or at least that bitter portion of it which is always ready to trample down a woman if she is helpless, and to hunt her down if she is strong enough to help herself—all this was gone by forever. ...
— Christian's Mistake • Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

... unsettled land in private hands as to afford room for an immense future population, although the crown not only withheld its grants, but annihilated its soil. If this be the case, then the only effect of this avarice of desolation, this hoarding of a royal wilderness, would be to raise the value of the possessions in the hands of the great private monopolists, without any adequate check to the growing ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. II. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... this, however, you would have a false idea of the military hospital if you thought of it as a place of mournful desolation. Doubtless our earlier patients regained their spirits more quickly, having no years of suffering behind them. But the quiet and serious resignation which reigns in the hospital of to-day does not exclude a certain sweetness; the wounded man appreciates the intelligent and devoted ...
— World's War Events, Volume III • Various

... beyond our sympathy," wailed Iris, uncovering her swimming eyes for a fleeting look at him. Even in the utter desolation of the moment she could not help marveling that this queer-mannered sailor, who spoke like a gentleman and tried to pose as her inferior, who had rescued her with the utmost gallantry, who carried his Quixotic zeal to the point of first supplying ...
— The Wings of the Morning • Louis Tracy

... thick as hail, of foes met in deadly fray, of shielding my darling's form with mine—there, where all was smoke and darkness and blood and horror—and dying gladly in his stead. Or the scene changed from horror to desolation, and, with a dreadful sense of isolation on me, alone in the darkness I wandered up and down, blindly searching for him I never found; or finding him, perhaps, covered with ghastly wounds, and dead, quite dead; and then starting broad awake with ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 2, August, 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... unfortunately too feeble to bring vividly before my readers the picture such as I beheld it here, and to describe to them the desolation, the extent and height of these lava-masses. I seemed to stand in a crater, and the whole country appeared only a burnt-out fire. Here lava was piled up in steep inaccessible mountains; there stony rivers, whose ...
— Visit to Iceland - and the Scandinavian North • Ida Pfeiffer

... crushed by his great desolation, and Uri Bram seized the moment. He was not given to speech, this man, and that which followed was the longest in his life, save one long afterward ...
— The God of His Fathers • Jack London

... and in the Gold Parlour she found the Lady Lucy Raincy—Lady Lucy in tears, Lady Lucy in a pleasant fluffy desolation of woe. She flung her arms about the girl's neck and wept ...
— Patsy • S. R. Crockett

... war, however it might enrich the English soldiers, was ruinous to the king himself, who bore all the charges of the armament, without reaping any solid or durable advantage from it. That if the present disorders of France continued, that kingdom would soon be reduced to such a state of desolation, that it would afford no spoils to its ravagers, if it could establish a more steady government, it might turn the chance of war in its favor, and by its superior force and advantages be able to repel the present victors. That ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part B. - From Henry III. to Richard III. • David Hume

... whispered her name. Her eyes opened and gazed on him, and then at the desolation around her, and she closed them ...
— Saronia - A Romance of Ancient Ephesus • Richard Short

... size and isolation are more beautiful than young ones and are little likely to be injurious to health, and ends them by raising mounds and sticking into them dense belts of quick-growing trees like poplars to hide as speedily as possible the desolation of bricks and mortar he has created. It is this senseless outdoor work of the builder and his nurseryman which stands most in need of revision from time to time in suburban residences, but which rarely receives it from a silly notion, amounting to tree worship, which prohibits the cutting ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 611, September 17, 1887 • Various

... phantasmal, something belonging to another world. There were times when all his journeying through steaming swamplands and forests of teak and satin-wood and over indigo lagoons and mountain-passes of moonlit desolation seemed utterly and unfathomably foolish. But he fought back such moods, as though they were a weakness. He let nothing deter him. He stuck to his ...
— Never-Fail Blake • Arthur Stringer

... alliterative titles, such as "The Deepening of Desolation," "Elizabeth's Elopement," and "Tom Truxton's Trust." Had not the three elements mentioned in the title, "Sun, Sand and Solitude," practically made the story possible, it would never have been used; even so, it is really too alliterative. Usually, the ...
— Writing the Photoplay • J. Berg Esenwein and Arthur Leeds

... them. Little beads of perspiration sparkled on the bare neck, and the wind played among the streaming mass of his black hair. But she had no eyes for this. From the moment when he had unceremoniously forced her on this journey of horror and desolation her wounded pride had smothered every other emotion. Her soul hungered for one thing—escape. Thwarted though her other attempts had been, she meant to try again. To try, and try, until he grew sick of holding a woman against her will. The unexpected ...
— Colorado Jim • George Goodchild

... usually begin among the inhabitants of close and dirty houses, who breathe unwholesome air, take little exercise, and wear dirty clothes. There the infection is generally hatched, and spreads its desolation far and wide. If dirty people cannot be removed as a common nuisance, they ought at least to be avoided as infectious, and all who regard their own health should keep at a distance from their habitations. Infectious diseases are often communicated ...
— The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches, • Mary Eaton

... peace neglected by our fathers during that stirring period. While France was wasted by war, till she at length found in her own desolation a miserable defence against invaders, the English gathered in their harvests, adorned their cities, pleaded, traded, and studied in security. Many of our noblest architectural monuments belong to that age. Then rose the fair chapels of New College ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 1 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... of what passed in the town, including the desolation wrought by the fearful tempest of hail, which, being in their cave, both he and the camel escaped without harm. On the next evening from his post of outlook up the tree, where he had now some difficulty in hiding himself because the hail had stripped off all its leaves, he saw Marut and myself brought ...
— The Ivory Child • H. Rider Haggard

... separation. He referred again to her agonized words, that a union was impossible, that she dared not wed him; it was sin even to love him; that in the tumultuary, yet delicious emotions she had experienced, she had forgotten, utterly forgotten in what it must end—the agony of desolation for herself, and, if he so loved her, for Stanley also—and again he conjured her to explain their meaning. They had been separated, after that fearful interview, by a hasty summons for him to rejoin his camp; and when he returned, she had vanished. He ...
— The Vale of Cedars • Grace Aguilar

... window, and drank a bottle of ginger beer with a sacramental air. The little old lady asked him, a trifle archly, after his sister, and he promised to bring her again some day. "I'll certainly bring her," he said. Talking to the little old lady somehow blunted his sense of desolation. And then home through the white indistinctness in a state of melancholy that became at last so fine as ...
— Love and Mr. Lewisham • H. G. Wells

... looking back to see how Louise bore his departure, and was shocked to observe that she had sunk upon a bank, with her arms resting on her knees and her head on her arms, in a situation expressive of the utmost desolation. ...
— The Fair Maid of Perth • Sir Walter Scott

... that her desolation found her most helpless. For then she thought of her dead child and of the husband whom she regarded as worse ...
— The Helpmate • May Sinclair

... She had the sense that she was vainly throwing away her last hope of happiness, yet she could do nothing, think of nothing, to save it. The conjecture flashed through her: "Should I be at peace if I gave him up?" and she remembered the desolation of the days after she had sent him away, and understood that that hope was vain. The tears welled through her lids and ran ...
— The Reef • Edith Wharton

... lot of places," the Colonel concurred, while his view of her shining raiment had an invidious directness. Adela could read the tacit implication: "You're not in sorrow, in desolation." ...
— The Marriages • Henry James

... from general distress — robbery, freebooting, crime in its darkest and ugliest aspects; bands of hungry men, ruined and beggared, partly perhaps through misfortune, but partly through their own fault, wandering about the country ravaging and robbing, leaving desolation behind them, and too often, if opposed, committing acts of brutal cruelty upon defenceless victims, ...
— In the Days of Chivalry • Evelyn Everett-Green

... he forgot the presence of the stern-faced man who was watching him and listening to him; he could see once more only the long months and years of that epic drama of one against one, of pursuit and flight, of hunger and cold, of the Long Nights filled with the desolation of madness and despair. He triumphed over himself, and it was Conniston who spoke from within him. It was the Englishman who told how terribly John Keith had been punished, and when he came to the final days in the lonely little cabin in the edge of ...
— The River's End • James Oliver Curwood

... permit the suffering which this war daily entails. It's all of the earth, earthy. Alford," she added, in low, passionate utterance, "I could believe in a devil more easily than in a God; and yet my unbelief sinks me into the very depths of a hopeless desolation. What am I? A mere little atom among these mighty forces and passions which rock the world with their violence. Oh, I was so happy! and now I am crushed by some haphazard bullet ...
— His Sombre Rivals • E. P. Roe

... have got the letter that I wrote before I left Mistletoe, and which I directed to Mr. Surbiton's. There was not much in it,—except a word or two as to your going and as to my desolation, and just a reminiscence of the hunting. There was no reproach that you should have left me without any farewell, or that you should have gone so suddenly, after saying so much, without saying more. I wanted you to feel that you had made me very happy, and not to feel that ...
— The American Senator • Anthony Trollope



Words linked to "Desolation" :   ruination, blight, impairment, ruin, unhappiness, forlornness, sadness, glumness, bareness



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