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The Highlands of Ethiopia
written by "Harris, William Cornwallis, 1807-1848"
...oul wings, and screamed the death note. The embers of deserted villages smouldered over the scorched and blackened plain. Ripe crops, which the morning before had gladdened the heart of the cultivator—now no more—were level with the ground. Flocks of sheep, untended by the shepherd, strayed over the lone meadow; and bands of howling dogs wandered up and down in fruitless quest of their lost masters. A single day had reduced to a wilderness the rich and flourishing vale of Germáma, including the dark forests of Finfinni, which for years had slept in peace; and their late numerous and unsuspecting population had in a few hours been swept from off the face of the earth by the devastating irruption of the barbarian Amhára hordes. The remains of the fallen chief having, after much search, been recovered from the ashes of a still smoking village, were shrouded with a white cloth, and borne upon a bier from the scene of desolation. Glutted with booty, the despot now left his locusts to pursue their own course up the Ekka valley, where flames and plunder again marked their straggling return towards the mountains of Garra Gorphoo. Each hamlet was ravaged in succession; and cats, the sole remaining tenants of the deserted huts, were dislodged by the torch of the Wóbo. For miles and miles the road was lined with dusty and wayworn warriors laden with spoil: flocks and herds, donkeys, mules, and horses, honeycombs, poultry, household utensils and farming gear, with captive women and children, indiscriminately mingled with the men-at-arms. Whilst some of these latter, wounded and mutilated, were lashed upon the backs of their palfreys, others, dismounted, were dragging behind them their lame and exhausted steeds; sheep and goats, unable through fatigue to proceed, being cut limb from limb while still alive, and the bleeding trunks left quivering in the path by the wanton butchers. Re-entering the mountains, across which the sun now cast the lon...

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