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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



... for some time, but no sign or sound of life could he detect in its silent desolation. "I must have been mistaken," he muttered, with a final glance at the windows of the first story. "There's nobody in ...
— The Hampstead Mystery • John R. Watson

... masses of rock, undermined by the waves, and tumbled headlong below, where, sometimes, the water completely surrounds them, showing in shattered confusion detached rocks, pyramids, and obelisks, rising half-revealed from the surf—the Tadmores of the wasteful desert of the sea. Nowhere is this desolation more marked than for those fifty miles of coast between ...
— Israel Potter • Herman Melville

... of the Beloved One, who has truly given to me 'the valley of Achor for a door of hope,' and who is a very present help in time of trouble. The comfort I have is at present almost without alloy. It is only when earthly things pull me from my resting-place that I see the desolation of all earthly joys; and yet I am not excited, out as the Lord has enabled me to stay my mind on Him, He has kept me in perfect peace." When the beloved remains were removed into their last resting-place in Elgin Cathedral, she dedicated herself afresh ...
— Excellent Women • Various

... the plenitude of its popularity. The mystery is perhaps referable to the dominant necessity of securing tranquillity at any cost, in the state of society where the means of cultivation were directly dependent on the village organisation, and famine and desolation would have been the instant and inevitable consequences of any commotions which interfered with the conservancy and repair of the tanks and means of irrigation, and the prompt application of labour to the raising and saving of produce at the instant when the ...
— Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and • James Emerson Tennent

... himself choking, and during the drive to Greenriver he had rumpled his hair so wildly that it stood up in mad disorder over his head. His face was dusty, the mist had soaked his clothes till they clung tightly to his narrow frame, and about his whole figure there was an air of unkempt desolation which was ...
— The Making of a Soul • Kathlyn Rhodes

... fell. The sand- hills on either side of the river grew higher as we went up, with always the willows along the water edge. Miles ahead we could see Mounts Sawyer and Elizabeth rising blue and fine above the other hills, and thus standing up from the desolation of the burnt lands all about; they came as a foreword of what ...
— A Woman's Way Through Unknown Labrador • Mina Benson Hubbard (Mrs. Leonidas Hubbard, Junior)

... by the conviction that all this desolation had been brought about by the accident of her being a d'Urberville. When he found that Tess came of that exhausted ancient line, and was not of the new tribes from below, as he had fondly dreamed, why had he not stoically abandoned her in fidelity to his principles? ...
— Tess of the d'Urbervilles - A Pure Woman • Thomas Hardy

... Desolation greeted her. Dirty finger-prints were on the hall-windows, flue and rubbish on its unwashed boards. The civilization of luggage had been here for a month, and then decamped. Dining-room and drawing room—right and left—were guessed only by their wall-papers. They were just ...
— Howards End • E. M. Forster

... direct sight, was but the vaguest blur that meant earth and clouds far beneath. Only the magnification of the microscope brought out the details, and on its screen the unrolling picture showed those three lines broadening and merging to widespread desolation; then the smoke clouds came between to shut off a world reeking with the fumes of destruction. An occasional flash of red wings showed where the units of the A. F. F. ...
— The Hammer of Thor • Charles Willard Diffin

... but wasted with illness and too far gone to talk. Then a second thought came to me,—expiation. I would take this forlorn little creature and bring her up as my own child, tenderly, carefully,—a life for a life. My poor old sister took to it wonderfully, it seemed to brighten her desolation into something that was almost happiness; we wandered awhile longer, and then came westward through the lakes, but it was several years before we were fairly settled here. Shadow took care of the baby and made her little dresses; then, when the time came to teach her to sew and read, she ...
— Castle Nowhere • Constance Fenimore Woolson

... while Davoust was also cut off at Hamburg. He now had scarcely 150,000 effectives left after the slaughter of the 16th; and of these, the German divisions were murmuring at the endless marches and privations. Everything helped to depress men's minds. On that Sabbath morning all was sombre desolation around Leipzig, while within that city naught was heard but the groans of the wounded and the lamentations of the citizens. Still Napoleon's spirit was unquenched. Amidst the steady rain he paced restlessly with Murat along the dykes of the Pleisse. The King assured ...
— The Life of Napoleon I (Volumes, 1 and 2) • John Holland Rose

... world-wide reputation, was then young, unknown, and apparently an ordinary country doctor. The prince, however, soon perceived that he was far superior to his circumstances and position, and placed himself upon a very confidential footing with him. One day he complained of the desolation and monotony of his life and asked, in a tone between jest and earnest, what he should do ...
— How Women Love - (Soul Analysis) • Max Simon Nordau

... driving thousands of helpless people to the woods. This now became their mode of warfare; and it has been said that Russia in her memorable resistance to the French armies did not offer to the invading hosts such a scene of desolation as did the Burmese empire to the British troops. Neither man nor beast escaped the retiring columns; and heaps of ashes, with groups of howling dogs, alone indicated the spots where villages and towns had stood. While these movements occurred, a series of actions ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... themselves to the discipline of God, even while experiencing the sweetness of this divine love, must prepare their soul for temptation. The path which leads to the Land of Promise is beset with difficulties—dryness, sadness, desolation, and faint-hearted fears—and would end in bewildering discouragement, did not Faith and Hope, like Joshua and Caleb, show us the fair fruits of this much to be desired country, and thus animate ...
— The Spirit of St. Francis de Sales • Jean Pierre Camus

... sat alone in her desolation and shame, the thought of self-destruction had surged up in the lava of other tumultuous thoughts occasioned by the artist's scorn, and at first she had shrunk from it with natural and instinctive dread. But the awful thought began to fascinate her like ...
— A Face Illumined • E. P. Roe

... was at Torcello, where nothing could mar the loveliness of its solitude and desolation, its old cathedral full of strange mosaics and stranger memories, the green space in front that was once a Piazza tangled with blossoms and sweet-scented in the May sunshine, the purple hills on the mainland melting into the pale ...
— Nights - Rome, Venice, in the Aesthetic Eighties; London, Paris, in the Fighting Nineties • Elizabeth Robins Pennell

... futile. The thickly dotting cypresses and junipers, bedecked with streaming draperies of Spanish moss, touched the vistas with a funereal aspect. The languid movement of the festoons under the breeze was like the sighings of desolation made visible. The dense tangle of the undergrowth stretched everywhere, repellent, unrelieved by the vivid color flashes of the mountain blossoms. Stagnant wastes of ...
— Heart of the Blue Ridge • Waldron Baily

... perception, without the power of utterance. We know how dumb are the sweet melodies of our souls,—how fleeting their opulent and dreamy pageantries. But we have not fully learned the utter emptiness and desolation of Skill without Love. We accept its sounding brass and tinkling cymbals for immortal harmonies. We look reverently upon its tortured marbles and its canvases stained with academic knowledge as revelations of higher intelligence; forgetting, that, if we go down to the quiet places of our own ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 7, No. 44, June, 1861 • Various

... 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 patrolman ...
— The Voice on the Wire • Eustace Hale Ball

... gloomy all the rest of the evening: because, like a dog in a strange place, he refused to eat. His little heart was full, and his eyes, swimming with tears, were turned at every moment to the door. But he did not show the violent grief that might have been expected. His very desolation, amidst the unfamiliar faces, awed and chilled him. But when Martha took him to bed, and undressed him, and he knelt down to say his prayers, and came to the words, "Pray God bless dear mamma, and make me a good child," his heart could contain its load no longer, and be sobbed with a passion that ...
— Night and Morning, Volume 1 • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... little past three o'clock in the morning he awoke to a mood of indescribable desolation. He awoke with a start to an ...
— The Research Magnificent • H. G. Wells

... in a broad and pleasant passage now, panelled in cheerful light brown oak with red hangings. After the desolation of the State apartments, this comfortable corridor had at least the appearance of leading to the habitation of man. A giant trooper in field-grey with a curious silver gorget suspended round his neck by a chain paced up and down the passage, his jackboots making no sound upon ...
— The Man with the Clubfoot • Valentine Williams

... the strife of a nation at war with itself had spread desolation and sorrow broadcast. The fighting ceased in April. One mid-June day following, the town folk and those from countrysides far and near met on the ample grounds of a bride-to-be. Had it not been for the sprinkling of blue uniforms, no thought of war could have seemed ...
— Our Nervous Friends - Illustrating the Mastery of Nervousness • Robert S. Carroll

... the toll of life! Waste were the golden fields of grain upon which we gaze with such rapt admiration. Waste, too, were these mills with their whir of industry. The fury of war fell on those sunny acres like a great pestilence, and their usefulness and beauty became desolation. The only grist mill not burned by Sheridan and his men when they went through is still pointed out to the traveler. But Nature has again asserted her right and on this delightful morning the valley smiles beneath its veil of dreamy blue like the peaceful glow that spreads over the countenance ...
— See America First • Orville O. Hiestand

... not know, only that the business is important and pressing. From the records of his partial success we gather that he ought to have enquired concerning the nature of the Grail, and that this enquiry would have resulted in the restoration to fruitfulness of a Waste Land, the desolation of which is, in some manner, not clearly explained, connected with the death of a knight whose name and identity are never disclosed. "Great is the loss that ye lie thus, 'tis even the destruction ...
— From Ritual to Romance • Jessie L. Weston

... shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.' ...
— The Bible in its Making - The most Wonderful Book in the World • Mildred Duff

... its best. Imagine the dull green of the tangled thickets, the ragged clumps of reeds and water-grasses, the sombre and silent flow of the fulvous water sliding and curling down out of the jungle, and the implacable fervour of the pallid, searching sunlight heightening every touch of ugliness and desolation, and you will understand why the Hebrew poets sang no praise of the Jordan, and why Naaman the Syrian thought scorn of it when he remembered the lovely and fruitful rivers ...
— Out-of-Doors in the Holy Land - Impressions of Travel in Body and Spirit • Henry Van Dyke

... ear for them. But he looked back and up to the western sky, with a flat-topped mountain clearly outlined against it. There was his country, and in his country he had left Jig alone and helpless. A feeling of utter desolation and failure came over him. He had started with a double-goal—Sandersen or Cartwright, or both. He had failed lamentably of reaching either one. He looked back to the sheriff, squat, insignificant, gray-headed. What a ...
— The Rangeland Avenger • Max Brand

... dwelling was to be seen in this dreary wilderness. Wherever the eye turned, there was nothing but sand and water, which united at the edge of the land. Long lines of surf poured over the arid desert, and, as if repelled by the desolation of this strand, returned to the ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... about this time began to suffer, and, anxious as I was to push on, I was obliged to shorten my journeys, according to circumstances. Amidst the desolation around us, the river kept alive our hopes. If it traversed deserts, it might reach fertile lands, and it was to the issue of the journey that we had to look for success. It here, however, evidently overflowed ...
— Two Expeditions into the Interior of Southern Australia, Complete • Charles Sturt

... taken and executed with others at Edinburgh Dec. 7, 1666, and was one of the test circuits 1683. This and other pieces of the like employment made James Nicol a martyr say, That the world would see that house a desolation, and nettles growing in its closs:—which came to pass soon after the Revolution, when he became insolvent, his estate sequestrated, and orders obtained to apprehend him: which at last was effected although he defended himself some time with stones from the battlement. The lands ...
— Biographia Scoticana (Scots Worthies) • John Howie

... country exhibits the most authentic proofs of the uniform course of nature, it affords also the most evident examples of the degradation of the human mind. It is there we find the cause of those ruins that astonish, and the desolation that afflicts. Had men continued their exertions, the labour of their hands would not ...
— An Inquiry into the Permanent Causes of the Decline and Fall of Powerful and Wealthy Nations. • William Playfair

... yourself, I approve altogether of your abandoning what you justly call vanities. I look upon you as a man, called by sorrow and anguish and a strange desolation of hopes into quietness, and a soul set apart and made peculiar to God; we cannot arrive at any portion of heavenly bliss without in some measure imitating Christ. And they arrive at the largest inheritance who imitate the most difficult parts of his character, ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Vol. 5 • Edited by E. V. Lucas

... Years ago the Houses in that Country were all Numbered, and by a just Computation the Inhabitants of all Sorts could not then exceed 750000 Souls. And if any Man will consider the Desolation by almost perpetual Wars, the numerous Armies that have lived almost ever since at Discretion upon the People, and how much of their Commerce has removed for more Security to other Places, he will have little Reason to imagine that their Numbers have since increased; and therefore with one third ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... of our discovery was the water-parting of the Wady Rubayyigh with the Wady Rbigh, both feeders of the Sirr; this to the north, that to the south. The ruins, known as Umm el-Harb, "Mother of Desolation," are the usual basement-lines: they lie in the utterly waterless basin, our camping-ground, stretching west of Mar Rubayyigh, the big white reef. This "Mother" bears nearly north of Umm el-Karyt, in north lat. 26 33' 36" (Ahmed Kaptn): her ...
— The Land of Midian, Vol. 2 • Richard Burton

... Falkland, or the Spencers (Sunderland), or the Comptons (Northampton), who felt and owned their paramount duty to lie in public self-dedication, and died therefore, and oftentimes left their inheritances a desolation. 'Thus far'—oh heavens! with what bitterness I said this, knowing it a thing undeniable by W. W. or by Sir George—you, the peerages that pretend to try conclusions with the English, you—French, German, Walloon, Spanish, Scottish—are able to do so simply because ...
— The Posthumous Works of Thomas De Quincey, Vol. II (2 vols) • Thomas De Quincey

... would be drawn round the town and a price would probably be put upon the rebel's head. It is strange that the desperate band of deserters did not accompany the king in his flight. There may have been no time for the retreat of so large a force, or the strength and desolation of the site may have filled them with confidence of success. But, if things came to the worst, they had a surprise in store for their former comrades who were now ...
— A History of Rome, Vol 1 - During the late Republic and early Principate • A H.J. Greenidge

... his words are to be considered.] This with more also hath Gyldas, and likewise Beda written of this great desolation of the British people: wherein if the words of Gyldas be well weighed and considered, it maie lead vs to thinke, that the Scots had no habitations here in Britaine, but onelie in Ireland, till after this season, ...
— Chronicles (1 of 6): The Historie of England (4 of 8) - The Fovrth Booke Of The Historie Of England • Raphael Holinshed

... people. What, sir! Shall America go forth, like another Don Quixote, to relieve distressed nations and to rescue from the fangs of tyranny the powerful states of Britain, Spain, Austria, Italy, the Netherlands? Shall she, like another Phaethon, madly ascend the chariot of Empire, and spread desolation and horror over the world? Shall she attempt to restrain the career of a nation, which my honorable colleague represents to have been irresistible, and which he declares has appalled the British lion and the imperial eagle of the house of Austria? Shall we wantonly court ...
— The Rose of Old St. Louis • Mary Dillon

... achieved by a disunited Christendom? The nations are rivals. Their rivalry persisted at the Peace Conference, disappointing all the hopes of idealists. Must it not always persist, must not horrible carnage, awful desolation, ruinous destruction, and, at any rate, dangerous and provocative rivalries, always dog the steps of humanity until Christendom ...
— Painted Windows - Studies in Religious Personality • Harold Begbie

... hoss-captain's varmints, to be sure; or what-all the abomination o' desolation has left of 'em. We ain't more than a cat's jump from the edge o' the big rock where we first sot ...
— The Master of Appleby • Francis Lynde

... not only on the men but on their gods. The Persians were zealous adorers of the sun and the fire, they abhorred the idol-worship of the Greeks, and defiled and plundered every temple that fell in their way. Death and desolation were almost the best that could be looked for at such hands—slavery and torture from cruelly barbarous masters would only too surely be the lot of numbers, should their land fall ...
— The Junior Classics • Various

... State. What strange combination of circumstances could ever have brought such a man to this place, and sent him forth across those Indian-scouted plains? Surely nothing ordinary. And why should those border desperadoes have followed, through sixty miles of desolation, to trike him down? It was not robbery, at least in the ordinary sense. What then? And how was "Black Bart" involved? Why should he be sufficiently interested to swear out a warrant, and then assist ...
— Keith of the Border • Randall Parrish

... was murdered on 27 October, and his successor Koerber was compelled to resign on 13 December. Three weeks earlier the old Emperor Francis Joseph, who had ascended the throne in the midst of the revolutions of 1848, passed away in time to escape the greater desolation which threatened his empire. His successor and great-nephew Charles could give no better security to his ministries. Koerber was followed by Spitzmueller, and he, after a few days by Clam-Martinitz, a Bohemian noble. Tisza's ...
— A Short History of the Great War • A.F. Pollard

... contrast to what the place had been but a very short time before; and now the scene of desolation was complete, there was no one spot in which the most ...
— Varney the Vampire - Or the Feast of Blood • Thomas Preskett Prest

... upon the Cardinal's garden. The King had led her by the hand. There had been a great crying out of many people of the lower sort that crowded the terrace before the garden. Now the rain fell, and all was desolation. A yeoman in brown fustian ran bending his head before the tempestuous rain. A rook, blown impotently backwards, essayed slowly to cross towards the western trees. Her eyes followed him until a great gust blew him in a wider curve, backwards and up, and when again he ...
— The Fifth Queen Crowned • Ford Madox Ford

... not the men who have made this nation what it is, it is the men and the women, and in no part of it have women contributed more than in the South. When we look back over its past history; when we see the land barren, the desolation everywhere; when we see the homes left destitute and the women prostrate by the graves of their dead; when we realize that the men were nearly all swept away—we know that the power which kept the South steadfast, which held the homes ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume V • Ida Husted Harper

... ground, and with which we regaled ourselves. Enclosed maize fields overgrown with brambles, and cotton fields with the gins and apparatus for packing the produce in bales for the market, presented to the eye the very picture of desolation. ...
— An Englishman's Travels in America - His Observations Of Life And Manners In The Free And Slave States • John Benwell

... yellow-white from 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 could no longer ...
— The Castle Of The Shadows • Alice Muriel Williamson

... recollect my happy home, My pleasures as a child; The forest where I used to roam, The rocks so bleak and wild. That home is tenantless; the spot It graced is rude and bare; The lov'd ones gone, our name forgot. And desolation there. ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume 12, No. 339, Saturday, November 8, 1828. • Various

... play-city, the scrawny 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 over the cheerless soil. Above swam the marvellous clarified ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... chimneys which had been seen from the highroad. There was no dwelling in sight at the moment, and Tom stole an apprehensive look at the grave face of his companion. It appeared as if he were being led to the habitation of ghosts, as if he were purposely to be confronted with the desolation left in the track of Northern troops. It was not so long since the great war that these things ...
— The Life of Nancy • Sarah Orne Jewett

... soldiers, seamen, and citizens tried to succour the drowning, some in boats, some swimming. But, alas! only a small number could be saved of the unfortunate men. The following day more than 200 bodies were thrown ashore, and with them the hat of the conqueror of Marengo. That sad day was one of desolation for Boulogne and for the camp. The Emperor groaned under the burden of an accident which he had to attribute solely to his own obstinacy. Agents were despatched to all parts of the town to subdue with gold the murmurs which ware ready to break out ...
— Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete • Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne

... consequence of such a state of things is, that no idea of independence of the parent country is likely to arise; unless, indeed, it should spring up in a form that would threaten universal desolation. The inhabitants have no strong attachment to the place which they inhabit. The hope of a great portion of them is to leave it; and their great desire, to leave it soon. However useful they may be to the parent state, how much soever they may add to the conveniences ...
— The Great Speeches and Orations of Daniel Webster • Daniel Webster

... and inexperienced orphan, stood in melancholy groups about the deserted mansion, interchanging details of their losses, their blasted prospects, and their immediate ruin. The cries of the widow, who mourned for the desolation brought upon her and her now destitute orphans, rose in a piteous wail to heaven, and the industrious fathers of many struggling families, with pale faces and breaking hearts, looked in silent misery upon the closed shutters and smokeless chimneys of their oppressor's house, bitterly conscious that ...
— Fardorougha, The Miser - The Works of William Carleton, Volume One • William Carleton

... B.C. that the Hyksos were finally expelled from Egypt. They were originally Asiatic hordes who had overrun the valley of the Nile, and held it in subjection for several centuries. At first they had carried desolation with them wherever they went. The temples of the Egyptian gods were destroyed and their priests massacred. But before long Egyptian culture proved too strong for the invaders. The rude chief of a savage ...
— Patriarchal Palestine • Archibald Henry Sayce

... the men war nigh-han' dazed wi' the terrible cauld and the weariness o' the traivel, and I had sleepit ower lang, and they had forgotten a' aboot me. And what think ye was the first thocht i' my heid, whan I cam' to mysel', i' the terrible white desolation o' cauld and ice and snaw? I wantit to run straucht to you, and lay my heid upo' yer shouther. For I had been dreamin' a' nicht that I was lyin' i' my bed at hame, terrible ill, and ye war gaein aboot the room like an angel, wi' the glimmer o' white wings aboot ye, which I reckon was the snaw comin' ...
— Alec Forbes of Howglen • George MacDonald

... into the desolation of my father's heart, I felt a movement of deep pity towards him, which was the beginning of a new affection—an affection that grew and strengthened in spite of the strange bitterness with which he regarded me in the first month or ...
— The Lifted Veil • George Eliot

... their track, and came more and more towards their journey's end, the monotonous desolation of the scene increased to that degree, that for any redeeming feature it presented to their eyes, they might have entered, in the body, on the grim domains of Giant Despair. A flat morass, bestrewn with fallen timber; a marsh on which ...
— Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit • Charles Dickens

... crept down to breakfast, Jaquetta and I, feeling very dreary in the half-light, and as if desolation had suddenly come on us; and when we heard her fly drive up to the door, Jaquetta cried out almost angrily, "Torwood, how could you!" and we would have run away, but he said, "Stay, dear girls; it is better to have ...
— Lady Hester, or Ursula's Narrative • Charlotte M. Yonge

... very different, for they were all of fear, mingled with something like horror. She looked at the sweet-faced girl sitting beside Reginald Garthorne, and thought of the ruin and desolation that would fall upon her young life, with all its brilliant outward promise, if she only knew what she could have told her. She looked at her husband and wondered what all these good people—most of whom would have given almost anything for an invitation to his home—what ...
— The Missionary • George Griffith

... desolation. A silent tempest had installed itself therein, placing everything in violent unnatural positions. Not a single tree still preserved its upright form and abundant foliage as in the days of peace. The groups of pines recalled the columns of ruined temples. Some were still standing ...
— The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... I stood upon the White Hill at Prague, in Bohemia, where the thirty years war began and ended. There is no more suggestive spot in Europe. It recalled a picture of the horrors and desolation of war unequalled in history. The contest began when the continent was dominated by the German empire, and ended with the magnificent creation of Charles V. broken into numberless petty principalities. Like the contest of the 17th century, ours was both a civil and religious ...
— Buchanan's Journal of Man, August 1887 - Volume 1, Number 7 • Various

... Alca were in front of me, speaking the Martian tongue, while I stood looking backward every few steps, delighted to trace the broad river of the canal winding through the desolation for miles beyond. Then I noticed how rapid and effortless is motion in Mars. Volition is so easy and penetrating, the body becomes a mere plaything for the mind. Every function, every part is swayed into vitality by the mind. There is the apparent motion of the limbs, but really the whole frame ...
— The Certainty of a Future Life in Mars • L. P. Gratacap

... gray shadows of everlasting darkness closed, or the brightness of eternal light broke upon her! Yes, she would stand four-square against the steely terrors of John Liddell's cold egotism and penuriousness, against the desolation and gloom of his forbidding abode, the crushing sordidness of an existence reduced to the merest straws of sustenance, provided she could lighten her mother's load—perhaps secure her future ease; ...
— A Crooked Path - A Novel • Mrs. Alexander

... grey clouds chased one another with mad fury across the midsummer sky, now obscuring the cold face of the moon, now allowing her pale, silvery rays to light up this gigantic panorama of desolation and terror and misery. To right and left along the roads and lanes, across grassland and cornfields, canals, ditches and fences the last of the Grand Army was flying headlong, closely pursued by the Prussians. And at the farm of La Belle Alliance Wellington and Bluecher ...
— The Bronze Eagle - A Story of the Hundred Days • Emmuska Orczy, Baroness Orczy

... have never seen a great flood do not know the meaning of the Scriptural phrase, "the abomination of desolation." ...
— The True Story of Our National Calamity of Flood, Fire and Tornado • Logan Marshall

... cheering. I've been back in England a month, alone in the damned desolation of Dartmoor, fighting—fighting to ...
— The Moon out of Reach • Margaret Pedler

... an abode of abominable desolation. No one came near it until nine o'clock in the evening, when one or two members straggled in, took down their long pipes and called for whisky or beer, the only alcoholic beverages the club provided. These were kept in great barrels in the scullery, ...
— The Beloved Vagabond • William J. Locke

... we travelled through a country fantastic in its desolation—a mass of huge hills, barren plains, and desert vales. The third day was spent uncomfortably at El Hamra, a miserable collection of hovels made of unbaked brick and mud. It was reported that Saad, the great robber-chief, was in the field, and there was ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Volume 19 - Travel and Adventure • Various

... cartoons that first arise in one's recollection. And it is (with but one or two exceptions) exclusively in his cartoons that Leech showed his tragic power. "The Poor Man's Friend" (1845), in which Death, gaunt and grisly, comes to the relief of a wretch in the very desolation of misery and poverty, tells as much in one page as Jerrold's pen, with all its strength and intensity, could make us feel in a score. Ten years later the same idea was splendidly developed and magnificently realised in the cartoon ...
— The History of "Punch" • M. H. Spielmann

... thrusting their tongues in their cheeks at her, saying, 'Behold her now, how she that was fair among the nations is fallen! is fallen!'— and only the few wise men who loved her out of every nation will shed tears over her desolation as they pass, and cast handfuls of earth on her body to quiet her manes, while we, her children, stumble about our ruined habitations to find dishonorable graves wherein to hide our shame. Dissolution? How ...
— Slavery and Four Years of War, Vol. 1-2 • Joseph Warren Keifer

... by the loss of a son. But there is but too much reason to believe that the implacability of Seymour was the implacability, not of an affectionate father, but of a factious and malignant agitator. He tried to make what is, in the jargon of our time, called political capital out of the desolation of his house and the blood of his first born. A brawl between two dissolute youths, a brawl distinguished by nothing but its unhappy result from the hundred brawls which took place every month in theatres and taverns, he magnified into an attack on the liberties ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 5 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... and I think by this time there must be a belt of more than a hundred miles long and thirty broad, in which, with three insignificant exceptions, there is nothing but absolute desolation. This will give your Excellency some idea of the mischief ...
— The Transvaal from Within - A Private Record of Public Affairs • J. P. Fitzpatrick

... renewal exterminating civil war. Session after session have you been compelled to enact laws of unexampled rigour and novelty to repress the horrible excesses of the mass of your people: and the fury of murder and pillage and desolation have so outrun all legislative exertions that you have been at length driven to the hard necessity of breaking down the pale of municipal law, and putting your courage under the ban of military government—and in every little ...
— Against Home Rule (1912) - The Case for the Union • Various

... inaccessible mountains of Peru are pierced, at a height of several hundred feet, with numerous caves which have nearly all been artificially enlarged. It was in them that the Peruvians placed their dead, and the people of the country still call them TANTAMA MARCA or abodes of desolation. The entrances were concealed with extreme care, but this care did not save the tombs from violation; the greed for the treasures supposed to be concealed in the tombs was too great for respect to the unknown dead to hold ...
— Manners and Monuments of Prehistoric Peoples • The Marquis de Nadaillac

... across the bridge. The year that had passed since Cardo had left her, with its varied experiences and trials, the bitter sense of loneliness and desertion, the pains and the delights of motherhood, the desolation and sorrow of bereavement, all had worked a change in the simple girl's character, that now surprised even herself, and she thankfully realised that her troubles had at all events generated a strength which ...
— By Berwen Banks • Allen Raine

... sobbing people, and the wreaths of camellias and of holly, that loving hands had made, and laid upon the coffin. And then the last hymn had been so sweet and beautiful, they all seemed refreshed and comforted except Edgar, who, coming fresh back to the desolation of the house, was in ...
— The Pillars of the House, V1 • Charlotte M. Yonge

... she used to gather daisies in her childhood! It takes a great deal of love to keep down the 'climbing sorrow' that swells up in a woman's throat when such memories seize upon her, in her moments of desolation. But if a foreign-born woman does willingly give up all for a man, and never looks backward, like Lot's wife, she is a prize that it is worth running a risk to gain,—that is, if she has the making of a good woman in her; and a few years will go far ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... 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 rolled ...
— The Ape, the Idiot & Other People • W. C. Morrow

... certainly appear as one of those spots on our planet where they would least of all wish to find themselves — a God-forsaken, out-of-the-way hole that could offer nothing but the very climax of desolation, discomfort, and boredom. To us nine, who stood on the gangway ready to leave this place, things appeared somewhat differently. That strong little house, that now lay entirely hidden beneath the snow behind Mount Nelson, had for a whole year been our home, and a thoroughly good ...
— The South Pole, Volumes 1 and 2 • Roald Amundsen

... of years after the conclusion of the war. The prospect was, indeed, gloomy. For a long time the public treasury had been empty; and thousands of the soldiers, many of them invalids, made so by their hard service for their country, would be compelled to seek a livelihood in the midst of the desolation which war had produced. In this state of things, and with such prospects, many sighed for a change. They lost faith in the republican form of government, as they saw it in its practical workings under the Articles of Confederation, and they earnestly desired something ...
— Washington and the American Republic, Vol. 3. • Benson J. Lossing

... as now! I was not far from thee. Thy spirit spoke in all my wants and fears, And hopes and longings. Thou art all in all. I am not mine, but thine. I cannot speak The thoughts that work within me like a sea. When on the earth I lay, crushed down beneath A hopeless weight of empty desolation, Thy loving face was lighted then, O Christ, With expectation of my joy to come, When all the realm of possible ill should lie Under my feet, and I should stand as now Heart-sure of thee, true-hearted, only One. Was ever soul filled to such overflowing ...
— The Poetical Works of George MacDonald in Two Volumes, Volume I • George MacDonald

... or Athelstane such a reverse as the invaders had met with before London would surely have been followed up by some crushing victory. But under the wretched Ethelred there was no attempt made to prevent the more fearful desolation of other parts of the kingdom. Olaf and Sweyn were calmly allowed to avenge their defeat by ravaging the coast at pleasure, and to pillage, burn and murder without meeting the slightest resistance. At the mouth of the Thames the two chiefs had divided ...
— Olaf the Glorious - A Story of the Viking Age • Robert Leighton

... misery; she often blushes and weeps over her degradation; she hears from every side voices which call her out of those ways of perdition. Almost at every hour of day and night the cry of her conscience warns her against the desolation and suffering of an eternity passed far away from the regions of holiness, light, and life. All those things are often so many means of grace, in the hands of our merciful God, to awaken the mind ...
— The Priest, The Woman And The Confessional • Father Chiniquy

... wonderful, most beautiful creature in the world. He stared back along his path, but the many curves and breaks in the cliff hid from him every sign of Chance Along. Not a roof, chimney, or streamer of smoke broke the desolation. In all the frozen scene he could find no mark of man or man's handiwork. South and north, east and west, lay the frosted barrens, the gray sea, the edge of the cliff twisting away to nothingness around innumerable lifeless ...
— The Harbor Master • Theodore Goodridge Roberts

... the recollection of the poor young mother, whom she had left in her desolation, made Lucy's tears pour forth like a summer storm. She flung her arms round her husband's neck, and called out to him in an agony of anxiety ...
— Sir Tom • Mrs. Oliphant

... That the Revolution was a great event is certain; all else seems to be uncertain. For some it is, as it was for Charles Fox, much the greatest of all events and much the best. For some it is, as it was for Burke, the accursed thing, the abomination of desolation. If its dark side alone be regarded, it oppresses the very soul of man. A king, guilty of little more than amiable weakness and legitimate or pious affection; a queen whose gravest fault was but the ...
— History of the French Revolution from 1789 to 1814 • F. A. M. Mignet

... on the alert for anything picturesque saved me from idiotcy. Whenever opportunity offered, or whenever I could take French leave, I went off with sketchbook and pencil, and forgot for a time the horror of barrack-room life, with its unending flow of filthy language, and its barren desolation of yellow-washed walls ...
— At Suvla Bay • John Hargrave

... destroyed; the climate and the soil are equally at stake, and these fires prevent the rains of the next winter and dry up perennial fountains. California has been a land of promise in its time, like Palestine; but if the woods continue so swiftly to perish, it may become, like Palestine, a land of desolation. ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition - Vol. 2 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... remedy, Nor greatness, nor the trick you had to part us, Which I smell too rank, too open, too evident (And I must tell you Sir, 'tis most unnoble) Shall hinder me: had she but ten hours life, Nay less, but two hours, I would have her with me, I would not leave her fame to so much ruine, To such a desolation and discredit As her weakness and your hot will wou'd work ...
— Rule a Wife, and Have a Wife - Beaumont & Fletcher's Works (3 of 10) • Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher

... came back from Spain he came to an empty house. The big reception rooms at Bowshott were swathed in brown holland and dust-sheets, pictures were covered and carpets rolled up, giving an air of desolation to the place. The flowers in the formal gardens had all been dug up, and the carefully tended designs—so like a stitchwork pattern—had lost their mosaic of colour, leaving merely a careful drawing of brown upon ...
— Peter and Jane - or The Missing Heir • S. (Sarah) Macnaughtan

... beauty-lover, all mystic to the dreamer; between the wonderful blue of the water and the sky she floats like a mirage—visionary—unreal—and under the spell of her fascination we are not critics, but lovers. We see the pathos, not the scars of her desolation, and the splendor of her past is too much a part of her to be forgotten, though the gold is dim upon her palace-fronts, and the sheen of her precious marbles has lost its bloom, and the colors of the laughing Giorgione have ...
— A Golden Book of Venice • Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull

... along the too well remembered scene between Ballybay and Dublin, he could not help thinking of the time when he had gone over this road on his first visit to Ireland after his departure for England. He had then thought that desolation had reached its ultimate point; but in the intervening period the signs of decay had increased. It appeared as if for every ruin that had stared him in the face on the former occasion ten now appeared. For miles and miles he caught sight of not one house, of no human face; he seemed ...
— Donahoe's Magazine, Volume 15, No. 2, February 1886 • Various

... Then she sighed, turned, and walked listlesly up-stairs—and Miss Polly did not usually move listlessly. In her ears still was the boy's scornful "you was so good and kind." In her heart was a curious sense of desolation—as ...
— Pollyanna • Eleanor H. Porter

... ever afterwards entered them in every part of the world to refit, and so to renew their depredations. The consequences of this conduct were most disastrous to the States then in rebellion, increasing their desolation and misery by the prolongation of our civil contest. It had, moreover, the effect, to a great extent, to drive the American flag from the sea, and to transfer much of our shipping and our commerce to the very power whose subjects had created the necessity ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 2 (of 2) of Volume 6: Andrew Johnson • James D. Richardson

... list of closured stations Elicits further protestations. Blank desolation, grim and stark, Broods sadly o'er Carpenders Park, And Friezland, as perhaps is meet, Is suffering badly from cold feet. The population of Rhosneigr Is raging like a wounded tiger; And those who used to book at Llong Are using language, loud and strong, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152, January 10, 1917 • Various

... The second van had disappeared, and nothing was left but a litter of straw and paper. The front door stood open and revealed desolation. Miss Nugent came to the gate ...
— At Sunwich Port, Complete • W.W. Jacobs

... form, half veiled in the shroud of flame that wrapped her last, but with the innocent, questioning eyes still turned to me; and as I look back into their depths of purity and love, again and again I mourn, as at first, for that which made me feel, more and more by its sympathy, the peculiar desolation of my ...
— The English Governess At The Siamese Court • Anna Harriette Leonowens

... buy back the Lazy A from her Uncle Carl, and she was going to tear away that atmosphere of emptiness and desolation which it had worn so long. She was going to prove to all men that her father never had killed Johnny Croft. She was going to do it! Then life would begin where it had left off three years ago. And when this deadening load of trouble was lifted, then perhaps she could do some of the glorious, ...
— Jean of the Lazy A • B. M. Bower

... door, and over that was a great 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

... thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild, The seat of desolation, void of light, Save what the glimmering of these livid flames Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend From off the tossing of these fiery waves, There rest, if any rest can harbor there, And, reassembling ...
— The Book of the Epic • Helene A. Guerber

... I am now perfecting arrangements to put into Tennessee a force able to hold the line of the Tennessee whilst I break up the railroad in front of Dalton, including the city of Atlanta, and push into Georgia, and break up all its railroads and depots, capture its horses and negroes, make desolation everywhere, destroy the factories at Macon, Milledgeville, and Augusta, and bring up with 60,000 men on the sea-shore about Savannah or Charleston. I think this far better than defending a long line of railroad. I will leave General George H. Thomas to command all my division behind me, ...
— Forty-Six Years in the Army • John M. Schofield

... progress. He sees before him, about a mile farther on, the last human habitation—a shepherd's cabin, without an inch of cultivated land about it; and he is told that all beyond that is barrenness and desolation, until he reach the valley of the Spey. The pine-trees at the same time decrease in number, the hills become less craggy and abrupt, and the country in general assumes a bleak, bare, windy, bog-and-moor appearance, that is apt to make, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, No. 382, October 1847 • Various

... how truly it is a mirror of the author's heart, and of all the fond pictures of early friends and early life forever present there. It seems to us as if the very last accounts received from home, of his "shattered family," and the desolation that seemed to have settled upon the haunts of his childhood, had cut to the roots one feebly cherished hope, and produced the following exquisitely ...
— Oliver Goldsmith • Washington Irving

... an accomplished fact. At four o'clock, in the full glare of a late March sun, a business-like detachment of twenty horses, and one disdainful camel, proceeded at a brisk trot along the lifeless desolation of the Bunnoo Road. The party kept in close formation, straggling of any sort being inadmissible when the bounds of the station have been left behind. Ten of the riders were English, and an armed escort guarded them in front and rear; the camel, ...
— Captain Desmond, V.C. • Maud Diver

... a deaf ear to everything. The desolation was so great that she found the drawbridge lowered, and hastened to quit the castle, fearing that it might be suddenly raised again; but no one had the right or the heart to do it. She sat down on the curb of the moat, in view of ...
— Droll Stories, Volume 3 • Honore de Balzac

... he said to his father and brothers; and so, dressed in the very best fashion of the time, he hurried down into the reception-hall, where Steger was waiting, and was off. His family, hearing the door close on him, suffered a poignant sense of desolation. They stood there for a moment, his mother crying, his father looking as though he had lost his last friend but making a great effort to seem self-contained and equal to his troubles, Anna telling Lillian not to mind, and the latter staring dumbly into the future, not knowing what ...
— The Financier • Theodore Dreiser

... trembling lip; she could say nothing but a faint "Thank you, I shall be grateful"; and she walked back to her lodgings, through the driving rain, with a new sense of desolation. She must be a lonely wanderer; she must go out among fresh faces, that would look at her wonderingly, because the days did not seem joyful to her; she must begin a new life, in which she would have to rouse herself to receive new impressions; ...
— The Mill on the Floss • George Eliot

... and three human corpses, two of the latter being those of Carlists, and the third that of one of the defenders of the house. A few peasants stood by, looking on in open-mouthed stupefaction; and above the whole scene of desolation, a thick cloud of black smoke ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, Number 361, November, 1845. • Various

... knee-deep, they sat down on a ledge of jutting rock while Weston laid out a simple meal. It was very cold in the shadow of the peak, and a bitter wind that seemed to be gathering strength whistled eerily about the desolation of rock and snow. They were wet to the knees, and Weston fancied that the girls' cheerfulness was a trifle forced. He was ready to admit that he was somewhat stiff and weary, for he had carried the provisions and the heavy blankets that the girls ...
— The Gold Trail • Harold Bindloss

... forth into her furious vituperation of those whose treachery has frustrated his natural claim to greatness. The woman, too, who in the utmost bitterness of disappointment, in the utter helplessness and desolation of betrayal, and the prostration of anguish and despair, calls on the earth, not for a shelter, not for a grave, or for a resting-place, but for a throne, is surely royally ambitious, a queen more than anything else. Mrs. Siddons's conception of Lady Macbeth is very beautiful, ...
— Records of a Girlhood • Frances Anne Kemble

... those means that are possible. Andre will not readily give up his pretensions: he has a party of his own, and in case of open rupture his brother the King of Hungary may declare war upon us, and bring ruin and desolation ...
— CELEBRATED CRIMES, COMPLETE - JOAN OF NAPLES—1343-1382 • ALEXANDRE DUMAS, PERE

... between sixteen and sixty to death, to deprive all the boys between six and sixteen of their right hands, and to bore the breasts of the females with red-hot irons. The English were surprised at the silence and desolation which reigned around them; for the only human beings whom they met on their march through this wilderness, were a few old women and children who on their knees solicited mercy. But Cromwell conducted them by the sea coast; ...
— The History of England from the First Invasion by the Romans - to the Accession of King George the Fifth - Volume 8 • John Lingard and Hilaire Belloc

... Umm el-Ka'ab, "Mother of Pots." Nobody wanted to see the fragments of this mother's pots, but I insisted on a brief visit, as important discoveries have been made there, among the most important in Egypt. It was a dreary place where Harry Snell strolled up and caught me alone, gazing at a desolation of sandy hillocks, ...
— It Happened in Egypt • C. N. Williamson & A. M. Williamson

... turn. Sir George, do not think I undervalue your company: but if you would but take her home, instead of taking me! Poor thing, she is brave; but when the excitement of her good action is over, and she goes back the weary road all alone, what desolation it will be! My heart bleeds for her. I know I am an unconscionable woman, to ask such a thing; but then you are a true chevalier; you always were, and you saw her merit directly. O, do pray leave me to slip ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 109, November, 1866 • Various

... done on the very same day on which their Divine worship had fallen off, and was reduced to a profane and common use, after three years' time; for so it was, that the temple was made desolate by Antiochus, and so continued for three years. This desolation happened to the temple in the hundred forty and fifth year, on the twenty-fifth day of the month Apeliens, and on the hundred fifty and third olympiad: but it was dedicated anew, on the same day, the twenty-fifth of the month Apeliens, on the hundred ...
— The Antiquities of the Jews • Flavius Josephus

... feeling seemed to be that, by the morrow, Plassans would no longer exist, that it would either be swallowed up by the earth or would evaporate in the atmosphere. When Rougon went home to dine, he found the streets completely deserted. This desolation made him sad and melancholy. As a result of this, when he had finished his meal, he felt some slight misgivings, and asked his wife if it were necessary to follow up the insurrection that ...
— The Fortune of the Rougons • Emile Zola

... period with us.—We were a small number in the garrison.—A powerful army before our walls, whose appearance proclaimed inevitable death, fearfully painted, and marking their footsteps with desolation. Death was preferable to captivity; and if taken by storm, we must inevitably be devoted to destruction. In this situation we concluded to maintain our garrison, if possible. We immediately proceeded to collect what we could of our ...
— The Adventures of Colonel Daniel Boone • John Filson

... emotions I had as I stood there under the cold light of the moon, cold waters rushin' down into a cold tomb; cold as a frog the hull thing seemed, and full of a infinite desolation. But I knew that if Love had stood there by my side, personified in a small-sized figger, the hull seen would have bloomed rosy. Yes, as I listened to the awestruck, admirin' axents of the twain with me, them words of the Poet ...
— Around the World with Josiah Allen's Wife • Marietta Holley

... intense agony, which he could not alleviate. He was as one in a trance; a confused consciousness of his terrible loss slowly took possession of him. When at length his weakened intellect comprehended the truth with all its sad surrounding, a great cloud of desolation settled down ...
— Woman on the American Frontier • William Worthington Fowler

... eminence that offered shelter. But shelter was not needed. The storm was clearly defined. Its limits were as distinctly marked by its Creator as if it had been a living intelligence sent forth to put a belt of desolation round the world; and, although the edge of devastation was not five hundred yards from the rock behind which the hunters were stationed, only a few drops of ice-cold ...
— The Dog Crusoe and His Master - A Story of Adventure in the Western Prairies • Robert Michael Ballantyne

... a crucial question—so appealing in unselfish love, so vividly portraying her impending desolation, that for an instant her resolution departed. What would she do without him? God knew! ...
— The Mother • Norman Duncan

... governed, and demand our freedom. Your march through the country has been marked by violence and outrage of every conceivable description, and you have left in your track nothing but death and desolation. The measure of your iniquity is full, and Cuba will endure no more. Your General Weyler has declared a war of extermination against Cubans, and you who execute his murderous mandate must pay the penalty. Yet, since it would be manifestly unfair to punish the innocent for the guilty, and since I ...
— The Cruise of the Thetis - A Tale of the Cuban Insurrection • Harry Collingwood



Words linked to "Desolation" :   ruination, ruin, unhappiness, impairment, desolate, loneliness, deterioration, gloom, bareness, blight, gloominess, devastation, bleakness, nakedness



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