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Desolate   /dˈɛsələt/  /dˈɛzələt/  /dˈɛsəlˌeɪt/   Listen
Desolate

adjective
1.
Providing no shelter or sustenance.  Synonyms: bare, barren, bleak, stark.  "Barren lands" , "The bleak treeless regions of the high Andes" , "The desolate surface of the moon" , "A stark landscape"
2.
Crushed by grief.  "A low desolate wail"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Desolate" Quotes from Famous Books



... Of all desolate places, the one at which I was ditched was the limit. It was called a flag-station, and it consisted of a shanty dumped inconsequentially into the sand and sagebrush. A chill wind was blowing, night was coming on, and the solitary telegraph operator who lived in the shanty ...
— The Road • Jack London

... Joy of the desolate, Light of the straying, Hope, when all others die, fadeless and pure, Here speaks the Comforter, in GOD'S name saying— "Earth has no sorrow ...
— The Complete Poems of Sir Thomas Moore • Thomas Moore et al

... also a rumbling monotone preceding each of these vehement interruptions. The Abbe Bardin was pointing out to her that, unmarried, her son would return to Tonquin, that Lizerolles would be left deserted, her house would be desolate without daughter-in-law or grandchildren; and, as he drew these pictures, he came back, again and again, ...
— Jacqueline, v3 • Th. Bentzon (Mme. Blanc)

... moon hung low in the west like a lamp. A chequered mantle of light and shadow lay over the mountain-barrier of India's north-western frontier, and over the desolate levels through which the train, with its solitary English passenger, sauntered at the rate of seven miles an hour. Even this degree of speed was clearly something of an achievement, attainable only by incessant halting to ...
— Captain Desmond, V.C. • Maud Diver

... myself as presenting a picture of rural abundance, mingled with rural comfort, that one seldom sees in the old world, where the absence of enclosures, and the concentration of the dwellings in villages, leave the fields naked and with a desolate appearance, in spite of their high tillage ...
— The Redskins; or, Indian and Injin, Volume 1. - Being the Conclusion of the Littlepage Manuscripts • James Fenimore Cooper

... the bank. Tiredness and hunger had weakened him, and whatever for should he walk on, wherever to, to which goal? No, there were no more goals, there was nothing left but the deep, painful yearning to shake off this whole desolate dream, to spit out this stale wine, to put an end to this miserable ...
— Siddhartha • Herman Hesse

... of the Montauk appeared more desolate than ever, after the departure of so many of her passengers. So long as her decks were thronged there was an air of life about her, that served to lessen disquietude, but now that she was left by all in the steerage, ...
— Homeward Bound - or, The Chase • James Fenimore Cooper

... suffering to the besiegers. At Antioch they had been distressed chiefly by famine: in place of this wretchedness they had here the greater miseries of thirst. The enemy had carefully destroyed every place which might serve as a receptacle of water; and in seeking for it over miles of desolate country they were exposed to the harassing attacks of Moslem horsemen. Nor had visions and miracles improved the morals or discipline of the camp; and the ghost of Adhemar of Puy appeared to rebuke the horrible sins which ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 5 • Various

... recognised; only our actions, or rather that midnight deed of ours, had she misinterpreted. She would not admit it to me, but I still believe she feared it was a dead body that we had shipped at dead of night to hide away in that desolate tower. ...
— Mr. Justice Raffles • E. W. Hornung

... great chair to one of the ministers, who took his place in it and read passages from the Bible to his companions. And thus, with prayers and pious conversation, and frequent singing of hymns, which the breezes caught from their lips and scattered far over the desolate waves, they prosecuted their voyage, and sailed into the harbor of Salem in the month ...
— True Stories from History and Biography • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... "How desolate it is!" said Dave. "Not a sign of a house or hut anywhere! It's as bad as being in the far West of our country ...
— Dave Porter in the Far North - or, The Pluck of an American Schoolboy • Edward Stratemeyer

... had gone to bed, they began to talk about the doctor's family. It was the last night they were to spend in the old house, and they felt a little sad as they climbed into the mahogany four-poster bedstead, for the room looked desolate. The curtains had been packed, and all the furniture was gone ...
— Peggy in Her Blue Frock • Eliza Orne White

... The Fen monasteries remained desolate for 100 years. During that period the lands were constantly being seized by different intruders. It was not till the time of Alfred the Great, who came to the throne in 871, that the invasions of the Danes were finally checked, ...
— The Cathedral Church of Peterborough - A Description Of Its Fabric And A Brief History Of The Episcopal See • W.D. Sweeting

... says to me: The waters which thou sawest, where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes, and nations and tongues. (16)And the ten horns, and the beast, these will hate the harlot, and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh, and will burn her up with fire. (17)For God put it into their hearts to do his will, and to form one purpose, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words ...
— The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. • Various

... the Curate's eyes? Fair as the vision was, he would have banished it if he could, and hated himself for being capable of conjuring it up at such a time. Was it for him to profit by the great calamity which would make his brother's house desolate? He could not endure the thought, nor himself for finding it possible; and he was ashamed to look in Gerald's face with even the shadow of such an imagination on his own. He tapped at the library ...
— The Perpetual Curate • Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

... short, sheep-cropped grass of Salisbury Plain growing among all these uncouth bowlders. I am not sure that a misty, lowering day would not have better suited Stonehenge, as the dreary midpoint of the great, desolate, trackless plain; not literally trackless, however, for the London and Exeter Road passes within fifty yards of the ruins, and another road ...
— Passages From the English Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... dock. Scarcely has the gang plank been lowered than horse and rider dash over it and are off at a furious gallop. Away on the jet black steed goes Johnnie Frey, the first rider, with the mail that must be hurled by flesh and blood over 1,966 miles of desolate space—across the plains, through North-eastern Kansas and into Nebraska, up the valley of the Platte, across the Great Plateau, into the foothills and over the summit of the Rockies, into the arid Great Basin, over the Wahsatch range, into ...
— The Story of the Pony Express • Glenn D. Bradley

... I, in my desolate years, Flogged a jaded heart in loud saloons; Often have I fled myself with tears, Wandering under pallid, ...
— Nights in London • Thomas Burke

... statue when I get home," she said—"a statue which will personify Nevada and represent the tameless, desolate, changeless, magnificent beauty and the self-sufficient loneliness of the desert. I can see it in my mind's eye now. It will probably be the finest ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 22, November, 1878 - of Popular Literature and Science • Various

... their native tongue and his. So convinced is he that the native idiom of the people is the shortest road to their heart and understanding, that he has prepared a catechism and Christian doctrine in the modern Mixtec, which has been printed. The town itself is desolate; the plaza is much too large, and dwarfs the buildings which surround it, and signs of desolation and decay mark everything. With the fondness which Mexicans show for high-sounding and pious inscriptions, the municipality has painted, upon the side of the town-house, in full sight for a long ...
— In Indian Mexico (1908) • Frederick Starr

... occupied at the West End; but then City offices are poor places, and there are certain City occupations which seem to enjoy the greater credit the poorer are the material circumstances by which they are surrounded. Turning out of a lane which turns out of Lombard Street, there is a desolate, forlorn-looking, dark alley, which is called Hook Court. The entrance to this alley is beneath the first-floor of one of the houses in the lane, and in passing under this covered way the visitor to the place finds himself in a small paved square ...
— The Last Chronicle of Barset • Anthony Trollope

... word and I knew it stood for a horrible kind of punishment common enough among the buccaneers, in which the offender is put ashore with a little powder and shot and left behind on some desolate and ...
— Treasure Island • Robert Louis Stevenson

... true," cried the Electress, casting her eyes around the room, "it does look a little dilapidated and desolate here, and care ought indeed to have been taken to refurnish your apartments and give them a more comfortable aspect. You know, Frederick, we only expect to tarry here for a short time, and think of returning to Prussia ...
— The Youth of the Great Elector • L. Muhlbach

... stayed for no explanations: she extricated herself from the tinker party, and, filled with a righteous wrath, went forth to look for her son. From a plantation three fields away came the asphyxiated bleats of the horn and the desolate bawls of Patsey Crimmeen. Mrs. Alexander decided that it was better for the present to leave the personnel of the Craffroe Hunt to ...
— All on the Irish Shore - Irish Sketches • E. Somerville and Martin Ross

... contain his excitement. He hovered in front of the telephone, waiting for it to ring. Then, at a quarter to five, just when he felt he couldn't stand it any longer, and was about to ring up his wife instead of waiting for her to ring him up, he saw a burly shadow behind the glass door, and gave a desolate sigh. That shadow could only be thrown by one person, and that person was his Worship the Mayor of Bursley. His Worship entered the private office with mayoral assurance, pulling in his wake a stout old lady whom he introduced as his aunt from Wolverhampton. ...
— The Grim Smile of the Five Towns • Arnold Bennett

... name; Along the ways wheredown my feet have passed I see the years with little triumph crowned, Exulting not for perils dared, downcast And weary-eyed and desolate for shame Of having been unstirred of all the sound Of the deep music of the men that move Through the world's days ...
— Georgian Poetry 1911-12 • Various

... the main, very nearly due east and west. They seldom rise to any great elevation,—the promontory of Aspatogon, about five hundred feet high, being the highest land on the Atlantic coast of the Province. The general aspect of the shore is low, rocky, and desolate, strewn often with huge boulders of granite or quartzite,—and where not bleak and rocky, it is covered with thick forests of ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 13, No. 79, May, 1864 • Various

... of them, and recognised his work as part of the carrying out of his sworn bond. He had grown to be almost the right hand of Sergius Thord; wherever Thord sought supporters, he helped to obtain them,—wherever the sick and needy, the desolate and distressed, required aid, he somehow managed to secure it,—and next to Thord,—and of course Lotys, —he was the idol of the Socialist centre. He never spoke in public,— he seldom appeared at mass meetings; but his influence was always felt; and he made himself and ...
— Temporal Power • Marie Corelli

... plain, If thou shouldst find my love, oh bid him come! And tell him, on these mountains I remain Even as a lamb who cannot find her home: And tell him, I am left all, all alone, Even as a tree whose flowers are overblown: And tell him, I am left without a mate Even as a tree whose boughs are desolate: And tell him, I am left uncomforted Even as the grass upon ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete - Series I, II, and III • John Symonds

... This track laid across highlands, which divide the confluent waters of the Missouri from those of the Mississippi. Indians, wild beasts, starvation, thirst, were the dangers of the way. This journey, which led into the vast and desolate parts of Arkansas, was replete with incidents and adventures ...
— Personal Memoirs Of A Residence Of Thirty Years With The Indian Tribes On The American Frontiers • Henry Rowe Schoolcraft

... led the Dragon into the pit. This was a rude and desolate hole, and its furniture of that extreme simplicity common to bear-pits in those barbarous times. From the middle of the stone floor rose the trunk of a tree, ragged with lopped boughs and at its top forking into sundry limbs ...
— The Dragon of Wantley - His Tale • Owen Wister

... causeless malice, wantonly Heaped ruin, vice, and slavery? Nature?—no! Kings, priests, and statesmen blast the human flower Even in its tender bud; their influence darts Like subtle poison through the bloodless veins Of desolate society." ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XI., February, 1863, No. LXIV. • Various

... sixteen miles from the nearest station. The three-mile trail which led from the village would have been easier to travel could it have boasted a corduroy road. What a site for a hotel! Yet the hotel did not materialize, and the "view" neither fed nor warmed nor clothed the patient proprietors of the desolate spot. ...
— McClure's Magazine, January, 1896, Vol. VI. No. 2 • Various

... realized how little profit was to be gained by voyages to the cold and desolate north, they turned southward to warmer waters. Here, of course, they came upon the Spaniards, who had no disposition to share with foreigners the profitable trade of the New World. Though England and Spain were not at war, the English "sea dogs," ...
— EARLY EUROPEAN HISTORY • HUTTON WEBSTER

... granite rock and heather slopes upward across the prospect from south to north, a huge stone stands on it in a naturally impossible place, as if it had been tossed up there by a giant. Over the brow, in the desolate valley beyond, is a round tower. A lonely white high road trending away westward past the tower loses itself at the foot of the far mountains. It is evening; and there are great breadths of silken green in the Irish sky. The sun ...
— John Bull's Other Island • George Bernard Shaw

... constantly in demand on all sides, she went about his house like a smiling worker of miracles, and Richard watched her. When she went home to her sister for a day or two he missed her strangely, and wandered about the empty rooms with a desolate sense of loss. ...
— Harriet and the Piper - (Norris Volume XI) • Kathleen Norris

... man who devised the plan that might have saved Texas from slavery, and thereby prevented the Civil War, and which did thereafter save Kansas; if he had been only remembered as the spiritual friend and comforter of large numbers of men and women who were desolate and stricken by poverty and sorrow; if he had been only a zealous lover of his country, comprehending, as scarcely any other man has comprehended, the true spirit of the American people; if he had been any one of these things, as he has been, it would be enough ...
— Autobiography of Seventy Years, Vol. 1-2 • George Hoar

... children, the most beautiful creatures in the island. Now the whole existence of this man, who was once so happy and so much envied, is changed. The smiling cottage, that hung over the gulf like a swan over a transparent lake, is sad and desolate; the little enclosure, with its hedges of lilac and hawthorn, where joyous groups used to come and sit at the close of day, is silent and deserted. No human sound dares to trouble the mourning of this saddened solitude. Only towards evening the waves of the sea, compassionating such great misfortunes, ...
— Celebrated Crimes, Complete • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... for her little ones, how unwelcome she was as a girl when sons were wanted. She showed me how her troubles as a daughter bound to her mother's side differed from those of a boy cast out upon the world of school and college life. My desolate neglect seemed to me a paradise compared to that contact with a millstone under which her soul was ground until the day when her good aunt, her true mother, had saved her from this misery, the ever-recurring pain of which she now related ...
— The Lily of the Valley • Honore de Balzac

... the scarlatina at Naples, and have been very desolate, I fear, without a female servant or friend near them. They probably were indisposed towards Naples by their own illness (which was slight, however; the scarlet fever is always slight in Italy they say), and by their father's more serious ...
— The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Volume II • Elizabeth Barrett Browning

... and imitative civilisation under the aegis of Imperial Rome: he had not learnt to love the arts of peace and he cultivated none but those of war; he was by choice a warrior and a sailor, a wanderer to other lands, a plougher of the desolate places of the "vasty deep," yet withal a lover of home, who trod at times, with bitter longing for his native land, the thorny paths of exile. To him physical cowardice was the unforgivable sin, next to treachery to his lord; for the loyalty of thane to his chieftain ...
— Hero-Myths & Legends of the British Race • Maud Isabel Ebbutt

... true service of Christ. It was impressed upon my young mind, that God was filled with anger and wrath; and still I was told that I must love him with my whole heart. I am sorry to say it, but I fear I had no true love for him at that time. If the path in which I have walked has been desolate and dreary, I do not desire that others should walk in it. If God is seen in his true loveliness, the young, as well as the old, will love ...
— Our Gift • Teachers of the School Street Universalist Sunday School, Boston

... was real enough, after all. There was no sham in Mary Lou's faint, after the funeral, and Virginia, drooping about the desolate house, looked shockingly pinched and thin. There was a family council in a day or two, and it was at this time that Susan meant to suggest that the boarding-house be carried on between ...
— Saturday's Child • Kathleen Norris

... laid down all kinds of episcopicide to no avail, he refused to be disillusioned. I told him that on the occasion of my last visit to the Megatherium—Thackeray, I explained—a Royal Academician, with whom I had a slight acquaintance, reading desolate "The Hibbert Journal" in the smoking-room, embraced me as fondly as the austerity of the place permitted and related a non-drawing-room story which was current at my preparatory school—and that in the library I ran into ...
— Jaffery • William J. Locke

... cultural, or perhaps the conventional, residue left over in these cases where civilisation has gone stale through inefficiency of the minimal dose is not properly to be found fault with; it is of a blameless character, conventionally; nor is there any intention here to cast aspersion on the desolate. The like effects of the like causes are to be seen in the American colleges and universities, where business principles have supplanted the pursuit of learning, and where the commercialisation of aims, ideals, tastes, occupations and personnel is following much the same lines that have led ...
— An Inquiry Into The Nature Of Peace And The Terms Of Its Perpetuation • Thorstein Veblen

... the battle of Perryville, Mrs. McMeens' husband lost his life from excessive exertions while in attention to the sick and wounded. Being deprived of her natural protector, she returned to her home in Sandusky, which was made desolate by an additional sacrifice to the demon of secession. While at home, not content to sit idle in her mourning for her husband, she was busily occupied in aiding the Sanitary Commission in obtaining supplies, of which she so well knew ...
— Woman's Work in the Civil War - A Record of Heroism, Patriotism, and Patience • Linus Pierpont Brockett

... million acres of land in the West, at present arid, for whose reclamation water is available, if properly conserved. There are about two hundred and thirty million acres from which the forests have been cut but which have never yet been cleared for the plow and which lie waste and desolate. These lie scattered all over the Union. And there are nearly eighty million acres of land that lie under swamps or subject to periodical overflow or too wet for anything but grazing, which it is perfectly feasible to drain ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... they passed in town were small and desolate in contrast to the expanse of huge snowy yards and wide street. They crossed the railroad tracks, and instantly were in the farm country. The big piebald horses snorted clouds of steam, and started to trot. The carriage squeaked ...
— Main Street • Sinclair Lewis

... to have realized that she was alone in a wild country, for she wrung her hands and said: "Oh! what shall I do in this desolate country without a relative or a friend; it would have been better if I had been killed when my poor father and mother were. O, kind sir, what will I do?" and she sobbed as if her ...
— Thirty-One Years on the Plains and In the Mountains • William F. Drannan

... Now it stood desolate, with its leaves drooping in fever-hot inertia. The squirrel sat gloomily silent on the branches, panting under its fur, and the oriole's splendour of orange and jet had ...
— The Roof Tree • Charles Neville Buck

... I persuaded myself that he had certainly remained with Mr Hilton, and that had we arrived in safety we should have had the happiness of seeing him. Now should he return to the settlement, what would be his feelings to find it desolate, and to suppose, as he must, that we had shared the fate ...
— Mary Liddiard - The Missionary's Daughter • W.H.G. Kingston

... of her principles, which would have made themselves felt, even if she had openly shared my love. I decided that I would add no fuel to my flames, and felt certain that they would go out of their own accord. By leaving my love thus desolate it would die of exhaustion. I argued like a fool. I forgot that it is not possible to stop at friendship with a pretty woman whom one sees constantly, and especially when one suspects her of being in love herself. At its height friendship becomes love, and the palliative ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... watching him depart—slowly, slowly. No doubt, in that humble lane there were many sad hearts; but no heart so heavy as that of the still, quiet child, when the form she had watched was to be seen no more, and, still standing on the desolate threshold, she gazed into space, and ...
— My Novel, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... might be rat-ridden and desolate. The coulee might wear always the look of emptiness; but here, under the bluff by the spring, and in the room Jean called hers, one felt the air of occupancy that gave the lie ...
— Jean of the Lazy A • B. M. Bower

... the world grew worse, so the abbot grew more lonely. Desolate and unsupported, he was still unable to make up his mind to the course which he knew to be right; but he slowly strengthened himself for the trial, and as Lent came on, the season brought with it a more special call to effort; he did not fail to recognise ...
— Short Studies on Great Subjects • James Anthony Froude

... mound; Woe to the City of Falsehood,(244) Nought but oppression within her! As a well keeps its waters fresh 7 She keeps fresh her evil; Violence and spoil are heard throughout her, Ever before Me sickness and wounds. Jerusalem, be thou corrected, 8 Lest from thee My soul doth break, Lest I lay thee a desolate waste, ...
— Jeremiah • George Adam Smith

... an awful silence. Max was so deeply impressed by the girl's words, her looks, her manner, by the gloom of the cold, dark passage, by the desolate appearance of the two deserted buildings before which they stood, that his first impulse was an overpowering desire to run away. Acting upon it he even took a couple of rapid steps in the direction of the street he had left, passing the girl and ...
— The Wharf by the Docks - A Novel • Florence Warden

... Whence came ye So many, and so many, and such glee? Why have ye left your bowers desolate, Your lutes, and gentler fate? 'We follow Bacchus, Bacchus on the wing A-conquering! Bacchus, young Bacchus! Good or ill betide We dance before him thorough kingdoms wide! Come hither, Lady fair, and joined ...
— Widdershins • Oliver Onions

... as I was returning towards my centre from an exploration, and she received me with cries of delight and presented me with a big garland of flowers—evidently made for me and me alone. The thing took my imagination. Very possibly I had been feeling desolate. At any rate I did my best to display my appreciation of the gift. We were soon seated together in a little stone arbour, engaged in conversation, chiefly of smiles. The creature's friendliness affected me exactly as a child's might have done. We passed each other flowers, and she kissed ...
— The Time Machine • H. G. (Herbert George) Wells

... that lined the trail gave a desolate air to the bleak, white prospect. The whole of that northern world offered little promise to the traveler, little inducement to leave the ...
— The Watchers of the Plains - A Tale of the Western Prairies • Ridgewell Cullum

... propriety of having remained in that desolate territory when, as spring approached, the shrunken cows died one after another in giving birth to the calves which had matured in their slowly perishing bodies, but he made no sign or admission of ...
— The Wind Before the Dawn • Dell H. Munger

... that she would wait for him till he had made a Name in literature, or proved his ability in some definite manner. There was no indication that any one else was in the way; everything pointed to a contrary probability. But there is nothing so desolate as the heart of a lover whose fair one ...
— A Black Adonis • Linn Boyd Porter

... then of sea, Greece left behind, Messina and the Lipari Islands past; and the blue outline of Sardinia and Corsica began to keep pace with them as they neared the narrow straits of Bonifacio between them. The passengers came up to watch the rocky desolate shores slip by so close, and Captain Burgenfelder was on ...
— The Centaur • Algernon Blackwood

... would succeed a labyrinth of bare passages and pillared galleries, with the family procession already preparing in the quadrangle below, through the carriages and luggage being brought together by the servants for the day's journey. Then breakfast in another painted chamber, damp-stained and of desolate proportions; and then the departure, which, to her timidity and sense of not being grand enough for her place in the ceremonies, was always an uneasy thing. For then the courier (who himself would have been a foreign gentleman of high mark in the Marshalsea) would present himself to report ...
— Little Dorrit • Charles Dickens

... go to an island in the Bitter Waters, an island naked and barren and desolate, covered only with brine-spattered stone, swept with cold winds and the biting sea-spray. Here they live always, breaking stone upon one another, with no food but the broken stones and no drink but the ...
— Myths and Legends of California and the Old Southwest • Katharine Berry Judson

... stood open, where the aulas were strewn with the debris of household stuff which the fleeing citizens had abandoned. A deserter had already told Glaucon of his father's death; he was not amazed therefore to find the house of his birth empty and desolate. But everywhere else, also, it was to call back memories of glad days never to return. Here was the school where crusty Pollicharmes had driven the "reading, writing, and music" into Democrates and himself ...
— A Victor of Salamis • William Stearns Davis

... of the Perryman farm lie extensive wolds rising rapidly into desolate regions where sheep can scarcely find pasture. In this region Toller concealed himself. About two miles beyond the old quarry, on a slaty hillside, he found a deep pit, which had probably been used as a water-hole in prehistoric times; and here he built himself a hut. He made the ...
— Mad Shepherds - and Other Human Studies • L. P. Jacks

... pleasant walks and drives, a visitor now and then, Mr. and Mrs. Goldwin Smith among the number, rest and peace in a magnificent city built for enjoyment,—what more could we have asked to make our visit memorable? Many watering-places look forlorn and desolate in the intervals of "the season." This was not the time of Brighton's influx of visitors, but the city was far from dull. The houses are very large, and have the grand air, as if meant for princes; the shops ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... flagellated with an intolerable heat and—now that the shooting is relaxed—oppressed with a benumbing, sodden silence—the silence of a primordial world. Such a silence as must have brooded over the Face of the Waters on the Eve of Creation—desolate, desolate, as though a colossal, invisible pillar—a pillar of the Infinitely Still, the pillar of Nirvana—rose forever into the empty blue, human life an atom of microscopic dust crushed under its basis, and at the summit God Himself. And I find time to ask myself why, ...
— A Deal in Wheat - And Other Stories of the New and Old West • Frank Norris

... catastrophe, however frightful the slaughter, however total the eclipse, we surmount our sorrows and find ourselves still smiling when the storm is overpast. I remember once penetrating into the wild and desolate interior of New Zealand. From a jagged and lonely eminence I surveyed a landscape that almost frightened one. Not a house was in sight, nor a road, nor one living creature, nor any sign of civilization. I looked in every direction at what seemed to have been the work of angry ...
— Mushrooms on the Moor • Frank Boreham

... straightway said, "Arise and enter in the name of Allah." So I arose and went in after her and we gave not over going till we reached a saloon. When I examined the place, I found it neither handsome nor pleasant, but desolate and dreadful without symmetry or cleanliness; indeed, it was loathsome to look upon and there was in it a foul smell. After this inspection I seated myself amiddlemost the saloon, misdoubting; and lo and behold! as I sat, there came down on me from the dais ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 2 • Richard F. Burton

... glory of the heather had passed, though here and there a clump of brilliant yellow gorse remained. The telegraph posts, leaning away from the wind, seemed somehow scantier; the road stretched between them, lonely and desolate. From a farmhouse in the bosom of the tree-hung hills lights were already twinkling, and when he reached the edge of the moor, and the sea spread itself out almost at his feet, the shapes of the passing steamers, with their ...
— Nobody's Man • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... withering away, is robbed of all its shining tints; not all their associates, living still, though grieving, can avail to save the rest. The palaces and joyous precincts empty now, the Devis all alone and desolate, sitting or asleep upon the dusty earth, weep bitterly in recollection of their loves. Those who are born, sad in decay; those who are dead, beloved, cause of grief; thus ever struggling on, preparing future ...
— Sacred Books of the East • Various

... so," said the girl, with tremulous anxiety, "what universal ruin! What is there on earth that could fill its place? If the empire falls into the power of the barbarians, Rome will be made desolate, and all the provinces laid waste ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... to. There seems to be a notion in the Old Country that we earn our money easily, but it's very wrong. We'll take that man's case as an example. He has a little, desolate holding up in the bush of Ontario, a hole chopped out of the forest and studded all over with sawn-off fir-stumps. On it is a little two-roomed log shack. In all probability there isn't a settlement within two or three leagues of the spot. Now, as a rule, a place of that kind won't produce enough ...
— Masters of the Wheat-Lands • Harold Bindloss

... by the Bedouin Arabs, and there—(as if in startling contradiction to the dead and buried cities of Syria, etc.)—it has—as was equally predicted—discovered the numerous cyclopic cities of Bashan standing perfect and entire, yet "desolate and without any to dwell therein,"—cities wrapped, as it were, in a state of mortal trance, and patiently awaiting the prophesied period of their future revival and rehabitation; some of them of great size, as Um-el-Jemal (probably the Beth-gamul of ...
— Archaeological Essays, Vol. 1 • James Y. Simpson

... hidden sun was making a silent glory. It was a dead sea, if you will. No gleam of sail, near or afar, lit up its loneliness. No flash of sea bird, poised for its prey, or beating slowly over the desolate waste, broke the heavy dulness that lay upon the breast of the deep. The sky stooped down and blackened the still waters; and anear, beneath the cliff on which we were standing, a faint fringe of foam alone was proof that the ...
— My New Curate • P.A. Sheehan

... the pleasant relations of yesterday. A steamship soon becomes the world itself to its passengers, and the little events of each day assume an exaggerated importance. To be at odds with one's fellows on board means a rather desolate position for the young person fond of society, and this one moodily wished the miserable voyage over as he blinked in the sunshine, with his ...
— All Aboard - A Story for Girls • Fannie E. Newberry

... sighed, and was consoled. But then she recollected her new relation Mr. Reynolds, her grandfather, whom she had never seen, who had for years disowned her—treated her mother with injustice. She could scarcely think of him with complaisancy; yet, when his age, his sufferings, his desolate state, were represented, she pitied him; and, faithful to her strong sense of duty, would have gone instantly to offer him every assistance and attention in her power. Lady Berryl assured her that Mr. Reynolds had positively forbidden her going to him; and that he had assured ...
— The Absentee • Maria Edgeworth

... main, And the ripple was hurrying back again. Nature lived in sadness now; Sadness lived on the maiden's brow, As she watched, with a fixed, half-conscious eye, One lonely leaf that trembled on high, Till it dropped at last from the desolate bough— Sorrow, oh, sorrow! 'tis winter now. And her tears gushed forth, though it was but a leaf, For little will loose the swollen fountain of grief: When up to the lip the water goes, It needs but a ...
— Phantastes - A Faerie Romance for Men and Women • George MacDonald

... port was Nantucket. They happened to arrive there just before a thunder-shower, and Charlie Hubbard was much struck with the wild, desolate look of the island. He pointed out to Hazlehurst the fine variety of neutral tints to be traced in the waves, in the low sand-banks, and the dark sky forming the back-ground. Nantucket is a barren spot, indeed, all but bare of vegetation; scarcely a shrub will ...
— Elinor Wyllys - Vol. I • Susan Fenimore Cooper

... the people of those cities with the sound of the gospel, with a loud voice, of the desolation and utter abolishment which awaits them if they do reject these things; for if they do reject these things, the hour of their judgment is nigh, and their house shall be left unto them desolate. Let him trust in me, and he shall not be confounded, and a hair of his head shall not fall to ...
— The Book of Religions • John Hayward

... wait? Oh, love, how can I wait Until the sunlight of your eyes shall shine Upon my world that seems so desolate? Until your hand-clasp warms my blood like wine; Until you come again, oh, love of mine, How can ...
— Poems of Passion • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... kyng wes dede, That Scotland had to stere{1} and lede, The land sex yhere and mayr perfay{2} Wes desolate efftyr his day. The barnage{3} off Scotland, at the last, Assemblyd thame, and fandyt{4} fast To chess{5} a kyng, thare land to stere, That off awncestry cummyn were Off kyngis that aucht{6} that reawt{'e}{7}, And mast{8} had rycht thare ...
— English Dialects From the Eighth Century to the Present Day • Walter W. Skeat

... she has carried out for decades with energy and unflinching consistency, at a moment when she is sure of being supported by England, merely because she has from opportunist considerations come to terms with us about a desolate corner of Africa. No importance can be attached to this idea, in spite of the views expounded by the Imperial Chancellor, v. Bethmann-Hollweg, in his speech of November 9, 1911. We need not, therefore, regard this convention as definitive. It is as liable to revision as the Algeciras treaty, and ...
— Germany and the Next War • Friedrich von Bernhardi

... at the ship's beef and a biscuit, as to be often the subject of his messmates' jokes. That morning even he could eat but little, though both felt it to be a duty they owed to themselves to take enough to sustain nature. It was while these two forlorn and desolate mariners sat there on the windlass, picking, as it might be, morsel by morsel, that they first entered into a full and frank communication with each other, touching the realities of their present situation. After a good deal had passed between them, ...
— The Crater • James Fenimore Cooper

... for several red kangaroos. The ground every where bore signs of being frequently visited by high winds; for on the sides exposed to the south and south-east it was strewed with the trunks of large trees. They saw but one native in this desolate region, and he fled from their approach, preferring the enjoyments of his rocks and woods, with liberty, to any intercourse with them. These hills appearing to extend very far to the northward an impassable barrier seemed fixed ...
— An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. 1 • David Collins

... syndicate that was supposed to be backing the enterprise with ample funds, and for this reason the Pointers had prolonged their California sojourn beyond the usual term. Seaboard, it was said, would prove eventually to be much more important than a short line of new railroad developing a desolate stretch of the Pacific: it was to be used as a club upon one of the older railroads. The best families of the State were heavily interested in it, the younger generation of bloods expecting by means of it to rival the railroading exploits ...
— Clark's Field • Robert Herrick

... great favorite with his grandmother, who taught him to read. She had a sincere love of the Sacred Scriptures, which she did not neglect to inculcate into the youthful heart of her grandson. In the neighborhood,—at that time an almost desolate spot,—a school was conducted where the master admitted several Colored children, with the whites, to the benefits of his instructions. It was a "pay school," and thither young Banneker was sent at a very tender age. His application to his studies was equalled by none. When the other ...
— History of the Negro Race in America From 1619 to 1880. Vol 1 - Negroes as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens • George W. Williams

... desolate country always seems ugly and disagreeable, and commonly inspires us with contempt for the inhabitants. This deformity, however, proceeds in a great measure from a sympathy with the inhabitants, ...
— A Treatise of Human Nature • David Hume

... desolate part of the country were anxious for news of the war, especially for word of fathers or brothers in the army, and they stood by the roads and asked news eagerly of any chance horseman. At one lonely house a little girl was stationed at the gate to question travelers. About ...
— Historic Boyhoods • Rupert Sargent Holland

... flare and fade On desolate sea and lonely sand, Out of the silence and the shade What is the voice of strange command Calling you still, as friend calls friend With love that cannot brook delay, To rise and follow the ways that wend Over the ...
— The Song of the Sword - and Other Verses • W. E. Henley

... in the district where they were said to have happened, and if they had happened, then they must be punished. After this, when he had reached Carnuntum, a city of the Illyrians, now indeed in a desolate and ruinous state, but still very convenient for the general of an army, he from thence sallied out whenever either chance or skill afforded him an opportunity; and by the possession of this post in their neighbourhood, he checked ...
— The Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus • Ammianus Marcellinus

... your farms have been ravished and impoverished by the war. Vicksburg, the city of hills, everywhere bears marks of war. The Mississippi valley is desolate. You have been deprived of your property in the negro, ...
— Report on the Condition of the South • Carl Schurz

... blew off, and the beach was visible on the right,—long, low, desolate, a shore of interminable sand, over which the breakers leaped and ran like hordes of wild horses with streaming tails and manes. Not a sign of vegetation was to be seen on that barren coast, nor any trace of human existence, save here a lonely house on the ridge, ...
— The Drummer Boy • John Trowbridge

... walk with you beyond the fields," he urged. "The streets are just as dangerous for you as this desolate place." ...
— Madame Flirt - A Romance of 'The Beggar's Opera' • Charles E. Pearce

... frivolous, and her religion a mere twilight of wilful and self-induced delusion—she in her turn shall fall like Lucifer, son of the morning, and the double oceans which sweep her illimitable shores shall only plash to future empires a more sad, a more desolate, and a more ...
— The New England Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, February, 1886. - The Bay State Monthly, Volume 4, No. 2, February, 1886. • Various

... could clearly see, for the ship was now liable to founder at any moment; indeed the wonder to me was that she remained afloat so long, for she had by this time sunk so deep that her channels were completely buried, only showing when she rolled heavily away from us. Poor old barkie! what a desolate and forlorn object she looked as we pulled away from her, with little more than her bulwarks showing above water, with the seas making a clean breach over her bows continually, as she rolled and plunged with sickening sluggishness to the great ridges of steel-grey water that incessantly ...
— A Pirate of the Caribbees • Harry Collingwood

... other hope is at an end, to join with her in the daring deed of putting Aegisthus to death: a proposal which Chrysothemis, not possessing the necessary courage, rejects as foolish, and after a violent altercation she re-enters the house. The chorus bewails Electra, now left utterly desolate. Orestes returns with Pylades and several servants bearing an urn with the pretended ashes of the deceased youth. Electra begs it of them, and laments over it in the most affecting language, which agitates Orestes to such a degree ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art - and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel trans John Black

... about twenty thousand warriors finally moved upon Jerusalem. They found the city well walled and in the midst of a desolate region where neither food nor water, nor the materials to construct the apparatus necessary for the capture of the town, were to be found, The opportune arrival at Jaffa of galleys from Genoa furnished the besiegers with supplies, and, in spite of all the difficulties, the ...
— An Introduction to the History of Western Europe • James Harvey Robinson

... to be shut out by the natural barrenness of its soil and sandstone-rocks from any prospect of ever supplying food to the colonies of civilized man. So that, while the whole of New Holland is an interesting country from its natural peculiarities, and even the desolate portion of it adds, by its very desolation, a deep interest to the adventures of those persons who have had the courage to attempt to explore it; yet the chief prospects of Australia's future importance seem to be confined to its line of coast,—no narrow limits in an island ...
— Australia, its history and present condition • William Pridden

... tilled field of about two acres: before it stood a small kitchen-garden, and at one end of it an open shed half filled with firewood. A thin wreath of blue smoke curling through its single chimney gave to the house, thanks to the desolate appearance of all the country around, an attractive look which on a finer day it might ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 15, - No. 90, June, 1875 • Various



Words linked to "Desolate" :   destroy, desert, reduce, unconsolable, disconsolate, leave, expose, maroon, abandon, strand, desolation, devastate, walk out, inhospitable, ruin, inconsolable, ditch, shrink



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