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XX] ARCHITECTURE AND ANTIQUITIES 209
down upon the river, watching the great steamers pass and little canoes freighted with laughing children; listening to the song of the Irrawaddy and to the little bells on the tiny white pagoda on the edge of the cliff. Transfigured in sunlight, the Buddhas glow in their dark frame of forest, under shimmering daylight skies. Radiant, unearthly, they gleam in the witchery of Eastern moonlight.
Fig. 85. Gaudama Buddha.
It seems as if the whole wonderful group must have arisen in a single moment at the bidding of a divinity, so ethereal, so harmonious is the impression it makes upon the mind. Yet each image owes its existence to the piety of some simple husbandman, spending with royal largesse the proceeds of his harvest. The Burman, no wise calculator, gives all he can and knows not ignoble thrift1.
1 Marjorie Laurie.