golden spire. Here the highland Shan encamp, and the smoke of their cooking fires climbs up into the placid sky. Beyond the red-gold and grey spires, another path leads down, through a wide tract of dog-roses in bloom, to the edge of the Irrawaddy. The foreshore under the heights of the village is crowded with rose bushes, which lie buried for half the year under the waters of the river ; but in the spring they become the home of thousands of little birds, whose melody fills the air with joy.
But it is the river that claims attention ; for it lies here below the lofty bank, broad and beautiful, a highway of the world. The sun, nearing the horizon, is partially hidden by broken masses of cloud, through which his flame breaks in long ribbons and searchlights of fire. All the river, north of a clear straight line across it, lies in purple shadow ;
all to the south, in a blaze of light. I stand and watch the river porpoises plunging like steel in the oily water, the swallows wheeling in swift circles of flight ; and the voices of men are borne up to me, dim at first, then swelling louder as they come by in boats, invisible under the cliffs, and so, till they drift past into the