^ To Yenan-Gyaung
too dazzling to the eyes ; for the picture they frame is of a vast mirror-world of waters, dreamy islands of cloud, and a wave of rolling mountains so etherealised by the pouring sun, that they seem to guard no material world beyond, but to stand for the very frontiers of infinite space. And all beyond them is indeed vague and unreal to the dwellers in the valley of the great river. They are The Mountains of the West," a barrier that not one man in ten thousand ever dreams of crossing.
From Thitta-bw the pathway runs on over the cliffs to Nyaunglay, another little village hidden in a similar little valley. It has a colony of Musulman river pilots, who have settled down in it and have married the catholic daughters of the soil. They have a small mosque of their own, and a muezzin who calls them to prayer. I wonder, in a generation or two, how much of the Indian Musulman will remain.
At Thitta-bw the night comes with the gentlest of transitions. The dark river twinkles back the message of the stars ; the great boats make shadowy forms along its banks ; from the village comes the litany of pious elders at prayer. Clear and quick across the still waters peal the notes of a distant flute, the player rapt in the ecstasy of his art. There is no music in the world to me so mellow and artless, no music so instinct, as the music of the flute, with the primitive spirit of man. As I sit here in the dark and listen to the mellow notes floating over the spaces of the river, it seems to me that I have bridged ten thousand years of life ; the