Iona Cathedral, From The North-West
Photographer: Wilson, George Washington
Medium: Photographic print
"Even at a distance the aspect of the Cathedral, insignificant as its dimensions are, produces a strong feeling of delight in him who, long coasting the rugged and barren rocks of Mull, or buffeted by turbulent waves, beholds its tower first rising out of the deep, giving to this desolate region an air of civilization, and recalling the consciousness of that human society which once flourished in beauty and loveliness. Dr. Johnson's well-known passage may be aptly recorded here - 'We were now treading that illustrious island, which was once the luminary of the Caledonian regions, whence savage clans and roving barbarians derived the benefits of knowledge and the blessings of religion. To abstract the mind from all local emotion would be impossible if it were endeavoured, and would be foolish if it were possible. Far from me be such frigid philosophy as may conduct us, indifferent and unmoved, over any ground which has been dignified by wisdom, bravery, or virtue.'
'......................Think, proud philosopher,
Fallen though She be, this glory of the west
Still on Her sons the beams of mercy shine;
And hopes, perhaps more heavenly bright than thine,
A grace, by thee unsought and unpossesst,
A faith more fixed, a rapture more divine,
Shall glide their passage to eternal rest.'
Descriptive letterpress from the book 'Photographs of English and Scottish Scenery' by G W Wilson