Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/67

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VOYAGE TO GREENLAND.

variety, elegance of shape, and apparent execution, as if just from the hands of the sculptor. They were of the densest ice, of transparent blue, and as hard as marble. Some represented vases, which for classical structure, might have done credit to the taste of the artist; indeed, I am persuaded of the advantage that would arise to the fine arts among us, if an artist of taste were to take accurate sketches of the endless variety exhibited in the arctic seas. On my return to the ship, I killed several birds, already described; and two of the Lari eburnei, Ivory-gulls or snow-birds. The bill and lip of this gull, is of lead colour; length, from the tip of the beak to the end of the tail, sixteen inches; extent of wings, thirty-seven inches. This beautiful bird is seldom seen far from the ice, and is of the purest white, the primaries being slightly tinged with pink; the eye large, jet-black and sparkling, fringed, with a crimson lid. Lat. 77° North. Saw several Greenland doves, Columbus Grylle, Linn., and one, strange to say, settled on the fore-top-gallant-yard, and was caught by a seaman. Its length, fourteen inches; extent of wing, twenty-two inches; weight, fifteen ounces; the bill black, slender, and pointed; the whole plumage, glossy black, except a large patch of white on the coverts of the wings.


May 17. 
In consequence of some fresh difficulties occurring during the night, and the season being late for getting to the north, it was now considered prudent to abandon our intention of going to Spitzbergen; a resolve which I really regretted,