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Bleak

adjective
1.
Offering little or no hope.  Synonyms: black, dim.  "Prospects were bleak" , "Life in the Aran Islands has always been bleak and difficult" , "Took a dim view of things"
2.
Providing no shelter or sustenance.  Synonyms: bare, barren, desolate, stark.  "Barren lands" , "The bleak treeless regions of the high Andes" , "The desolate surface of the moon" , "A stark landscape"
3.
Unpleasantly cold and damp.  Synonyms: cutting, raw.



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"Bleak" Quotes from Famous Books



... drinking beer and discussing diseases. It was not a pretty subject, and the company was certainly not a handsome one. It was a dark November evening, and the dingy lighting of the bar seemed but to emphasize the bleak exterior. Drifts of fog and damp from without mingled with the smoke of shag. The sanded floor was kicked into a muddy morass not unlike the surface of the pavement. An old lady down the street had died from pneumonia the previous evening, and the ...
— The Best British Short Stories of 1922 • Various

... castle was too bleak for even child-comfort, Aunt 'Ritta, the cook, let us heat bricks in the kitchen fire, and showed us how to wrap them in rags to keep in the warmth. Clad in my red cloak, a wadded hood of the same color tied over my ears, and my feet upon a swathed ...
— When Grandmamma Was New - The Story of a Virginia Childhood • Marion Harland

... admiring eyes the beautiful wave of his abundant hair, tossed back from his forehead. She took a kind of pride of possession in his handsome face,—the far-removed possession of a sister-in-law. There was his sunny smile, that seemed as though it could bring joy out of the gloom of a bleak December day, and there were the two dimples—not real dimples, of course, men never had dimples—but hints, suggestions of dimples, that caught themselves when he smiled, here and there like hidden mischief ...
— Marcia Schuyler • Grace Livingston Hill Lutz

... was reached, the last heart-breaking farewells were said, and the procession wound back toward the city, leaving Psyche alone. All the horror of her fate burst upon her as she stood on the bleak rock, and she raised her hands to heaven and cried. Suddenly, however, it seemed to her that the breeze which blew past her murmured in her ear "Do not fear"; and certainly she felt herself being lifted gently and carried ...
— Journeys Through Bookland V3 • Charles H. Sylvester

... another, with eyes glaring through the gloaming, and gave and took manfully, fighting out anew the old battles of the Bourbon vs. China, of King James vs. Virginia, of Graham vs. Greece! I could tell you of the siesta of the new Prometheus, when, perched on the Mount Caucasus of a bleak chain-cable, he gave himself postprandially, in full livery of seisin, to the vulturous sun. Wasted, yet daily renewed, enduring, yet murmuring not, he hurled defiance at Fat, scoffed at the vain rage of Jupiter Pinguis, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 85, November, 1864 • Various

... show that a pawnbroker's business was carried on within. It was not the first visit she had made to this establishment, for the poor little household ornaments, the loss of which had left her home so bleak and bare, were now in the safekeeping of the proprietor; but still she shrank back as she approached a dim side entrance in a narrow street, and drawing her bonnet closer over her face, pushed open a baize door, and entered ...
— Miss Grantley's Girls - And the Stories She Told Them • Thomas Archer

... proclaimed it to be indeed the ocean on whose bosom the great city rested so calmly; not such blue, soft, lake-like ocean as bathes the Neapolitan promontories, or sleeps beneath the marble rocks of Genoa, but a sea with the bleak power of our own northern waves, yet subdued into a strange spacious rest, and changed from its angry pallor into a field of burnished gold, as the sun declined behind the belfry tower of the lonely island church, fitly named "St. George of the Seaweed." As the boat drew nearer to the ...
— Stones of Venice [introductions] • John Ruskin

... certain climate or surroundings may seem to us, they are sure to be the ideal of some wild creature, its very dream of bliss. I suppose that slide rock, away up in cold, bleak, windy country above the timber-line, is absolutely the unloveliest landscape and most repulsive home ground that a man could find in the mountains and yet it is the paradise, the perfect place of a wonderful little creature that is ...
— Wild Animals at Home • Ernest Thompson Seton

... feet square. We dug to the line all around, and to a depth of three or four feet in the ground—this going below the surface of the ground gave a better protection against wind and cold than any wall one could build—and on that bleak hill you wanted all the shield from wind that you could get. Having dug a hole ten feet square and three feet deep, we went into the woods and cut, squared, and carried on our shoulders logs, twelve or ...
— From the Rapidan to Richmond and the Spottsylvania Campaign - A Sketch in Personal Narration of the Scenes a Soldier Saw • William Meade Dame

... little Arabs the proper channels for their beneficence. Selecting, then, the Seven Dials and Bethnal Green as the foci of my observation in West and East London respectively, I set out for the former one bleak March night, and by way of breaking ground, applied to the first police-constable I met on that undesirable beat for information as to my course. After one or two failures, I met with an officer literally "active and intelligent," who convoyed me through several of that network ...
— Mystic London: - or, Phases of occult life in the metropolis • Charles Maurice Davies

... feat, and the gardener a sin, to run? Are these two squares of stone, some two feet high, the pedestals on which I walked with such a penetrating sense of dizzy elevation, and which I had expected to find on a level with my eyes? Ay, the place is no more like what I expected than this bleak April day is like the glorious September with which it is incorporated in my memory. I look at the gardener, disappointment in my face, and tell him that the place seems sorrily shrunken from the high estate ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. XXII (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... 160 There in the ruin, heedless of the dead, The shelter-seeking peasant builds his shed; And, wond'ring man could want the larger pile, Exults, and owns his cottage with a smile. My soul, turn from them, turn we to survey, 165 Where rougher climes a nobler race display; Where the bleak Swiss their stormy mansions tread, And force a churlish soil[23] for scanty bread. No product here the barren hills afford, But man and steel, the soldier and his sword:[24] 170 No vernal blooms their torpid rocks array, But winter ling'ring chills the lap of May: No Zephyr fondly ...
— Selections from Five English Poets • Various

... sincerely tell himself that this was not foremost in his mind. Rather it was a sense of bewildered shock and horror that such things could have broken in upon that orderly, disciplined world with which he had become familiar. It was this horror that hung over him—its impression deepened by the bleak April morning, the nervous strain under which he suffered, the brusque discourtesy of the men who had received him, and the knowledge that scarcely thirty-six hours before an envoy who had come alone and peaceably had been done to death in this silent city. And the horror also centred ...
— Dawn of All • Robert Hugh Benson

... chilly, and in its second week there was even a flutter of snow at Clark's Hills. Rachael did not dislike it, and it was a huge adventure to the boys. Nevertheless, she began to feel that a longer stay down on the bleak coast might be unwise. The old house, for all its purring furnace and double windows, was draughty enough to admit icy little fingers of the outside air, here and there, and the village, getting under storm shutters and ...
— The Heart of Rachael • Kathleen Norris

... exultation over the strong man's almost ludicrous helplessness and desolation when her occasional absences suspended for a brief time their conjugal partnership. She surrounded the old people with a perpetual Indian-summer haze of kindliness, which banished all hard, bleak outlines from their late autumnal life. In brief, she was what God and nature designed woman to be—the gracious, pervading spirit, that filled the roomy house with comfort and rest. Sitting near were her eldest son and pride, a lad about thirteen years of age, and a girl who, when a ...
— Nature's Serial Story • E. P. Roe

... natural sympathies by the absorbing spell of the pursuit as to acknowledge no satisfaction at the sight of human faces in the remote and solitary region whither they had ascended. A vast extent of wilderness lay between them and the nearest settlement, while scant a mile above their heads was that bleak verge where the hills throw off their shaggy mantle of forest-trees and either robe themselves in clouds or tower naked into the sky. The roar of the Amonoosuck would have been too awful for endurance if only ...
— Twice Told Tales • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... to Chicago under all circumstances is bleak and stern. But that early April day it seemed to Milly unduly depressing. The squalid little settlements on the outskirts of the great city were like eruptions in the low, flat landscape. Around the factories and mills the little houses were perched ...
— One Woman's Life • Robert Herrick

... a hearty meal, the canoe, urged by the soft brisk breeze, still gliding onwards till towards evening, when we were sufficiently near the land we approached to make out that it was very bleak and bare and sterile. There was a ridge of mountains in the central portion, but as we examined the place with the glass it looked as blank and uninviting ...
— Nat the Naturalist - A Boy's Adventures in the Eastern Seas • G. Manville Fenn

... me into her service when she married, but I declined, unwillingly enough, for my father's sake. If I had gone away, he would have had nobody to live with him; and my mother made me promise on her death-bed that he should never be left to pine away alone in the midst of the bleak moor. ...
— The Queen of Hearts • Wilkie Collins

... Now and then Chilian Leverett made a comment, or asked a question, but she was not heeding them. Her heart and mind had wandered back to her father and that wonderful land where nothing ever seemed bleak, though in long hot droughts it was arid. But there were always temples, and palaces, and picturesque huts, and women and children in gay attire, old men kneeling somewhere, praying but keeping ...
— A Little Girl in Old Salem • Amanda Minnie Douglas

... mad command, but act upon it. Strike, but hear me! Kill me, but obey me! Do not elect this man." Truth is so terrible, even in fetters, that for a moment Syme's slender and insane victory swayed like a reed. But you could not have guessed it from Syme's bleak ...
— The Man Who Was Thursday - A Nightmare • G. K. Chesterton

... on fire at any hour draws a crowd. At sea, in the bleak cold wastes of the water desert, even one other shipload of sympathizers is too often wished for vainly. Wind, cold, and breakdowns of machinery the sailor accepts with dull indifference; shipwrecks, strandings, and ...
— A Master of Fortune • Cutcliffe Hyne

... vapors, Mountains, Bleak, foreboding, Mountains, Stark and overpowering. Torrents, Tumbling, crashing, Dragging boulders In their rushing, Lakes, Forlorn and lonesome Heather In magenta patches, Sheep, and cattle Black and somber, Winding roads Through ...
— A Little Window • Jean M. Snyder

... far and learned much. The treatment he had been accustomed to made strong impressions on him; and he determined to emancipate himself from such tyranny the first opportunity he had; so that, when his vessel glided into a lovely landlocked harbour on the north-west coast of Ireland one bleak winter morning, his plan of escape having been secretly formed and kept, he determined to put it into force as soon as it ...
— Windjammers and Sea Tramps • Walter Runciman

... with them myself," said Topham; "for these rough Derbyshire roads are no easy riding; and my very eyes are weary with looking on these bleak hills. In the coach I can sleep as sound as if I were in the House, and Master Bodderbrains ...
— Peveril of the Peak • Sir Walter Scott

... of Franky's funeral had been the first to bring home the fact that summer was gone. The chapel had been cold and bleak, and while they stood around the grave it began to rain. In the drawing-room at Cashelthorpe the fire had been lit, and tea awaited the brother and sister. Consoling as these comforts were they could not dispel the sadness which ...
— Mrs. Day's Daughters • Mary E. Mann

... name of a farm where the Carlyle family lived many years, and where Carlyle first read Goethe, "in a dry ditch," Froude says, and translated "Wilhelm Meister." The land drops gently away to the south and east, opening up broad views in these directions, but it does not seem to be the bleak and windy place Froude describes it. The crops looked good, and the fields smooth and fertile. The soil is rather a stubborn clay, nearly the same ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors - Vol. II Great Britain And Ireland, Part Two • Francis W. Halsey

... Blessed Father. His delight was to make all subjects of conversation, all incidents that might occur, further in one way or another the glory of God, and kindle His divine love in the hearts of others. On one occasion, when he was visiting that part of his diocese which lies among the lofty and bleak mountains of Faucigny, where it is always winter, he heard that a poor cowherd had lost his life by falling over a steep precipice while trying to save one of his herd. From this incident he drew a marvellous lesson upon the care which a Bishop ought to take of the flock entrusted ...
— The Spirit of St. Francis de Sales • Jean Pierre Camus

... homes; for to die away from home and kindred seems one of the saddest calamities that could befall me. This mortal tenement would rest uneasily in an ocean shroud; this spirit reluctantly resign that tenement to the chill and pitiless brine; these eyes close regretfully on the stranger skies and bleak inhospitality of the sullen and stormy main. No! let me see once more the scenes so well remembered and beloved; let me grasp, if but once again, the hand of Friendship and hear the thrilling accents of proved Affection, ...
— Glances at Europe - In a Series of Letters from Great Britain, France, Italy, - Switzerland, &c. During the Summer of 1851. • Horace Greeley

... water. To our right was seen Cape Horn itself; it is a high head of land, sticking out into the sea, all by itself. Very few people have ever been on shore there, and no one lives there, as there is no ground to grow anything, and the climate is cold and bleak. You know that the two ends of the earth, or poles, as they are called, the north and south, are very cold; ice and snow all the year round, and Cape Horn is near the ...
— Taking Tales - Instructive and Entertaining Reading • W.H.G. Kingston

... she got about half-way up Skiddaw, but we came to a cold rill (than which nothing can be imagined more cold, running over cold stones), and with the reinforcement of a draught of cold water, she surmounted it most manfully. Oh, its fine black head, and the bleak air atop of it, with a prospect of mountains all about and about, making you giddy; and then Scotland afar off, and the border countries so famous in song and ballad! It was a day that will stand out, ...
— Selected English Letters (XV - XIX Centuries) • Various

... BLEAK. The Leuciscus alburnus of naturalists, and the fresh-water sprat of Isaak Walton. The name of this fish is from the Anglo-Saxon blican, owing to its shining whiteness—its lustrous scales having long been used in the ...
— The Sailor's Word-Book • William Henry Smyth

... Orient were continually plying, there should rise an Oriental city. The idea had a special appeal in providing a reason for extensive color effects. The bay, in spite of the California sunshine, somewhat bleak, needed to be helped out with color. The use of color by the Orientals had abundantly justified itself as an integral part of architecture. The Greeks and the Romans had accepted it and applied it even in their statuary. It was, moreover, associated with those Spanish and Mexican ...
— The City of Domes • John D. Barry

... fog is dispersed; a rough bleak wind freezes the moisture in the atmosphere, and the moon rose in cloudless majesty in the heavens. It was a cold, clear December night, and the wet clothes of the fugitives were frozen stiff, like a harness, upon them. Trenck felt neither cold nor stiff; he carried ...
— Berlin and Sans-Souci • Louise Muhlbach

... too, the rivulet, increased by the innumerable springs which afforded to every habitation the unappreciated, but inappreciable luxury of water, cold, clear, and sparkling, had gathered strength enough to turn a tiny mill. Of trade there could be none. The bleak and rugged barrier, which closed the scene on the west, and the narrow road, fading to a foot-path, gave assurance to the traveller that he had here reached the ne plus ultra of social life in that direction. . . . . At ...
— Southern Literature From 1579-1895 • Louise Manly

... every circumstance, though privately I promised a pardon as before. After travelling a little way, we emerged from the low land of the valley, and ascended a higher track to the normal level of the plateau, which, as I have said before, was all bleak and barren, with scarcely a tree growing on it, and very stony. Here I saw a large troop of ostriches and numberless gazelles stalking away out of the line of the caravan's march. My men were all highly anxious ...
— What Led To The Discovery of the Source Of The Nile • John Hanning Speke

... in the tragedy remains to be told. It is a cold bleak day in early winter. On one side stand the blackened, bullet-riddled ruins of the Residency, much as we saw them last. To the left, drawn up as a guard, is a long double line of British soldiers with, bayonets fixed. Behind them, covering every coign of vantage, every roof and ...
— The Story of the Guides • G. J. Younghusband

... the streams again. A snowy mantle covered the hills and valleys, and the bleak winds moaned through the naked trees. The merry sleigh-bells jingled in the streets, and merrier lads and lasses filled the village school-house. The skating grounds never presented more attractions to Nat and his circle ...
— The Bobbin Boy - or, How Nat Got His learning • William M. Thayer

... parka and went through the door. The foyer was empty, and, like the one at the rocket landing, protected from the Antarctic blast only by a curtain of hot air. Outside that curtain, the light seemed to lose itself in the darkness of the bleak, snow-filled Wastelands. Mike ignored the snowscape and headed across the empty foyer to the ...
— Unwise Child • Gordon Randall Garrett

... day; but what became of it afterwards, I cannot possibly imagine. At any rate, it entirely cleared away, during the night; and when the sun arose, the next morning, it shone brightly down on as bleak a tract of hill-country, here in Berkshire, as could be seen anywhere in the world. The frost-work had so covered the windowpanes that it was hardly possible to get a glimpse at the scenery outside. But, while ...
— The Three Golden Apples - (From: "A Wonder-Book For Girls and Boys") • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... deep truth. It is desolating to think that a second visit will reveal to me the blindness, the distortions, and the wrong-headedness of my first. But even as a Chinaman I did notice subtle differences between New York and Chicago. As one who was brought up in a bleak and uncanny climate, where soft coal is in universal use, I at once felt more at home in Chicago than I could ever do in New York. The old instinct to wash the hands and change the collar every couple of hours instantly returned to me in Chicago, ...
— Your United States - Impressions of a first visit • Arnold Bennett

... is situated on an elevated plateau, which stretches into the sunny waters of the Mediterranean, guarded on all sides by a barrier of mountains which defend it from bleak winds and serve to it the purpose of walls to a garden. Here, groves of oranges and lemons,—with their almost fabulous coincidence of fruitage with flowers, fill the air with perfume, which blends with that of roses and jessamines; and the fields are so starred and enamelled with flowers ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 7, No. 43, May, 1861 • Various

... a fine frosty Sunday afternoon of midwinter. The quips and jokes of Franko were lively, and he looked into the carriages passing, as if he knew that a cheerful countenance is not without charms for their inmates. Raikes' face, on the contrary, was barren and bleak. Being of that nature that when a pun was made he must perforce outstrip it, he fell into Franko's humour from time to time, but albeit aware that what he uttered was good, and by comparison transcendent, he refused to enjoy it. Nor when Franko started from his arm to declaim a passage, did ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... westward over the bleak hill, and by-and-by came to a great slab called the Standing Stone, on which children often sit and muse until they see gay ladies riding by on palfreys—a kind of horse—and knights in glittering armour, and goblins, and fiery dragons, and other wonders now extinct, of which bare-legged ...
— The Little Minister • J.M. Barrie

... Elbow Barren. In an instant a tide of bitterness, of passionate regret, swept over him. He saw the Hatburns' house, a rectangular bleak structure crowning a gray prominence, with the tender green of young pole beans on one hand and a disorderly barn on the other, and a blue plume of smoke rising from an unsteady stone chimney against an end of the dwelling. No ...
— The Happy End • Joseph Hergesheimer

... shivers beneath the bleak skies, and starves among the inhospitable wilds of Tierra-del-Fuego, might indeed be made happier by civilization, for it would alleviate his physical wants. But the voluptuous Indian, with every desire supplied, whom Providence has bountifully provided with all the sources of pure and natural ...
— Typee - A Romance of the South Sea • Herman Melville

... said they, "beyond the green Isle of Erin, is our father's hall. Seven days' journey northward, on the bleak Norwegian shore, is our ...
— Hero Tales • James Baldwin

... never previously. The halo of distance had faded, as he stood beside the rude fireplace, fashioned of four upright limestone slabs in a corner, reaching to a hole in the roof, down which the wind was howling just now. It was rather a bleak look-out, notwithstanding the honeyed promises of the old settler pouring on ...
— Cedar Creek - From the Shanty to the Settlement • Elizabeth Hely Walshe

... loved to practise, and inspired him with the idea of the mysterious, secret room. The latter originated in his brain as a fantastic plaything, an intellectual Bluebeard's chamber whose sanctity he knew his awe-stricken wife would respect. It developed into a bleak prison; and finally into the ...
— Jaffery • William J. Locke

... day came. The evening before, the bleak north wind blew still; but on the Wednesday the south wind blew exactly as I had prayed. The weather was so mild that ...
— The Wonders of Prayer - A Record of Well Authenticated and Wonderful Answers to Prayer • Various

... accompanying through immeasurable space the wanderings of the planets, is restored by the prick of a needle to his mother earth; the philosopher who unfolds the nature of the Deity, and fancies himself to have broken through the fetters of mortality, returns to himself and everyday life when the bleak north wind whistles through his crazy hut, and teaches him that he stands midway between the ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... square, bleak house of her early memories, now dark except for a dim glow through two dingy windows in the lower part; the yee-yawed curtains were eloquent evidence of the ...
— Joan of Arc of the North Woods • Holman Day

... he should have a son by me, foredoomed The murderer of his father: True, indeed, A son was born; but, to prevent that crime, The wretched infant of a guilty fate, Bored through his untried feet, and bound with cords, On a bleak mountain naked was exposed: The king himself lived many, many years, And found a different fate; by robbers murdered, Where three ways met: Yet these are oracles, And this the faith ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Vol. 6 (of 18) - Limberham; Oedipus; Troilus and Cressida; The Spanish Friar • John Dryden

... a scanty breakfast, the wagons not yet having come up, and in a half hour they started again. They grumbled mightily at first, because the day was bleak beyond words, heavy with clouds, and sharp with chill. The country seemed deserted and certainly that somber air was charged with no ...
— The Scouts of Stonewall • Joseph A. Altsheler

... of their own. The evening was full of eerie sounds—the creaking of fir boughs, the whistle of the wind in the tree-tops, the vibrations of strips of dried bark on the rail fences. But we carried summer and sunshine in our hearts, and the bleak unloveliness of the outer world only intensified our ...
— The Story Girl • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... saloon winks a wicked eye on every corner; where the signs of the whiskeys and actresses flare through the thickened night; and the cab tilts and rocks across the trolley rails, and the crowds of hotel-sojourners seek the shelter of the theatres, and all is bleak and wet and squalid. In more respectful vision he beholds the darkened mansions of the richest and best, who have already fled the scene of their brief winter revel and are forcing the spring in their Floridas, their Egypts, their Rivieras. He himself ...
— Imaginary Interviews • W. D. Howells

... April, warmer already, with the goading urge of spring in the softening air that frets and troubles with new desires and a sense of unfitness for them at once, and will not let you be. The road, fringed with scattering trees, and wind-swept and bleak on winter days, was golden with new sunlight, spongy underfoot, but drying under your eyes in the morning sun. The boy's brooding face did not change as he walked, but his shoulders straightened themselves, and lost their patient look, and his lean young body gave itself ...
— The Wishing Moon • Louise Elizabeth Dutton

... has a curious history. One can watch its transmigrations through three lives. The tremendous hook of old Lord Chatham, under whose curve Empires came to birth, was succeeded by the bleak upward-pointing nose of William Pitt the younger—the rigid symbol of an indomitable hauteur. With Lady Hester Stanhope came the final stage. The nose, still with an upward tilt in it, had lost its masculinity; the hard bones of the uncle and the grandfather had disappeared. Lady Hester's was a ...
— Books and Characters - French and English • Lytton Strachey

... bore him over the range, was there the mellow crunch of snow underfoot. Instead the sound was crisp and sharp: the crackling of ice where the snow had melted and frozen again. Distinct upon the record of the bleak prairie page appeared another sign infallible. Here and there, singly and en masse, wherever the herds had grazed, appeared oblong brown blots the size of an animal's body. The cattle were becoming weak under the influence of prolonged winter, and lay down frequently to rest, their warm ...
— Where the Trail Divides • Will Lillibridge

... successful. I played hard at my game, because playing it made me forget other things. Almost anybody playing a game long enough becomes half-expert at it. But successful? No, no, dear. So far I seem to have travelled only unending roads through bleak countries; and I'm dreading to go back ...
— Sonnie-Boy's People • James B. Connolly

... left, looking as if "Hollis" and "Stoughton" had been transplanted from Cambridge,—carried there in the night by orthodox angels, perhaps, like the Santa Casa. Away to my left again, but abreast of me, was the bleak, bare old Academy building; and in front of me stood unchanged the shallow oblong white house where I lived a year in the days of James Monroe and of ...
— Pages From an Old Volume of Life - A Collection Of Essays • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... past years, it seemed to him that they had been very bleak and barren. True, he had done many things; he had influenced many people, and accomplished some good work; but what had he got out of it for himself? He was an Individualist at heart, as most men are, ...
— Brooke's Daughter - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... a crag of iceberg wan as itself, helmet, cuirass and ice pale-blue in the mist together? Will it look towards them with ice-blue eyes through the mist, and will they question it, meeting on those bleak seas? Will it answer — or will the North wind howl like voices? Will the cry of seals be heard, and ice floes grinding, and strange birds lost upon the wind that night, or will it speak to them in those distant years and tell them how it sinned, ...
— Tales of War • Lord Dunsany

... called Harold Fairhair, and when he pursued them to the Orkney and Faroe Islands they took refuge on the coasts of Iceland. There they settled, built themselves wooden houses, planted such crops as would grow in that bleak land, and founded a commonwealth. Little by little they left the old Viking life, and it lived only ...
— The Story of Sigurd the Volsung • William Morris

... covering of these States from the invasion of an enemy, so easy and practicable a business. I can assure those gentlemen, that it is a much easier and less distressing thing to draw remonstrances in a comfortable room by a good fireside, than to occupy a cold, bleak hill, and sleep under frost and snow, without clothes or blankets. However, although they seem to have little feeling for the naked and distressed soldiers, I feel superabundantly for them, and, from my soul, I pity those miseries, which it is neither ...
— George Washington • William Roscoe Thayer

... "honest" Braceway turned with his electric quickness to Greenleaf, and, as he did so, Bristow leaned back in his chair, as if determined not to argue further. His face assumed its hard, bleak calm; his ...
— The Winning Clue • James Hay, Jr.

... light, powdery snow spotting here and there a livid background; grey seas travelling fast, and a looming snow-cloud gradually drooping down. The gulls are mad with hunger, and a cloud of them skirl harshly over the taffrail of a stout smack that forges fast through the bleak sea. The smack is coated with ice from the mast-head to the water's edge; there is not much of a sea, but when a wave does throw a jet of water over the craft it freezes like magic, and adds yet another layer to a heap which is making the ...
— A Dream of the North Sea • James Runciman

... they can now only gather, for the most part, vainglorious laurels, whilst they adjust to a hair the European balance, taking especial care that no bleak northern nook or sound incline the beam. But the days of true heroism are over, when a citizen fought for his country like a Fabricius or a Washington, and then returned to his farm to let his virtuous fervour run in a more placid, but not a less salutary stream. No, our British heroes are ...
— A Vindication of the Rights of Woman - Title: Vindication of the Rights of Women • Mary Wollstonecraft [Godwin]

... November twilight had given place to bleak night as two men cantered from the palace courtyard and turned their horses' heads northward toward Lutha's nearest boundary. All night they rode, stopping at daylight before a distant farm to feed and water their mounts and snatch ...
— The Mad King • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... appeared everyone stood up and in complete stillness Sir Edward Clarke opened for the prosecution. The bleak face, long upper lip and severe side whiskers made the little man look exactly like a nonconformist parson of the old days, but his tone and manner were modern—quiet and conversational. The charge, he said, was that the defendant had published a false and malicious libel against Mr. Oscar Wilde. ...
— Oscar Wilde, Volume 1 (of 2) - His Life and Confessions • Frank Harris

... I think you had better get into the carriage. It is very bleak out here, and you might ...
— For Woman's Love • Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

... which originally inhabited a temperate or cold climate, but not a land long covered with snow; for our cattle, as we have seen in the chapter on Horses, apparently have not the instinct of scraping away the snow to get at the herbage beneath. No one could behold the magnificent wild bulls on the bleak Falkland Islands in the southern hemisphere, and doubt about the climate being admirably suited to them. Azara has remarked that in the temperate regions of La Plata the cows conceive when two years old, whilst ...
— The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Vol. I. • Charles Darwin

... something behind, other than that which he has discerned, I noted not whither I had strayed until a sudden chill wind striking my face revived in me a sense of my surroundings. I observed with astonishment that everything seemed unfamiliar. On every side of me stretched a bleak and desolate expanse of plain, covered with a tall overgrowth of sere grass, which rustled and whistled in the autumn wind with heaven knows what mysterious and disquieting suggestion. Protruded at long intervals above it, stood strangely ...
— Can Such Things Be? • Ambrose Bierce

... moor and the rainy hill-top, the shepherd and his sheep, a fowling- piece, a spade, a pipe, a dunghill, a crowing cock, the shining and the withdrawal of the sun. An occasional pathos of simple humanity, and frequent patches of big Biblical words, relieved the homely tissue. It was a poetry apart; bleak, austere, but genuine, and redolent ...
— Lay Morals • Robert Louis Stevenson

... rapid survey of the prospective history of the World from that event down to the Millennium. Considered as a narrator, Michael is very subject to dullness; were it not for the unfailing dignity and magniloquence of his diction, his tale would be merely a bleak compendium of the outlines of Scripture history; but to Raphael is committed the story of the war in Heaven and its amazing sequel,—a story containing passages so brilliant, and so little necessary to be narrated at length, that there is some flavour of inconsistency ...
— Milton • Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh

... it looks wintry and bleak enough,' the old man answered, with a grunt. 'I don't see much beauty ...
— The Guinea Stamp - A Tale of Modern Glasgow • Annie S. Swan

... Barsetshire, taken altogether, is a pleasant green tree-becrowded county, with large bosky hedges, pretty damp deep lanes, and roads with broad grass margins running along them. Such is the general nature of the county; but just up in its northern extremity this nature alters. There it is bleak and ugly, with low artificial hedges and without wood; not uncultivated, as it is all portioned out into new-looking large fields, bearing turnips, and wheat, and mangel, all in due course of agricultural rotation; but it has none of the special beauties of English cultivation. There is not ...
— Framley Parsonage • Anthony Trollope

... see me taking the muddy air on a soggy afternoon, I have no conception. Dale keeps them at bay. He also baffles the curiosity of my sisters, and by his diplomacy has sent Eleanor Faversham on a huffy trip to Sicily. She cannot understand why I bury myself in bleak solitude, instead of making cheerful holiday among the oranges and lemons ...
— Simon the Jester • William J. Locke

... of Kerensky's Cossacks came in touch. Scattered rifle-fire, summons to surrender. Over the bleak plain on the cold quiet air spread the sound of battle, falling upon the ears of roving bands as they gathered about their little fires, waiting.... So it was beginning! They made toward the battle; and the worker hordes pouring out along the straight roads quickened ...
— Ten Days That Shook the World • John Reed

... dear one, do you long to see those countries beyond the sea? I know I do. I am tired of this life, this continual struggle for a bare existence. The same thing day after day, year after year; nothing new happens. Why did M. Bois-le-Duc teach me of an outer world beyond the bleak Gulf of St. Lawrence? Why did he teach me to read Virgil and Plato? He did it for the best, no doubt; but I think he did wrong. He has stirred up within me a restless evil spirit of discontent. Oh! Marie, to think I am doomed to be a fisherman here ...
— Marie Gourdon - A Romance of the Lower St. Lawrence • Maud Ogilvy

... gathering at night in secret to begin their real un-understood life. At times it seemed impossible that it was the same world. Surely the sun that struck like a hammer in Jamaica could not be the gracious warm planet that gilded the gorse of the Antrim glens. And up the Baltic in mid-winter it was bleak as a candle, and even then in Antrim it had a great kindliness. Nor were the winds the same. The hot puffs of the Indian Ocean, the drunken, lurching flaws of Biscay Bay, the trades that worked steadily as ants, had not the human quality of the winds of the Nine Glens, that ...
— The Wind Bloweth • Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne

... one night at Umatilla City, a cheerless little settlement at the junction of the Umatilla River with the Columbia, in the midst of a bleak, dreary waste of sand and sage-brush, without a sign of a tree in any direction, a perfect whirlwind blowing all the time. What could induce people to live there, I could ...
— Life at Puget Sound: With Sketches of Travel in Washington Territory, British Columbia, Oregon and California • Caroline C. Leighton

... the month of November, 1539. The winter in these regions, though short, had often days of such excessive cold that men upon the open prairie, exposed to bleak winds called northers, often perished from the severity of the weather. De Soto resolved to establish himself in winter-quarters at Anhayea. With his suite he occupied the palace of the chief. The other houses were appropriated to the soldiers for their barracks. He threw up strong fortifications ...
— Ferdinand De Soto, The Discoverer of the Mississippi - American Pioneers and Patriots • John S. C. Abbott

... there may have been for it must have been long ago discarded. The creature did not look as if it had been ridden in any recent decade. It looked as if it had almost abandoned the hope of ever being ridden again. It was but hoping against hope now, as it stood rocking there in the bleak twilight. Bright warm nurseries were for younger, happier horses. Still it went on rocking, to show me that ...
— Yet Again • Max Beerbohm

... furry shapes leaping largely on either side of her and one cold nose sniffing interrogatively at her heels. Her heart was very light,—her pulses jumping with excitement,—an occasional furry head doming into the palm of her hand warmed the whole bleak night with its sense of mute companionship. But the back of her heels felt certainly very queer. Even the warm yellow lights of the Rattle-Pane House did not ...
— Peace on Earth, Good-will to Dogs • Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

... most part along its rocky bed. In the winter months the depth of the water nowhere exceeded three feet, except after heavy rain, and although the stream was rather swift, it could usually be forded with very little risk. The valley itself had a bleak and deserted appearance, save in the immediate vicinity of the few and widely-scattered villages, around which were clustered fruit trees and patches ...
— Forty-one years in India - From Subaltern To Commander-In-Chief • Frederick Sleigh Roberts

... cannot ward off the nipping force of autumn winds. The drip of the half drained water-clock impels the autumn rains. A lull for few nights reigned, but the wind has again risen in strength. By the lantern I weep, as if I sat with some one who must go. The small courtyard, full of bleak mist, is now become quite desolate. With quick drip drops the rain on the distant bamboos and vacant sills. What time, I wonder, will the wind and rain their howl and patter cease? The tears already I have shed have soakd through the ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book II • Cao Xueqin

... Department under the guidance of Drs. Potts and Craigie. Furthermore, the turning point in the war had been reached. Even before Washington's forces went into winter quarters at Valley Forge, Burgoyne[153] had surrendered at Saratoga, on October 17, 1777; and, before the cold bleak winter at Valley Forge was over, the treaty of French alliance was signed on February 6, 1778. The torments at Valley Forge proved to be the birth ...
— Drug Supplies in the American Revolution • George B. Griffenhagen

... stations were in Russian, twelve in English, eight in American, three in Italian, one in Dutch occupation. In all, at a cost of nearly a quarter of a million, some fourscore distinct posts of observation were provided; among them such inhospitable, and all but inaccessible rocks in the bleak Southern Ocean, as St. Paul's and Campbell Islands, swept by hurricanes, and fitted only for the habitation of seabirds, where the daring votaries of science, in the wise prevision of a long leaguer by the elements, were supplied with stores for many months, or even a whole year. Siberia ...
— A Popular History of Astronomy During the Nineteenth Century - Fourth Edition • Agnes M. (Agnes Mary) Clerke

... on a large Sand bar in the middle of the river about 2 miles above our encampment on Mud Island on the 10th Septr. 1804 haveing made 22 miles only to Day. Saw Several Indians on the hills at a distance this evening viewing us. our encampment of this evening was a very disagreable one, bleak exposed to the winds, and the Sand wet. I pitched on this Situation to prevent being disturbed by those Scioux in the Course of the night as well as to avoid the Musquetors-. ...
— The Journals of Lewis and Clark • Meriwether Lewis et al

... every device of material, color and decoration, the heads of the Vedian family had expressed, in their atrium, their cult of primitive simplicity. Compared with others of the houses of senators their atrium appeared bare and bleak. ...
— Andivius Hedulio • Edward Lucas White

... moisten at such a season, when a woman's voice and a woman's care have brought to their minds recollections of those happy English homes which some of them never saw again; but many did, who will remember their woman-comrade upon the bleak and barren ...
— Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands • Mary Seacole

... returning from travel upon the State railways of Switzerland or Germany—by the shabby-looking porters on so many of our lines—they represent the standard of good clothing for the year 1848 or thereabouts—and by the bleak misery of many of the stations, the universal dirt that electricity might even now abolish. You dare not drop a parcel on any British railway cushion for fear of the cloud of horrible dust you would raise; you have to put it down softly. Consider, too, the congested infrequent ...
— New Worlds For Old - A Plain Account of Modern Socialism • Herbert George Wells

... giving out entirely, so we could not get to Clark's "good camp," for with ten hours of utmost effort only about half a day's distance could be covered, when at last, finding the struggle useless, we were forced to halt for the night in a bleak bottom on the north bank of the river. But no one could sleep, for the wind swept over us with unobstructed fury, and the only fuel to be had was a few green bushes. As night fell a decided change of temperature added much ...
— The Memoirs of General P. H. Sheridan, Complete • General Philip Henry Sheridan

... the breaking of his oar by Jones who steered our boat. About noon having run three miles, a landing was made on a broad gravelly island, to enable Andy to concoct a dinner. A heavy gale was tearing fiercely across the bleak spot. The sand flew in stinging clouds, but we got a fire started and then it burned like a furnace. Andy made another sample of his biscuits, this time liberally incorporated with sand, and he fried some bacon. The sand ...
— A Canyon Voyage • Frederick S. Dellenbaugh

... coup d'etat - for operating expenses and public investment. In 2000-01, the World Bank approved a structural adjustment loan of $105 million to help support fiscal reforms. However, reforms could prove difficult given the government's bleak financial situation. The IMF approved a $73 million poverty reduction and growth facility for Niger in 2000 and announced $115 million in debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. Further disbursements of ...
— The 2003 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency

... its utmost clearness and except to the south and south-west there was not a cloud in the sky. The country was hilly, with occasional fir plantations and bleak upland spaces, but also with numerous farms, and the hills were deeply intersected by the gorges of several winding rivers interrupted at intervals by the banked-up ponds and weirs of electric generating wheels. It was dotted with bright-looking, steep-roofed, villages, ...
— The War in the Air • Herbert George Wells

... and mellowed in the fire and supper heat. While their hats and caps and wrappers, hanging up, a few small bundles on the ground in a corner, and in another corner three or four old walking-sticks, worn down at the end to mere fringe, linked this smug interior with the bleak outside in a ...
— The Seven Poor Travellers • Charles Dickens

... considerably, but it was still so misty that he could only just see the edge of the bleak shore where the little waves rolled in idly, looking gray and greasy under the fog. He leaned his arms on the sill, but aside from the seal-roar, everything seemed peaceful and the lad was just about to turn away from the window in the feeling of miserable anger that comes ...
— The Boy With the U. S. Fisheries • Francis Rolt-Wheeler

... whilst the many bluff rocks, with deep calm water close to them, extending all around the promontory which projected into the sea, and round the bay, held out great promise that fish could readily have been caught. Ducks were also numerous in the lake, and kangaroos on shore. The day turned out very bleak and wet, and we both got thoroughly soaked through before we got back to the vessel, which was not until about two in the afternoon; I was then obliged to borrow a dry suit from the Captain, whilst my own clothes ...
— Journals Of Expeditions Of Discovery Into Central • Edward John Eyre

... from headquarters brought by an officer!" cried the corporal. The relief had come! The man who but a second since stood on the bleak, dreary shore of despair, felt himself recalled ...
— The Northern Light • E. Werner

... overhung the shore below; there were, to be sure, a series of zigzag tacking paths down the face of this rock, but from the house they could not be seen. Old or delicate people would have considered the situation bleak and exposed; indeed, the present proprietor wanted to dispose of it on this very account; but by its present inhabitants, this exposure and bleakness were called by other names, and considered as charms. From every part of the rooms they saw the grey storms ...
— Ruth • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... but it was not, had never been, the real Mary-Clare who had paid. Something had retreated during the bleak years, that which remained fulfilled the daily tasks; kept its own council, laughed at length, and knew a great joy in the baby Noreen, seemed a proof that God was still with her while she held to what appeared to ...
— At the Crossroads • Harriet T. Comstock

... nor elsewhere." She made that bleak declaration simply, as if he had suggested her possession of green diamonds. Her tone ...
— No Clue - A Mystery Story • James Hay

... become darker, the storm more threatening. The wind blew in furious gusts over the dismal country, and an occasional rumbling of distant thunder filled the weary lads with dread. The road they had chosen was absolutely deserted. It lay through a bleak, scarcely habitable prairie, a landscape common enough in that part of Russia; and stones and brambles did much to retard their progress. There was not a place of shelter in sight. The outlook was sufficiently unpromising to ...
— Rabbi and Priest - A Story • Milton Goldsmith



Words linked to "Bleak" :   hopeless, inhospitable, cold



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