[Salisbury—Sunday, 24 July 1859]
Sunday 24th Walked early to the shrine. It is truly worth coming any distance to see but having come I would say to all lovers of architecture stay; stay before it at least until the beauty of the whole flashes over, and floods the soul with light, for it can do all this and more, it gives both love and charity. We sat long after service had begun upon the pediments of the pillars at the farther end studying the monuments and listening to the delicious chaunting (delicious at this distance) which filled the air; at last we strolled softly out again and home to read and rest. In the afternoon drove to Stonehenge.
An awe seized me when I saw this place and I beheld the nations of the earth passing and fading before me till we, and these stalwart men with their mighty works, sank together like lilies in the stream and there was nothing left but the quiet sky and the moaning sea and our great God our faith, our Rock, and the great Joy of immortal existence. Well, so we saw Stonehenge, the Mystery. We came back in the sun-set, passing the hillocks of Old Sarum, formerly a towered and populous city, passing them with wonder in our hearts and praise upon our lips. There was great silence all around and a skulking poacher lingering near the ground was all of life we saw on the spot where kings were wont to congregate in all their pomp and power.