Quick blog post here, thought it would be worth mentioning No-Sword's excellent post on H. G. Wells' haunting and sonorous opening of War of the Worlds.

Mimesis is essentially a case of where words or an expression's pronunciation matches the meaning, i.e. "vast" and "cold."

Another figure of rhetoric that Wells uses is that of colon, where a series of words are linked in meaning, but build upon said meaning as the sentence finishes, such as here, where Martians struggle with the Terran atmosphere:

Those who have never seen a living Martian can scarcely imagine the strange horror of its appearance.  The peculiar V-shaped mouth with its pointed upper lip, the absence of brow ridges, the absence of a chin beneath the wedgelike lower lip, the incessant quivering of this mouth, the Gorgon groups of tentacles, the tumultuous breathing of the lungs in a strange atmosphere, the evident heaviness and painfulness of movement due to the greater gravitational energy of the earth—above all, the extraordinary intensity of the immense eyes—were at once vital, intense, inhuman, crippled and monstrous. There was something fungoid in the oily brown skin, something in the clumsy deliberation of the tedious movements unspeakably nasty.  Even at this first encounter, this first glimpse, I was overcome with disgust and dread.

(Chapter 4, Book 1)

Later on in the book, the protagonist is struck by an awful anxiety after witnessing the Martian's terrible heatray:

It came to me that I was upon this dark common, helpless, unprotected, and alone.  Suddenly, like a thing falling upon me from without, came—fear.

(Chapter 5, Book 1)

This variant is typically called a tricolon - where it intensifies in three steps, reaching the ultimate horror of solitude.